International Air Transport Association: Simple, effective offsetting for the World’s airlines

“Our job is to make it easy for our members to do the right thing and ClimateCare help us do just that. Their skill and experience allows us to offer members a world-class carbon offset program that we can trust to deliver real positive outcomes for the environment and local communities.

On top of that, the ClimateCare team make themselves available to help our members maximise the effectiveness and relevance of their individual programme and therefore secure more value from the activity. We are delighted to work with them and encourage more airlines to get involved and take advantage of this expert resource.”

Michael Schneider, Assistant Director
IATA Carbon Offset Program

 

The Challenge

IATA, The International Air Transport Association represents some 250 airlines, or 84% of total civil air traffic. It supports many areas of aviation activity and helps formulate industry policy on critical aviation issues.

Flying is one of the most efficient ways to travel on a per km basis. However, the distances that people travel means that civil aviation is responsible for 2% (source: ATAG) of global carbon emissions*. Aviation is set to expand and currently there are no viable alternatives to long-distance travel. Whilst airlines work hard to reduce their emissions, offsetting is the only way to address what remains.

To offset, airlines need to calculate their emissions accurately, purchase high quality carbon credits from projects that are independently verified and ensure they communicate their actions accurately and effectively. IATA developed a best practice programme they could roll out to make offsetting simple, effective and appealing for their members and selected ClimateCare to source and develop high quality projects that have relevance to the airlines.

 

*The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that aviation contributes around 2% of manmade CO2 emissions with high altitude emissions of other gases contributing to additional climate impact.

 

The Solution

IATA and ClimateCare worked together to help airlines maximise the benefits of carbon offsetting – making it easy to do and ensuring that projects supported protect the environment, improve people’s lives and have relevance for staff and passengers.

Each airline works closely with IATA to calculate emissions using the IATA carbon calculator methodology. ClimateCare can then source or develop high quality carbon reduction projects that have a relevance to the airline. For example, Kenya Airways support a project to protect 500,000 hectares of Kenyan forest, whilst Portugal’s TAP, support CER projects in countries with a historical link to Portugal such as hydro and biomass projects in Brazil. ClimateCare ensures that high quality carbon credits are retired on behalf of the IATA Carbon Offset Program. They also advise each airline about how to communicate their offer to staff and customers – supporting them with anything from articles for inflight magazines, to developing effective messaging for customer booking pathways.

 

The Impact

IATA members can now offer offsetting as standard, or as a customer option and IATA also offset their own operational emissions through the programme.

Over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 have been offset through the IATA Carbon Offset Program to date – that’s the same as turning off all the electricity for the City of London for almost a month.

 

More information

Download the IATA Case Study