Leisure operator TUI Travel commits to six percent carbon reduction target of its airline fleet over six years
(photo: TUI Travel)
Mon 10 Aug 2009 – Europe’s largest leisure travel company TUI Travel aims to reduce the carbon emissions from its fleet of 150 aircraft by 6 percent by 2013/14 against a baseline of 2007/8. TUI Travel says its airlines’ fleet average emissions in 2007/8 of 77.9g of CO2 per revenue passenger kilometre (RPK) compares “very favourably” to both scheduled and low-cost airlines. Its own analysis of other airline data in the public domain shows that leading global scheduled airlines have a range of emissions from 98-133g CO2/RPK and low-cost airlines in the UK and Ireland perform at around 88-96g CO2/RPK.
Aviation accounts for 90% of the TUI Travel’s carbon footprint and the group’s airlines – which comprise TUIfly Nordic, Corsairfly, TUIfly, Jetairfly, Jet4you, Arkefly and Thomson Airways – emitted just over 6 million tonnes of CO2 in 2007/8. The company says it aims to reduce the climate impact of its fleet by replacing older aircraft with new, more fuel efficient-models and by pursuing a fuel conservation programme, which in 2007/8 achieved a group-wide reduction of 57,000 tonnes of CO2.
TUI Travel is scheduled to be the European launch customer for the delayed Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which promises 20% lower fuel burn than comparably-sized aircraft operating today, with CO2 emissions per RPK ranging from 61-95g depending on configuration and density. The 787 is also expected to produce 28% less NOx than the 2008 industry regulatory limit and 60% lower noise levels than current comparable aircraft.
Thomson Airways, which was formed from the merger of Thomsonfly and First Choice Airways in November 2008, has focused its sustainability activities on reducing fuel consumption. In 2007/8, the airline emitted 75.7g of CO2 per RPK and saved a total of 34,000 tonnes of CO2 through fuel efficiency activities. Earlier this year, Thomson Airways appointed its first airline environment manager and in 2009/10, the priority will be to develop and implement an Environmental Management System (EMS) for its aircraft maintenance activities, in line with ISO 14001.
In April 2008, TUI Travel extended First Choice’s World Care Fund to all TUI UK & Ireland brands for flight departures from May 2009 onwards. At the point of sale, travellers are asked to donate £1 per adult ($1.65) or £0.50 per child to carbon reduction and sustainable tourism projects overseas, which TUI UK & Ireland then matches. The company reports around a third of customers contributed to the fund between November 2007 and October 2008, raising £1.7 million ($2.8m) together with the company’s contribution.
TUIfly Nordic says it has the most fuel efficient fleet within the group with overall emissions of 66g CO2/RPK during 2007/8, having identified savings by removing the relatively inefficient 747s from its fleet. It plans to further reduce fuel consumption per RPK by 5% by 2010/11 and by 10% by 2014/15.
During 2008/9, TUIfly Nordic is fitting winglets to all its 767s, which will result in an estimated fuel saving of up to 6% per aircraft, and also aims to certify its Environmental Management System to ISO 14001 standard.
Passengers flying with TUIfly and customers travelling with TUI Travel tour operators from Germany, Austria and Switzerland now have the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions caused by the flight or package holiday as a result of a partnership with Swiss carbon offset provider myclimate. More than €600,000 ($850,000) has already been invested in climate projects in Eritrea, Turkey and in the Peruvian Andes, saving more than 30,000 tonnes of CO2. All are Verified Emission Reductions (VER) projects certified to the internationally recognized Gold Standard.
TUI Belgium, TUI Nederland and First Choice Netherlands are taking part in the GreenSeat climate offset programme, which is available to customers when they book their holiday. In 2008, around 19% of First Choice Netherlands customers chose to offset their flight through the opt-out option in the booking system, offsetting more than 8,500 tonnes of carbon.
TUI Nederland offers holidays to TUI’s Robinson Clubs in which carbon offset costs are integrated into the price of the holiday package. These costs are based on actual kilometres flown and driven to the Clubs, and Robinson invests the offsets in Gold Standard projects managed by ClimateCare.
TUI Travel says that although travel and tourism accounts for 11% of the world’s GDP, it is responsible for around 5% of global CO2 emissions, and the company recognizes its responsibility to monitor and manage its negative impacts on the environment and society, as well as maximize its positive impacts.
“We aspire to lead in sustainable development within the leisure travel industry and want to develop this in the wider marketplace,” said Peter Long, Chief Executive of TUI Travel PLC. “In the long term, we believe this goal will help build shareholder value for TUI Travel, and contribute to us operating a strong business now and in the future.”
Details of TUI Travel’s initiatives are contained in its 2008 Sustainable Development Report just published.