LATAM Cargo was recognized by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as winner of the Air Cargo Innovation Award in the corporate category for its plastic reduction projects in its cargo operations in Chile and Brazil. These initiatives were designed by the subsidiary's employees and are part of the commitment to become a zero-waste-to-landfill group by 2027. The results of the fourth edition of the awards were presented during the closing of the IATA’s 2023 World Cargo Symposium.
These initiatives are, in the case of Chile, the implementation of a recyclable 3M tape that replaces the plastic film used to consolidate dry cargo in the country's import hold, which will enable an 80% substitution of plastic in this process, resulting in a reduction of 24 tons per year. In addition, with this, LATAM becomes the first airline in the world to work with 3M, and to implement this innovative material for cargo operations. The second project implemented in the country was in their domestic narrow body operation and aimed to replace the plastic film used only to consolidate and transport cargo safely from the hold to the aircraft's feet, with a reusable blanket that has a useful life of nearly four years. This change will make it possible to reduce the use of this plastic by 100% for this process, thus reducing the use of 45 tons of this material per year. On the other hand, the last initiative exhibited is the one applied in Brazil, which following the objective of replacing plastic film, the cargo subsidiary resorted to the use of waterproof and reusable pallet covers for the storage of cargo in the Guarulhos warehouse, as well as for the ground transportation of cargo from one warehouse to another. With this, the company expects to reduce 13 tons of plastic per year.
"This award is a very important recognition not only for the group, but especially for our employees who were behind these innovations. Two years ago, we made a commitment to migrate from a linear model to a circular one, where waste is a resource. Today these projects are a reflection of this commitment, and of the fact that great changes can come from the bottom up, without the need for major investment or technology. These advances are just the beginning. We will continue to work on more initiatives that allow us to contribute to the environment, and we hope that more industry players will join in, because we cannot achieve change alone," commented Diego García, director of Ground Operations and Handling at LATAM Cargo.
“Innovation holds the key to development, sustainability, and success in the air cargo industry, that’s why we launched the IATA Air Cargo Innovation Awards. I am honored to present the Corporate Award to LATAM Cargo for their innovation efforts in sustainability and for fostering an environment of advancement and inclusion across all levels of the airline,” said Brendan Sullivan, IATA’s Global Head of Cargo.