How She Leads: Boeing's Julie Felgar on the Sustainability Craft

By Sureya Melkonian, GreenBiz
Jul 7, 2016 3:55 PM ET

Originally published in GreenBiz.

The aviation industry accounts for 2 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, which could reach 3 percent by 2050. To defy this version of the future, industry leaders have set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2020 and to halve emissions by 2050.

When it comes to airplanes, that hinges on fossil fuel use. Boeing is targeting this concern in its work toward efficiency in its products, with 75 percent of Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ R&D contributing to fuel efficiency. But the holy grail for Boeing is a "drop-in sustainable aviation biofuel" that could provide an estimated 50 to 80 percent emissions reduction.

As the managing director of environmental strategy and integration at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Julie Felgar is leading this effort to reduce emisions. She also works with policy, interfacing with Boeing’s government relations operations in Washington, D.C., and with other countries.

Felgar describes her external engagement as working closely with Boeing’s competitors in the aeronautic space. "This is an issue where all boats go up on a rising tide," she said. This interview was edited for clarity and length.

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