Nepal's Yeti Airlines pledges to become carbon neutral as it develops partnership with UNDP
Thu 15 Feb 2018 – Following its partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to promote UN Sustainable Development Goals, Nepalese domestic carrier Yeti Airlines is targeting carbon neutrality from this year. The airline, which operates a fleet of six BAe Jetstream 41s and took delivery of two ATR 72-500 aircraft in 2017, has published its first annual greenhouse gas inventory that was the focus of a workshop held recently in Kathmandu. Having measured emissions resulting from aircraft operations, vehicle use and ground facilities, a baseline has been established to monitor progress on carbon reduction efforts. The airline will purchase UN-certified credits to offset those emissions that it is unable to achieve in-house.
“With the support of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) and UNDP, we will be embarking on a committed journey to carbon neutrality – the first airline in Nepal to do so,” said Yeti Airlines CEO Umesh Chandra Rai.
The airline’s ongoing efforts to promote environmental sustainability in the aviation sector would contribute towards meeting national and global commitments to reduce greenhouse gases, said Sanjiv Gautam, Director General of CAAN, who added: “I am sure the airline will continue its efforts to regularly monitor and offset carbon emissions.”
The inventory report shows Yeti produced 18,113 tonnes of CO2e emissions in 2017, equivalent, says the airline, to the amount of carbon sequestered by around 470,000 trees over 10 years. As a result of a more efficient fleet, it says CO2 emissions per km decreased by 7% between 2016 and 2017, while CO2 emissions per passenger fell by 11%. The airline also expects to address the impact of other areas of its operations, including water use and waste management.
“We plan to adopt industry-leading practices to reduce our emissions, which include more efficient routes and operations, fleet upgrades, staff training and load reductions,” said Rai. “Any unavoidable emissions will be offset by purchasing UN-certified carbon credits and other initiatives that support climate mitigation and sustainable development for the benefit of the Nepalese people. We aim to become a carbon neutral company by 2018.”
Added UNDP Nepal Country Director Renaud Meyer: “Yeti has taken a bold decision to transform itself into a climate neutral company in partnership with UNDP. I believe this will inspire several other Nepali businesses to adopt a goal of climate neutrality, and the 2030 Agenda of Sustainable Development.”
Under its partnership with UNDP, Yeti has already undertaken a programme to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In addition to SDG-branded aircraft, the goals are featured on airport shuttle buses and boarding passes, and also in information leaflets and social media campaigns, as well as a link on the airline’s website for donating to UNDP programmes in the country. UNDP and the airline have also pledged to undertake joint initiatives to raise awareness on sustainable development, and mobilise stakeholders and advocates for its implementation.
The partnership is also expecting to explore, adopt and promote innovative and sustainable business models in the aviation and tourism industry that would help Nepal meet some specific SDG indicators in the areas of climate change adaptation, poverty reduction and gender equality, said UNDP.
UNDP’s Renaud Meyer (left) and Yeti Airlines’ Umesh Chandra Rai aboard an aircraft bearing the UN SDGs branding at Kathmandu Airport: