Finnair relaunches carbon emissions calculator that it claims is the world’s first to use actual emissions data
Wed 15 Sept 2010 – Finnair has launched a new revised emissions calculator that the airline claims is the only one in the world to be based on actual cargo, passenger and fuel consumption figures, not averages or assumptions. In the calculations, consumed fuel has been allocated proportionately based on weight to both cargo and passengers for each flight, and the calculator presents the share attributable to passengers. The calculations are independently certified by PricewaterhouseCoopers and will be updated quarterly on the basis of actual realised figures. Finnair does not operate a carbon offset scheme for its passengers but says the calculator will be useful to those who wish to compensate for their carbon footprint.
“We wanted to devise a calculator whose figures are indisputable, because transparency is one of the cornerstones of our corporate responsibility,” said Kati Ihamäki, Finnair’s Vice President, Sustainable Development. “The fact that the calculations are based on actual emissions figures is a breakthrough in the airline industry.”
A Finnair spokesperson told GreenAir Online: “The new emissions calculator has been created to provide comparison data between airline emissions and also to display the eco-efficiency of Finnair´s new fleet, as well as Finnair´s progressive work in corporate responsibility issues.
“At Finnair, we believe that an airline is itself responsible for its emissions and also for reducing emissions by various means, including emissions trading. However, if a passenger wishes to compensate his or her carbon footprint caused by flying, it can be done through Gold Standard Projects or by donating Finnair Plus points to social responsibility projects, like the Baltic Sea Action Group or the Association of Friends of the University Children´s Hospitals.”
In a Finnair blog, Ihamäki explains why a coefficient has not been applied to the calculations in order to account for the non-CO2 climate warming effects of aircraft at altitude, citing the uncertainty of current research findings. “We hope that this subject will be studied more, so that the different effects of emissions can be tackled better and reduced,” she writes.
The airline says it is committed to lowering its emissions and has set a target of a 24% reduction per seat from 2009 to 2017, which will represent a total saving of 41% between 1999 and 2017.
“We are making emissions reductions of our own accord, employing one of the world’s most modern fleets and continuously developing our operating practices,” adds Ihamäki. “Emissions can also be reduced by improving infrastructure, such as the Single European Sky programme, which will improve efficiency in air traffic control. We also support a global emissions trading system for air transport.”