Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon says airlines can do more to clean up their act and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
The airline has teamed up with writer and sustainable development expert Sir Jonathon Porritt to work on sustainability projects.
Mr Luxon told the Q&A TV programme it was sensible for companies to embrace sustainable development policies, and investors were increasingly demanding that companies were environmentally conscious.
"They're doing that because companies who have sustainable practices at the heart of what they do are actually better businesses because you're actually de-risking the future.
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"You've got much more certainty around a supply chain. You're removing waste, which is lowering cost, which is improving your margins so you've got more cash to invest."
Sir Jonathon said aviation had a crucial role to play in tackling climate change and the ecological crisis.
" ... It's a critical sector because people really do appreciate the benefits of flying, both recreationally, personally and from a business point of view." He told TV One the aviation sector had committed to carbon-neutral growth after 2020.
Mr Luxon said some aircraft were up to 24 per cent more fuel efficient than predecessors. Air NZ was investing $2.6 billion in new planes over the next four years.