Virgin Australia

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
Relationship Score
Brisbane, Australia
Official Web Site:

Climate Policy Engagement Overview: In 2021-23, Virgin Australia was highly engaged with climate policy for aviation, with mostly positive, but some more negative, recent positioning, while retaining memberships to industry associations with negative engagement. Virgin Australia has positive top-line messaging on climate policy, supports Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism with exceptions, and supports policies incentivizing sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs).

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: In its corporate website, accessed in September 2023, Virgin Australia supported net-zero CO2 emissions from global aviation by 2050, alongside emissions reductions aligned with a 1.5 degree target. Virgin Australia’s corporate website also supported the goals of the Paris Agreement. Virgin Australia’s 2022 Sustainability Report supported net-zero emissions by 2050. Similarly, in response to Australia’s March 2023 White Paper, Virgin Australia supported net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In August 2023 testimony, Virgin Australia supported Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism reform. In a September 2022 consultation response on Australia’s Safeguard Mechanism Reform, Virgin Australia supported declining baselines aligned with Australia’s emissions targets and the introduction of below-baseline crediting. However, more negatively, it appeared to support tailored treatment for emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) facilities and an intensity baseline over a fixed baseline. On its corporate website, accessed in September 2023, Virgin Australia supported measures incentivizing sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs). Virgin Australia further supported policies incentivizing SAFs, including the US Inflation Reduction Act, in an August 2023 testimony. In a November 2021 AFR article, Virgin Australia CEO, Jayne Hrdlicka, reportedly advocated for government support for SAF uptake, however, her position on SAF policies remained unclear. Virgin Australia supported the Australian government’s 2030 target to reduce emissions to 43% below 2005 levels in a September 2022 consultation response.

Positioning on Energy Transition: In 2021-23, Virgin Australia supported the increased use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) in Australian aviation. For example, in August 2023 testimony at a Select Committee, Virgin Australia supported the development of a domestic sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry in Australia. On its corporate website, accessed in September 2023, Virgin Australia supported the increased use of bio-SAFs, while describing synthetic SAFs as “holding great promise” while needing more investment.

Industry Association Governance: Virgin Australia has disclosed a list of its industry associations in its 2022 Sustainability Report, accessed in May 2023. However, it does not appear to have published an audit of its alignment with its industry associations. Virgin Australia is a member of the International Air Transport Association and the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME), which are both actively and negatively engaged on climate policy. However, Virgin Australia is also a member of the Carbon Market Institute (CMI) which is positively engaged with climate-related policy in Australia.

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.