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Air New Zealand announces changes to Sustainability Advisory Panel

Thursday 2 May 24 10:30am

Media release | Former Green Party co-leader and minister for climate change, James Shaw, is joining Air New Zealand's Sustainability Advisory Panel.

Matteo Mirolo, the Head of Policy and Strategy in the Aviation Contrails team at Bill Gates’ Climate Foundation’s energy startup, Breakthrough Energy, also joins the Sustainability Advisory Panel.

Air New Zealand’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Kiri Hannifin, says James Shaw’s dedication to progressing New Zealand’s lower carbon future through the Zero Carbon Act has been transformational for future generations, as has the urgency and passion he has brought to the topic of climate change through his political career.


“Aviation has a significant challenge to transition away from fossil fuels – it's hard, complex and expensive,” says Ms Hannifin. “But if we want to continue our role to connect New Zealanders, our tourism and trade to the world for the foreseeable future, we must decarbonise or risk being left behind.


“Outside expertise is critical to helping us navigate this, and we’re incredibly privileged to welcome someone of James Shaw’s calibre to our Sustainability Advisory Panel. His tenacity, passion for New Zealand’s unique biodiversity, and strong knowledge of climate science will all play a valuable role in helping Air New Zealand steer and stay the course.”


Mr Shaw says “I am really pleased to be joining the Air New Zealand Sustainability Advisory Panel at a time when the airline and the entire industry face the huge challenge of transitioning to net-zero. Air New Zealand has for many years demonstrated that they are not shy about engaging with this challenge and, in fact, want to lead on it. My aim will be to both challenge and support the airline to go first and show the way.”


Mr Shaw joins the panel following the recent resignation of Sam Mostyn AO as Panel Chair, due to her appointment as Governor-General of Australia.


“We’re so proud of Sam and thank her wholeheartedly for the significant role she has played in Air New Zealand’s sustainability journey,” says Ms Hannifin.


“Her appointment as Governor-General reflects the high level of integrity and authenticity she brings to her work, and we wish her all the best as she transitions to her new role.”


In March, Air New Zealand also welcomed Matteo Mirolo to its Sustainability Advisory Panel.


In Matteo’s current role, he leads research into contrails and non-CO2 aviation emissions. Before this, Matteo was the Aviation Manager at Transport and Environment, the European Union’s largest transport non-governmental organisation where he led their aviation programme, focusing on sustainable aviation fuel.


“Being Europe-based, Matteo brings not only his considerable expertise to the table but also a vital international context and best practice which Air New Zealand is eager to understand and learn from,” says Ms Hannifin.


Air New Zealand’s Sustainability Advisory Panel advises the airline’s sustainability team, Executive, and Board on key issues such as Sustainable Aviation Fuel, emissions, regulatory and global trends and challenges. It aims to provide an external perspective to Air New Zealand’s sustainability work, together with world-class thinking.


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