The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Insights on how you can protect the environment, maintain and increase the value of your company, through a structured process.

Home / case studies / Case study: How CAL promotes flight safety through professional training

Case study: How CAL promotes flight safety through professional training

Based in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, CAL (China Airlines) is the largest airline in Taiwan, offering flights to/ from 29 countries and 174 destinations worldwide. To comply with and perform beyond domestic and international safety standards, CAL plans and monitors flight safety through management systems and works with every employee on constant review and improvement, to provide passengers with safe and reliable flights.

This case study is based on the 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report by CAL published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Safety is CAL’s core value and its absolute commitment to customers.  Tweet This! Accordingly, CAL adopts a complete internal and external environmental change training, such as new stations, new routes, new aircraft, new systems, new procedures, systemic proficiency checks, Flight Operation Quality Assurance (FOQA) and regular evaluation of pilot instructors, to cultivate pilots of the highest quality and ensure flight safety. In order to promote flight safety through professional training CAL took action to:
  • promote strict training
  • use flight simulators
  • implement a comprehensive training system

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report CAL identified a range of material issues, such as financial performance, governance and integrity management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, passenger service management. Among these, promoting flight safety through professional training stands out as a key material issue for CAL.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups CAL engages with:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement


·      Labour-management meetings

·      Labour unions

·      Employee suggestion box

·      Employee feedback website

·      China Airlines newsletter

·      China Airlines Retirees



·      Customer satisfaction survey

·      Global business meetings

·      Taiwan business meetings

·      Discussions with travel agencies

·      CAL’s website, CSR website, Facebook, e-mail, and SMS

·      Customer service hotline

·      Corporate customer visits



·      Shareholders’ meetings

·      Shareholders’ hotline / mailbox

·      Road shows

·      Interviews



·      Missive

·      Visit

·      Participation in projects

·      Participation in public hearings, seminars, conferences, and negotiation forums

·      Participation in initiatives

·      Audit

Partner (Suppliers and Contractors)


·      Telephone

·      E-mail

·      Coordination meetings

·      Business visits

·      On-site audits



·      Charitable events

·      Community activities

·      News release

·      Online mailbox

Media ·      News release

·      Press conferences

·      Interviews

·      Active communication of industry information

Association (including Aviation Organisations)


·      Participation in project meetings

·      Participation in seminars on work

·      Organisation or participation in summits, executive summits, committees, and coordination meetings

·      Participation in meetings convened by governments

·      Telephone, e-mail, and platforms

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritise material topics, CAL engaged with its stakeholders through 307 questionnaires.

What actions were taken by CAL to promote flight safety through professional training?

In its 2018 Corporate Sustainability Report CAL reports that it took the following actions for promoting flight safety through professional training:

  • Promoting strict training
  • In order to implement its commitment of flight safety, CAL strictly requests its cadet pilots to complete at least 10 months of a training programme at well-known flight training schools in the United States or Australia. To ensure the flight training is solid, they have not only to pass the evaluate performance at the training school but are also required to meet the test of CAL aircraft type evaluation. CAL has introduced evidence-based Training (EBT), to replace traditional recurrent training and tests. The EBT is guided by risk and crisis management, utilising big data collection and analysis to enhance the ability of handling abnormal situations by individual behaviour, fleet performance, operation sites, historical recorders etc. In 2018, CAL achieved 100% EBT for a total of 2,388 flight crew. The biggest difference between EBT and traditional training is that subjects are designed to meet the actual flight conditions. The test results not only reflect the functions that the flight crew members lack, but also allow the professionally trained examiners to give the most correct advice. Accordingly, weaknesses can be further addressed in subsequent training. EBT ensures that the flight crew is competent and up to standards, and also helps set up the database of flight operations. This benefits the future design of training and test models that are more in line with CAL’s flight operations and the needs of the flight crew.
  • Using flight simulators
  • As the first airline to introduce civil flight simulators in Taiwan, CAL has been equipped with various types of simulators for flight training for over 37 years. In addition to simulating various adverse weather conditions, simulators can incorporate a variety of emergency situations for constant simulation training regardless of weather, air traffic, or airport environment. They can also display tolerance limits of aircraft designs and carry out training for any possible extreme and dangerous situations without incurring any risk in the exercise. The training process can also be recorded as a basis for review and improvement for flight technology and expertise. CAL’s flight simulators and ground / water escape training facilities have been certified by international aviation administrations. The flight simulators are available for both domestic and international training.
  • Implementing a comprehensive training system
  • CAL’s Integrated Pilot Training System (IPTS) was launched in 2014. In 2018, 478 CAL flight crew participated in a variety of short-term and long-term training courses, 465 of whom completed the training. In addition, in response to the introduction of an automatic scheduling system (AIMS) in 2019, CAL has undertaken IPTS integration, to ensure the effective use of training resources.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs

Disclosure 404-2 Programs for upgrading employee skills and transition assistance programs corresponds to:

  • Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
  • Business theme: Employee training and education


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

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1) This case study is based on published information by CAL, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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