Fridays For Future Leader Greta Thunberg Causes Disruption At SAS Shareholder Meeting

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Summary

  • A SAS shareholder meeting was disrupted by Fridays For Future, led by Greta Thunberg.
  • The group claimed that SAS was greenwashing and lying about the sustainability of its business.
  • A day after the protest, SAS announced an investment in a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) facility in Sweden.

Climate activists, led by Greta Thunberg, disrupted a SAS Scandinavian Airlines shareholder meeting in Sweden, calling out the airline for ‘greenwashing,’ namely trying to present their business as sustainable. In addition, the group said that flying must be reduced to meet the goals set out by the Paris Agreement.

Disrupting an annual meeting

SAS held its annual general meeting (AGM) in Stockholm, Sweden, on March 18, 2024. Fridays For Future, an international climate activist group, came to protest at the meeting and outside the carrier’s headquarters in the Swedish capital.

In a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, Fridays For Future said that they demanded the airline to stop lying and greenwashing about its business, noting that the aviation industry has a huge responsibility in the climate crisis. Furthermore, the industry was a clear example of how the wealthiest people are damaging the future of the lower classes, the statement added.

“1% of the world’s population accounts for 50% of CO2 from commercial aviation. While some protested outside, other FFF activists were also inside the AGM to demand answers to the uncomfortable questions that SAS refuses to answer.”

The group continued that science was prominent and that flying must be reduced in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, adopted in 2015, noting that SAS and other airlines lack concrete plans to reduce their emissions. As such, the group said that carriers refer to technical solutions that are many decades away from having the scale that is required today.

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SAS AGM resolutions

None of the resolutions that the airline’s shareholders voted on were related to any sustainability measures. According to SAS, the company’s shareholders resolved six measures, including not issuing a dividend for the previous financial year between November 1, 2022, and October 31, 2023.

An SAS Airbus A350-900 flying in the sky.

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Other measures included approving the presented financial report, discharging the Board members and the chief executive officer (CEO) from liability for the results, and approving the remuneration of senior executives and unchanged guidelines regarding their pay.

Investing in SAF infrastructure

Incidentally, the airline announced that it would be investing in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) infrastructure at its aviation fuel facility at the Port of Gävle, located around 180 kilometers north of Stockholm. However, the port is about 140 kilometers north of Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN), SAS’ main hub in Sweden.

An SAS Airbus A350-900 on a wet airport apron.

Photo: Hervé Goussé | Airbus

The investments, made in partnership with Inter Terminals Sweden, will result in tanks that are used for conventional fossil heating oil storage being converted to a blending and storage facility for SAF. The new facility should open during the upcoming summer.

Ann-Sofie Hörlin, the Head of Sustainability at SAS, remarked that while the airline’s demand for SAF is already significant, there is a need to invest in the entire value chain to enable SAS to transition to more sustainable flights. However, Hörlin noted that the carrier’s demand for SAF will only grow in the future.

Related


First Swedish Airport Joins SAS’ Corporate Sustainability Program

Skellefteå City Airport is the first airport to join the program and will supply aircraft with sustainable fuels in the coming year.


  • SAS A350
    SAS

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    SK/SAS

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub(s):
    Copenhagen Airport, Oslo Gardermoen Airport, Stockholm Arlanda Airport

    Year Founded:
    1946

    Alliance:
    Star Alliance

    Airline Group:
    SAS Group

    CEO:
    Anko van der Werff



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