Climate Change, Carbon Emissions and Carbon Offsetting
As an airline, we recognise that our most significant sustainability impact and challenge is climate change.
People have a choice in how they travel and many more people are now thinking about the potential carbon impact of different types of transport. If people choose to fly, we want to be one of the best choices they can make for themselves and for the planet.
We continue to focus on being as efficient as we can; transitioning our fleet to more modern, fuel efficient aircraft; flying them in ways which avoid noise and an unnecessary use of fuel; and maximising passenger load factor as much as possible. All these things help to reduce carbon emissions for each passenger we fly.
This year (2019 financial year) our carbon emissions per passenger kilometre were 77.07 grams, down from 78.46 grams in 2018. We’ve reduced this by over one-third since 2000 and our aim is to bring this down further.
But in the long-term, this will not be enough. Aviation will have to reinvent itself and in our view move to electric and hybrid aircraft powered by renewable energy, along with other carbon reduction technologies. However, these are some years away and we decided at the beginning of the new FY2020 financial year to take action on our carbon emissions.
We announced that we would become the world’s first major airline to operate net-zero carbon flights across our whole network. We are doing this by offsetting the carbon emissions from the fuel used for all of our flights through schemes accredited by two of the highest verification standards, Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).
We recognise that offsetting is only an interim measure, but at the moment we believe it’s the best way we have to remove carbon from the atmosphere. At the same time, we will continue to support the development of new technologies to decarbonise aviation for the longer-term.
We are focused on working with others across the industry on hybrid and electric aircraft and on the technologies which will be needed to make these happen. This is why we are supporting Wright Electric who is aiming to produce an all-electric plane which could be used for short haul flights and have recently established a partnership with Airbus to jointly research the opportunities and challenges of introducing hybrid and electric aircraft for short haul flying in Europe.
On 19 November 2019 we announced that we will offset carbon emissions from the fuel used for every flight across our whole network. Through carbon offsetting we will invest in projects to reduce carbon and carbon equivalents from the atmosphere. We will compensate for every tonne of CO2 emitted from fuel used for its flights, by ensuring there is one tonne less in the atmosphere - whether by reducing CO2 by physically removing it from the air (e.g., by planting more trees) or by avoiding the release of additional CO2.
We undertook a rigorous process in selecting its carbon offset programmes. Only programmes which meet either the Gold Standard or Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) accreditation, which are globally recognised and respected for their standards of offsetting, are being used.
These accreditors ensure that the carbon reductions claimed by individual programmes would not have happened without that project, or that by reducing carbon emissions in one place they do not inadvertently increase them elsewhere.
We have partnered with Climate Focus to help with the appointment of the projects. Climate Focus is an international advisory company committed to the development of policies and programmes that mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
More information for our customers on our carbon offsetting is available at: easyjet.com/sustainability