British Airways introduces cabin differential into its passenger carbon offset scheme
Wed 5 May 2010 – British Airways has this week introduced a new feature to its passenger carbon offset scheme in which customers will be able to offset their carbon emissions based not only on the distance flown but also by the cabin they fly in. This means customers travelling in premium cabins, who have more space on the aircraft, will pay more than was previously calculated, whilst those in economy class will pay less. The new offset facility applies to all bookings made through ba.com.
“Since the airline re-launched its carbon offset scheme back in January 2008, customers have contributed over £1.6 million ($2.4m) to offset the emissions from their flights,” said Jonathon Counsell, British Airways’ Head of Environment.
“These contributions support projects with genuine carbon savings and, in addition, real social and economic benefits to local communities. By introducing a cabin differential, customers can be confident their flight is carbon neutral.”
Under the revised scheme, a passenger on a return flight from, say, London to Madrid travelling in Euro Traveller class (economy) will pay £3.10 ($4.70), based on a calculated CO2 emissions total of 0.25 tonnes. Likewise, the cost to the passenger travelling the same route in Club Europe (business class) will be £4.65 ($7.04), based on emissions of 0.38 tonnes.
British Airways says it will continue to use United Nations-approved Certified Emission Reduction credits (CERs) from renewable energy projects. There are currently three projects supported through the airline’s carbon offset scheme: the Bayin’aobao wind farm in Inner Mongolia, the Faxinal dos Guedes power plant in Brazil and the Xiaohe hydro-electric power plant in China’s Gansu Province.
The three projects combined are expected to offset in total over 160,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.
British Airways is a member of the UK Government’s Quality Assurance Scheme for carbon offsetting and in March 2009 became the first airline to have its scheme approved. It was joined as an approved scheme last August by IATA’s Carbon Offset Program and TAP Portugal, the first airline to enlist in the industry programme.