Bombardier, which last year paved new ground when its Global 7500 became the first business jet to achieve an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) through the International EPD System, is planning to pursue similar declarations on all of its new aircraft and upgrades moving forward, the company said.
Third-party verified to ISO standards, the EPD discloses detailed environmental information about the Global 7500’s lifecycle, such as CO2 emissions, noise, water consumption, and other key environmental impact indicators. The International EPD System has built a library of published EPDs for products from more than 30 countries to foster transparency about environmental lifecycles. But the Global 7500 was the very first from the business jet community.
Bombardier called the EPD an important milestone in its overarching environmental sustainability strategy, saying it has not only provided lessons learned about taking a more sustainable approach throughout the lifecycle of the product but has also helped the company and its suppliers develop more efficient products.
A Bombardier Eco-Design team applied product innovation lifecycle processes throughout the development process to ensure that the ultra-long-range business jet minimizes its impact on the environment from design to the aircraft’s end-of-life. This involved a focus on health, safety, and environmental considerations during design, production, support, and end-of-life. In addition, this approach involved years of collaboration with the supply chain.
Operational lifecycles, including an evaluation of noise and fuel burn, were considered, along with recyclability and recovery rates for end-of-life. Bombardier reported that material recycling and energy recovery aggregate to an 85 percent recoverability rate by weight for the Global 7500.
“The expertise that Bombardier developed through the publication of this EPD has become instrumental in the environmental life-cycle analysis of our continuous product innovation and improvement process,” the company said. “This science-based know-how will serve as a baseline to help develop similar environmental initiatives and will further help move the industry towards more transparent environmental communication.”
Through its assessment of factors such as CO2 emissions, recyclability rate, water scarcity, and renewable energy, Bombardier said, it was able to design a Mach 0.925, 7,700-nm, four-zone business jet that emits 15 percent less CO2 than previous-generation ultra-long-range aircraft. “Thanks to the collaborative work with suppliers, another benefit of the EPD was the development of the high-speed transonic wing on the Global 7500, which significantly optimizes aerodynamic efficiency combined with next-generation GE Passport engines, which themselves provides lowest emissions and best-in-class fuel burn—8 percent better fuel burn,” the company said.
Bombardier has received a positive response to this effort from the business aviation community and from its customers. “Our Global 7500 customers and operators…appreciate that this EPD allows them to properly evaluate the environmental impact of their aircraft over its lifetime,” the company said. “With a greater focus on the environment and with customers becoming increasingly savvy and informed, our sales teams also received numerous inquiries from potential buyers interested in the environmental aspects of our products, including the Global 7500.”
The EPD provided customers with the ability to do an honest, apples-to-apples comparison of the environmental impact of aircraft products, Bombardier added.
“We hope that publishing the EPD raises the bar of environmental reporting standards in the business aviation industry, and the broader aviation industry as well,” Bombardier said, noting that it establishes a benchmark for OEMs to share detailed information on the environmental impact of their products. “Moreover, the collaborative efforts in which Bombardier engaged with its supply chain leading up to the EPD contributed to the ‘green’ transformation of the industry.”
While Bombardier hopes that the publication of EPDs will become standard practice in the industry, the company said it remains committed “to keep green questioning a part of our eco-design process and to continue aiming at achieving science-based targets in supporting the global fight against climate change.”