Etihad Airways extends partnership with Masdar in carbon credit purchasing for offset programme
Tue 1 June 2010 – Etihad Airways has signed a service agreement with Masdar, the Abu Dhabi multi-billion dollar renewable and future energy initiative, to purchase carbon credits for the airline’s voluntary offset programme. Masdar’s carbon management team will help in sourcing and retiring high-quality carbon credits from projects such as alternative energy programmes and energy efficiency projects. Details of the airline’s offset programme are still to be decided but initially it is likely only to include staff travel, although Etihad is considering the introduction of a passenger carbon offset scheme at a future date.
Etihad said it is currently working on the methodologies for calculating the carbon footprint of its operations, including those from ground facilities and transportation. Once this is complete, said the airline, it will develop a strategy to offset a proportion of its emissions to reduce its carbon footprint.
“Etihad is committed to reducing its carbon emissions, and to work with our colleagues at Masdar on this important area of the business is particularly pleasing,” said James Hogan, Etihad’s CEO. “There are a number of world-class carbon reduction projects on offer in the Middle East region and the carbon credits that Etihad purchases through Masdar will make a considerable contribution to these activities.”
A spokesman said the agreement would allow Etihad to buy voluntary credits through Masdar at any stage. “We are therefore in a position to decide how many credits we buy at any one time and ensure that they meet certain standards,” he said.
The agreement builds on the partnership signed by the two parties in March 2009 under which Masdar will support the implementation of the airline’s environmental initiatives, particularly in relation to carbon and waste management (see story). Masdar will support the development of carbon management solutions to ensure Etihad’s compliance with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
In January, Etihad Airways, Boeing, Honeywell’s UOP and Masdar’s Institute of Science and Technology agreed to establish a major research institution and demonstration project in Abu Dhabi that is to be dedicated to sustainable energy solutions (see story). The Sustainable Bioenergy Research Project will use integrated saltwater agricultural systems to support the development and commercialization of biofuel sources for aviation and other co-products.