Qantas appoints new carbon offset provider as its passenger voluntary offset programme passes 770,000 tonne mark
The Brazilian fuel switching project uses renewable biomass sources to replace Amazon rainforest timber used for fuel (photo: Qantas)
Tue 7 Dec 2010 – As Qantas aligns its ‘Fly Carbon Neutral’ passenger voluntary carbon offset programme with the Australian government’s new National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS), the airline group has appointed Climate Friendly as its offset provider. The group, which also includes Jetstar, launched the programme in 2007 and has offset over 770,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions to date, according to Qantas Chief Risk Officer, Rob Kella. As of 1 July 2010, the NCOS replaces the government’s previous Greenhouse Friendly programme. Offsets will come from a number of projects in developing countries, including a wind farm development in China, ‘run of river’ hydro-power projects in Taiwan and Indonesia, and a fuel switching project in Brazil that will help protect the Amazon rainforest.
“Following the introduction of the NCOS, the Qantas Group went to the market for new providers and we are pleased to announce this new partnership,” said Kella. “Climate Friendly is an established and respected organization in this sector and will provide us with fully certified carbon offsets that meet the requirements of the globally-recognized Voluntary Carbon Standard and the NCOS.
“Our agreement with Climate Friendly will enable us to fully align with the NCOS. Over time, we will also be monitoring developments in potential certification for Australia-based carbon abatement projects.”
Sydney-based Climate Friendly has been ranked the number one offset provider in Australia by Carbon Offset Watch and is a founding member of the International Carbon Reduction and Offset Alliance (ICROA).
As well as allowing customers to voluntary offset their portion of carbon emissions from their flight, the Qantas Group also pays to offset the emissions from all staff business travel and ground vehicles.
The Qantas carbon emissions calculation is based on a comprehensive life-cycle study it undertook of energy usage in flight and on the ground – including catering centres, engineering facilities, airport terminals, offices and ground transport vehicles. Using data over 12 months and full fuel cycle emissions factors published by the Australian government, the Qantas added the emissions released by aircraft on each flight sector to the related emissions from ground activities and then divided that amount by the number of passengers carried on the relevant sector. For passengers flying on a sector operated by a Qantas code share flight, emissions are calculated using the average emissions per kilometre, based on an average of all flights across the Qantas network.
Members of the public choosing to offset the emissions of their flight directly with Climate Friendly would likely end up with a different calculation and offset cost as the organization opts to use a 2.7 multiplier to account for aviation non-CO2 warming impacts.
Kella said Qantas was committed to increasing fuel efficiency and reducing its carbon footprint. “Our fuel conservation programme has saved over one million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions since 2005, and we are working with government and industry partners on accelerating the commercialization of sustainable aviation fuels.”
The Qantas Group was included in the 2010 Carbon Disclosure Project Leadership Index for Australia and New Zealand.