AAR's greenhouse gas emissions increased 3% in fiscal year 2023, which ended on May 31, but decreased 6% from fiscal year 2021 and 18% from FY 2020, according to the company's 2023 environmental, social and governance (ESG) report released on Nov. 8.
AAR spokesperson Daniela Pietsch said on Nov. 14 that the increase in emissions in FY 2023 was driven by a 6% change in Scope 2 emissions, caused by an increase in United States Emissions & Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) emission factors. The emission factors, Pietsch said, are multiples to determine the greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed.
Every year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes its eGRID factors for different electricity grid regions of the nation. Pietsch said many of these factors increased AAR's greenhouse gas emissions from FY 2022 to FY 2023.
AAR is an independent provider of aviation parts and repair services. The company said in its report that it began upgrading the exhaust system at its landing gear overhaul facility in Miami with new exhaust fans and mesh pads in FY 2023.
AAR expects these upgrades to reduce heavy metal, or chromium, and carbon in its emissions. The company is also working with a third party to track emission levels at this facility.
The company's total energy consumption increased less than 1% in FY 2023 and decreased 9% from FY 2021 and 15% from FY 2020. AAR's component repair facility in New York re-enrolled its local power company's program to reduce energy consumption by implementing an energy reduction plan during high-demand days. The company estimates its rate of energy consumption was reduced each month from October 2022 through the end of FY 2023 without impacting its production or delivery.
AAR in March replaced older steel panel cladding with new siding on the exterior of its component repair facility in Amsterdam. Pietsch said this new siding is made of Falk panels, or metal with a foam core. In addition to being safer and more heat and fire-resistant, the company expects the new siding to reduce this facility's gas usage. The company repairs and overhauls a large array of aircraft components, such as cockpit instruments, galley equipment, avionics, hydraulics and pneumatics, among others, at this facility.
AAR in FY 2023 continued to evaluate the installation of solar panels at its Miami landing gear overhaul facility to contribute to the building's energy needs. The company also plans to install an upgraded wastewater processing system at this facility, expecting it to be capable of processing significantly more wastewater per day. It expects this to lead to a higher water recovery rate and a reduction in hazardous sludge.
The company installed drag reduction kits on five commercial aircraft in FY 2023, helping its industry test sustainable aircraft equipment. AAR said these kits have the potential to reduce both fuel consumption and cargo emissions.
AAR in FY 2023 became the first independent third-party maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) organization to implement a corporate safety management system (SMS) as it expanded the SMS from a site-specific model to a company-wide model. The SMS provides a platform to all employees to proactively identify and report hazards, perform risk analyses, implement mitigation measures and share best practices.
The company reported a 23% increase in reports through the SMS in FY 2023, including 338 reports by employees. 75% of these reports were proactive reports of potential safety concerns as opposed to reactive reports of incidents.
AAR said its SMS program met all US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements, including a single accountable executive and common database for all required data to receive acceptance for all six AAR repair station facilities. Formal SMS development consists of voluntary SMS implementation by operators and other aviation service providers using FAA-stated standards.
This article, originally published on Nov. 12, was updated with new information.