SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines)

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
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Climate Lobbying Overview: SAS Group (Scandinavian Airlines) has limited, mixed engagement with European climate legislation for aviation in 2019-21. SAS Group seems to have emphasized competitiveness and cost concerns in its top-line messaging to oppose ticket taxes for aviation in Sweden and Norway.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: In 2020, SAS Group criticized environmental taxes on air travel, stating that “they have no connection with any climate-impacting emissions” and suggested that they distort competition while also negatively impacting economies. Furthermore, in a 2019 Forbes interview, Scandinavian Airlines CEO Rickard Gustafson argued that environmental taxation and regulation for airlines will make it “much more difficult for people to travel in general terms”. In another 2019 CNBC interview, the CEO stressed concerns regarding new European climate regulations and domestic taxes on aviation creating “a significant problem” for aviation.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: SAS Group appears to have limited engagement with climate regulations for aviation. In its 2020 CDP Information Request response, Scandinavian Airlines stated support for energy efficiency legislation while adopting a neutral position on carbon taxes in Scandinavia. Evidence from its 2020 Sustainability Report also suggests support for the CORSIA global offsetting scheme for aviation while taking no clear position on the EU Emissions Trading System.

Positioning on Energy Transition: SAS Group appears to have a mostly negative position regarding the decarbonization of aviation. SAS Group stated opposition to Swedish and Norwegian ticket taxes for aviation in its 2020 Sustainability Report. Furthermore, the Vice President of Scandinavian Airlines argued in 2020 that it cannot “sacrifice the growth of its business to reduce emissions” and that the “solution is not to reduce air traffic, but to implement more energy-friendly solutions that can lower emissions while growing the market.”

Industry Association Governance: SAS Group publicly discloses a list of its memberships to industry associations on its website without disclosing its direct engagement with them on climate change, their climate policy positions, nor the company’s role within each association. SAS Group has not published a review of its alignment with its industry associations. The CEO of Scandinavian Airlines is on the Board of Governors for the International Aviation Transport Association (IATA), who have actively lobbied against ambitious climate policy for aviation at global, regional, and national levels.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.