At Virgin Atlantic, we focus on improving the people, environment and animal welfare credentials of the products and services we design, contract and buy.

 

 

We work with thousands of suppliers worldwide.

As well as transporting our customers around the world, we carry cargo, serve millions of meals and buy a huge array of things, from the large (like aircraft and fuel) to the small – such as headsets and napkins. 

 

Our goal is to collaborate with them to improve the people, environmental and animal welfare profile of the products and services we design and buy. It’s a big task, and a continually evolving one.

Tanya, our Uniforms Supervisor, talks about the life cycle of our garments, and how we worked with Vivienne Westwood to build sustainability as well as style into the design.

Thoughtful uniform design

At Virgin Holidays we believe the best way to experience whales and dolphins is in the wild. You really get to know the animals in their natural habitat, being able to do their own thing.

Wild whale and dolphin watching

We work with EcoVadis, a collaborative platform that allows us to assess and encourage suppliers’ sustainability performance. Suppliers submit questionnaires describing their policies and actions, together with supporting evidence. The analysis by EcoVadis creates a scorecard that allows us to understand performance and discuss areas for improvement with our suppliers as well as recognise best practice. 

Our Responsible Supplier Policy emphasises to our suppliers that we’re focused on sourcing goods and services in a way that treats the people we work with, directly and indirectly, with respect and dignity and that minimises damage to the environment and natural resources, as well as improving animal welfare standards where this is relevant. Our policy is based on international standards of basic human rights, such as the International Labour Convention and the UN Convention on Human Rights, as well as the UK Modern Slavery Act.

We encourage Virgin Atlantic hotels to seek independent sustainability certification to measure, demonstrate and improve their performance. For example, since 2005 we’ve worked with the Association of British Travel Agents to help develop and establish the Travelife sustainability system. This scheme encourages hotels to improve their social, economic and environmental performance and audits hotels against a wide range of sustainability criteria. In addition to Travelife there are other well respected certification schemes out there and we welcome any sustainability certification scheme recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

 

Since 2014, Virgin Atlantic has been working to ensure the meals we serve each year are produced in the best way for people, animals and the planet. We have created a robust and comprehensive programme, which requires all our suppliers and caterers to meet standards that go well beyond regulatory requirements. 

 

We call it ‘Thoughtful Food’. The Thoughtful Food programme works in five key areas – which translate into detailed technical standards for our caterers. We work collaboratively with caterers across all the locations from which we fly to ensure that they are meeting these standards.