From January 2020, British Airways will become the first UK airline to offset carbon emissions on all its flights within the UK.
All customers flying within the UK next year on flights operated by British Airways will have the carbon emissions from their flights offset by the airline and invested in carbon reduction projects around the world*. These quality-assured projects will include renewable energy, protection of rainforests and reforestation programmes.
The airline operates up to 75 flights a day between London and 10 UK cities, including Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Isle of Man, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Inverness and Jersey. British Airways’ domestic emissions total around 400,000 tonnes of C02 a year.
Today’s announcement comes as British Airways’ parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), became the first airline group worldwide to commit to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, contributing to both the UK Government’s commitment to a net-zero carbon economy by 2050 and the United Nations’ objective to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. IAG’s emissions’ goal will be achieved through numerous environmental initiatives, including investing more than US$400m in the development of sustainable aviation fuels over the next 20 years.
Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive, said: “British Airways is determined to play its part in reducing aviation’s CO2 emissions. To solve such a multi-faceted issue requires a multi-faceted response and this initiative further demonstrates our commitment to a sustainable future. It also follows our announcement to partner with renewable fuels company, Velocys, to build a facility which converts household and commercial waste into renewable sustainable jet fuel to power our fleet.”
While customers on UK domestic flights will not need to offset their emissions, those travelling further afield can also reduce their impact on the environment by using British Airways’ carbon offsetting tool. The carbon tool enables customers to calculate their emissions and then invest in carbon reduction projects including high-quality forestry and renewable energy projects in Peru, Sudan and Cambodia**.
British Airways has taken a responsible approach to manage growth in carbon emissions for more than 20 years. Since the introduction of EU emissions reduction regulations (known as the European Trading System or ETS) in 2012, the airline has reduced emissions on European flights by more than eight million tonnes – around 40% on every European flight.
In addition, from 2020, British Airways’ carbon emissions on international flights will be capped under a worldwide carbon pricing scheme called CORSIA, (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation). Along with many other airlines, British Airways will reduce its emissions by investing in a diverse range of projects around the world. British Airways worked with all parties in the ten years before the introduction of the scheme to ensure it came to fruition. CORSIA will reduce aviation’s emissions by 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 from 2020 – 2035.
British Airways is investing £6.5bn for customers over the next five years including a significant investment in new aircraft which are up to 25% more fuel-efficient than the aircraft they replace. The airline is currently operating more than 44 of these aircraft, including 787s, A350s and A320neos, and has a further 73 on order.