On Tuesday, October 26, ADS pre-COP26 ‘Delivering A Sustainable Future: The Runway to COP26’ plenary event and technology showcase took place at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London. The eventorganised in association with knowledge partner BCG, showcased aerospace, defence and space sector efforts to achieve net zero by 2050. Here are some highlights from the event. 

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Opening Remarks

Giving an opening address in the lecture theatre where the plans for Sir Frank Whittle’s revolutionary jet engine were first presentedADS, CEO Kevin Craven said:  

“The UK can and should lead the world in developing and manufacturing the technology we need to achieve net zero aviation. We are home to the expertise, the capabilities and the future talent we need to succeed.

“So we simply must be ambitious in our approach, living on past glory is not sufficient. Achieving these goals requires huge industry investment.

“In turn, this investment will secure thousands of high value jobs, create centres of excellence in technological development, and ensure the prosperity of communities in every part of the country.”

Aviation Decarbonisation: EU, US, Oil and Gas perspectives

Aviation colleagues from Boeing, Rolls-Royce and Shell Aviation shared perspectives on how to decarbonise aviation. The overarching message was that more sustainable and efficient aviation is a vital part of reaching net zero by 2050, and sustainable aviation fuels will play a key role in this.  

CTO Forum Panel: A global commitment to achieve more sustainable aviation 

In a highlight of the event, the Chief Technology Officers of seven leading aerospace manufacturers reaffirmed their commitment to achieving more sustainable aviation and reaching industry wide Air Transport Action Group targets. You can read their joint statement here 

The CTOs in the picture include: Sabine Klauke, Airbus; Naveed Hussain, Boeing; Bruno Stoufflet, Dassault Aviation, Christopher Lorence, General Electric; Francis Preli, Pratt and Whitney; Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce; Eric Dalbiès, Safran; and are joined by guest speaker Anna Mascolo, Shell Aviation.  

Industry Perspective: Defence  

Defence colleagues from Airbus, BAE Systems and Thales explored why defence and its outputs and products will remain important and play a vital role in tackling climate change, achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals and achieving net zero by 2050.  

Industry Perspective: Supply Chain  

Industry colleagues from the Manufacturing Technology Centre, ITP Aero, Leonardo and Reaction Engines explored the importance of supply chain transparency and responsibility when looking to address aerospace and defence emissions. The concluding message was that a collaborative mindset within the supply chain is essential.  

Future Leaders Panel

To conclude the plenary session, the Future Leaders panel featured next generation aerospace and defence leaders from Meggitt, the Aerospace Technology Institute, Babcock, Safran Helicopter Engines and Spirit Aerospace Systems who explored what sustainability means, and how future leaders are looking to drive internal change now before it is too late. The panel was insightful, thought-provoking and inspiring and showcased the drive and determination to create a more sustainable world for future generations.  

Technology Showcase

The event concluded with a technology showcase where fourteen innovative members demonstrated their latest innovations and solutions to help tackle climate change and achieve net zero by 2050.  


It was a brilliant event and we look forward to seeing industry colleagues and ADS members again soon. Thanks to our event sponsors, Airbus, Safran and Spirit Aerosystems who made the event possible.