Virgin Atlantic claims to have cut its total aircraft carbon emissions by 22% over the last nine years.

CO2e emissions have dropped from 5,218,451 tonnes in 2007 to 4,082,195 in 2016.

This is mirrored by reductions in two key efficiency measures: CO2 per Revenue Tonne Kilometre (down 17%) and CO2 per passenger km (down 22%), with all three measures having reduced 8% in the last year.

The carbon efficiencies mean that the airline is already ahead of an Iata industry target agreed for 2020.

The carbon savings have largely been delivered thanks to the introduction of new generation Boeing 787 Dreamliners, as well as fuel saving initiatives such as single engine taxiing, real-time weather technology which helps pilots make smarter route choices and weight management of all products on board.

Looking to the future Virgin Atlantic is continuing its commitment to a lower carbon fleet and in 2016 announced an order for These more fuel efficient, quieter aircraft will replace older four engine aircraft to deliver a 30% carbon saving on every flight, meaning that b

The addition of 12 Airbus A350-1000s from 2019 will mean that the airline will have one of the youngest long-haul fleets by 2021.

The airline has also continued a partnership with clean tech company LanzaTech to create low carbon fuel by recycling carbon in waste industrial gases.

The scheme generated its first significant batch of ethanol-to-jet fuel last year and LanzaTech was awarded a grant from the US Department of Energy to design a 3-4 million US gallon demonstration scale jet fuel plant.

Meanwhile, more one million of the carrier’s amenity kits were recycled – with 55% reassembled into new amenity kits.

Sponges from headsets will soon be used to surface an equestrian centre, while disused plastics on board are made into benches.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive, Craig Kreeger, said: “2016 was a landmark year for sustainability at Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays, in which we delivered significant carbon savings, drove improvements in sustainable onboard food and drink, and raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for our charity partners.

“Our investment in a cleaner, quieter fleet is well underway with the arrival of the dual engine 787s, and an order for 12 A350s will complete the fleet transformation and offer significant carbon savings, as well as an unrivalled experience for our customers.”

He added: “Despite political and economic headwinds we remain fully committed to our sustainability programme and will continue to drive new ways to reduce carbon emissions, and promote responsible supply chain and tourism practices.”