There are a lot of passionate individuals in aviation and air cargo and we have been lucky to have Celine Hourcade as a real advocate for the real issues surrounding our beloved industry. Here’s a quick catch-up with the founder of Change Horizon, as she shares her insights on sustainability and industry transformation.
Describe to us what you’ve been busy with at Change Horizon.
Driving sustainability for air cargo businesses individually and setting a global sustainability agenda for the air cargo industry as a whole through our work with TIACA have been our focus recently.
TIACA’s BlueSky assessment, validation, and verification program which we have developed and piloted with major industry players will be a major breakthrough in helping industry gain sustainability credentials, increase transparency, trust and eventually, benchmark against peers. The key value of this program to air cargo companies is its focus on helping companies of any size and business complexity to identify their strengths and areas that they could improve. No matter how far ahead companies are on their sustainability journey, the BlueSky program will be a valuable tool to reassess the direction, identify the priorities and define their sustainability roadmap. I am convinced this program will support and accelerate industry’s sustainable transformation.
Through our work with individual aviation and logistics businesses across the value chain, our multidisciplinary team helps companies understand the sustainability, environmental, health and safety risks, as well as opportunities behind these issues.
As we seek to grow Change Horizon with new projects, our objective is to make sure our clients are set to achieve growth in a responsible way. Our focus on concrete solutions, recommendations informed by data and client’s needs, measurable results coupled with extensive industry expertise, is what sets us apart as a consulting firm.
Can you share with us your most recent experience traveling for an event/conference?
During my trip to TIACA’s first Regional Symposium Europe, I took a flight to Amsterdam Schiphol, one of the biggest aviation hubs in Europe. I took extra precautions after having heard of major waiting times and flight disruptions at this airport, due to workforce shortage. My trip to Amsterdam went smoothly, however, seeing the challenges this major airport and its major airline KLM, the oldest airline in the world, have been going through made me reflect on how we as an industry should address this growing issue of attracting and retaining talent.
Staff shortage issue at the time of the booming travel demand, coupled with the recent regulation announcement from the Dutch government on a 20% reduction of potential air traffic, shows how much sustainability issues can affect the core business operation and the need for this industry to reinvent itself rapidly.
What are you most passionate about when it comes to aviation and logistics?
Innovation and transformation as a means to become more resilient have been my great passions over the past two decades serving the aviation industry. I have always been interested in challenging the status quo, looking for ways to improve processes, answering emerging business and customer needs. This is exactly how I created my consulting firm Change Horizon in September 2019, which now supports companies in various domains in aviation and logistics, seeking to develop or transform with business sustainability at the core of their ambition.
Where do you see the industry headed when it comes to sustainability?
Sustainability has been gaining momentum in air cargo over the past few years. We can see that next to traditional pressures from customers, employees and business partners, shareholders and regulators have been gaining importance.
Growing national and regional sustainability regulations and pressures from investors have placed the ESG metrics higher on the business agenda. However, lack of global air freight sustainability standards and unified ESG reporting mechanism designed specifically for our sector is a major challenge on the way to sustainable air cargo transformation.
But as businesses seek to embed sustainability in their business strategy, we at Change Horizon are there to help them to identify their areas of priority and objectives, action plans and their sustainability roadmap.
What’s the next plan for WAL? Why should more women sign up?
The Women in Aviation and Logistics initiative is picking pace. We have been overwhelmed by the positive reactions and outcomes of our WAL Mentorship program. This provides us with new energy and determination to continue offering concrete solutions to companies and individuals eager to improve gender balance in air cargo.
As we preach that only what gets measured, gets managed, we push for more industry transparency on gender-related data, more publicly set and ambitious targets as well as concrete action to break the glass ceiling that women still face in this industry.
We are proud of our ever-growing female experts’ database, which now hosts almost 60 talented and ambitious air cargo professionals. It has helped to increase the participation of women through new speaking opportunities at major industry events, like TIACA’s Regional Symposium in Amsterdam, which featured a WAL expert or mentorship program participant in nearly each morning session. We have seen more women joining cargo Boards as well. But there are so many more great women working behind the scenes. We urge them to join our experts’ database and also sign up to the second WAL Mentorship program which we plan to launch in early Fall.
Our next major step in the development of WAL is formalizing our initiative as an association to be able to expand and strengthen our activities through partnerships and sponsorship, to name a few. We welcome men and women and all businesses keen on pushing gender balance in air cargo to reach out and join forces with us. We are only stronger together.