Real world stories about innovators and innovative companies are an important way to learn and we place high value on them at Innovation Excellence. We are very pleased to begin a series of case studies on companies who have been curated by Hult International Business School and Center for Innovation, Excellence and Leadership (IXL Center) in their book Greenovate!
The book Greenovate! documents 53 case studies that are defined by “sustainable, green innovations” (or “green ovations”). Each profile combines business innovation with a synthesized concept of sustainability, from startups to leading global organizations. The next case study in this special Greenovate! case study series is:
BOMBARDIER – Quieter, More Fuel Efficient Jets
Establishing new benchmarks in aviation sustainability with the CSeries mid-sized aircraft
A new series of airplanes leverages novel technologies from a supplier to reduce costs and push forward on new benchmarks in aviation sustainability. Higher costs were mitigated with a customer leasing option.
Pratt and Whitney’s next-generation geared turbofan engine was instrumental in driving down fuel consumption by 20%. The advancement from this collaboration created over 3,000 new jobs in manufacturing plants.
20% reduction in fuel consumption, Reduced noise, 20% fewer carbon emissions, 50% fewer nitrous oxide emissions during flight.
CUT MY COSTS:
Because of rising fuel costs and operating expenditures faced by airline companies, Bombardier sought new ways to drive down operational costs
With tightening airline regulations and a need for airlines to meet demands with less environmental impact, Bombardier saw an opportunity to design a new generation of green planes
While most airlines flew planes with a capacity either below 100 seats or above 150 seats, there were few flights seating between 100-149 passengers — Bombardier saw this as a new opportunity to pursue
Investing in new technologies was not a focal point of the company — in poor economic times, the tendency had been to look at: short-term savings; cutting down on workforce; or, shutting down plants
CROSS BORDER CONCERNS:
Traditionally, the airline industry was known for its unbending engineering and technical standards, which made some of the new technology in the CSeries difficult to sell
LACK OF BUYERS:
Bombardier’s CSeries was seemingly high-priced for customers facing tight credit markets and tough economic times — there was a lack of potential buyers to secure firm orders
In an effort to design new efficient technologies at minimal costs, Bombardier looked to its suppliers to aid in the development — Pratt and Whitney’s next-generation “geared turbofan engine” showed promise
Because of the growing emphasis of sustainability, Bombardier knew that airlines would have to become more creative to reduce emissions in order to avoid costly regulatory charges and re-tooling in the future
LEASE ME INSTEAD:
Bombardier introduced a new lease option for airlines unable to pay the full price of the CSeries planes — this gave airlines an opportunity to test the new airplane at a low investment cost
Successful new technologies in design and aerodynamics helped to drive down fuel costs by 20% and to create over 3,000 new jobs at a time when competitors were scaling back their operations
With a focus on building a fleet of sustainable jets, companies such as Lufthansa have affirmed their efforts in aviation sustainability by offering flights with reduced emissions, lower noise and less fuel burn
OFF THE SHELF:
Decreased price barriers kick-started production of the CSeries, which encouraged Lufthansa to buy 30 planes and to lease another 30 — letters of intent from other airlines soon followed suit
Building on technologies capable of producing 20% less CO2, 50% less NOX , 20% less fuel burn and less noise, Bombardier will apply this blueprint of airline efficiency across all its other models in an effort to build a more sustainable aviation industry.
image credit: desertjet.com
Tyler McNally, Ronald Jonash & Dr. Hitendra Patel are co-authors of Greenovate! — Companies Innovating to Create a More Sustainable World and members of the leadership team at IXL CENTER, the Center for Innovation, Excellence & Leadership at Hult International Business School.