Reducing Environmental Impact From 35,000 Feet

Case Study

Virgin Australia is striving to make flying better than ‘nice.’ The company’s mission isn’t only focused on providing its customers with a wonderful experience. For Virgin Australia, it’s also about creating a business with sustainability in mind by implementing strong ESG practices that guide its current and future business strategy.

Over the course of Bain Capital’s ownership, our Special Situations and Private Equity teams have helped shape Virgin Australia’s sustainability efforts to further align the business’s mission with impact-driven initiatives and investments important to the company’s stakeholders.

Reducing its carbon footprint has been a focal point for management—with the company committing to a 22% reduction in its emissions intensity by 2030 and to target net zero emissions by 2050. Virgin Australia’s fleet renewal program is a key driver to meeting this goal. The company is investing in a streamlined Boeing 737 fleet, including 35 new Boeing 737-8 and 737-10 aircrafts that will start entering the fleet in 2023 while transitioning out older aircrafts. These aircrafts alone will help to deliver 15-17% emissions reductions per seat per trip.

The company’s commitment to building a sustainable business goes beyond its responsibility to the environment. Virgin Australia prioritizes the well-being of its team members and strives to create a truly diverse and inclusive workplace. Gender equity and improving female representation are paramount. Women comprise 40% of its senior management team and 33% of its executive team—and the company has also implemented a strategy to attract more female pilots. To help drive employee engagement, Virgin Australia also proactively works with labor unions to build consensus and create positive working relationships.

Barnaby Lyons
Virgin Australia is a prime example of how Bain Capital successfully partners with internal sustainability teams to drive forward ambitious ESG agendas. The progress that Virgin Australia has made on its sustainability commitments reflects the importance that we as a firm place on our investments’ climate impact.
Barnaby Lyons, Co-Head of Special Situations