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Qantas launches carbon offset program

The Qantas Group launched a Carbon Offset Program, backed by a pledge to offset the carbon emissions of every international and domestic Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar flight on 19 September – the first day of the…

The Qantas Group launched a Carbon Offset Program, backed by a pledge to offset the carbon emissions of every international and domestic Qantas, QantasLink and Jetstar flight on 19 September – the first day of the Program`s operation.

The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said Fly Carbon Neutral Day would involve almost 950 flights carrying over 100,000 passengers across the Group`s worldwide network.

Qantas will pay to offset the equivalent of approximately 40,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases associated with these flights, with the money to be used to plant and maintain around 90,000 Mallee Eucalyptus trees across Australia in an agreement with CO2 Australia, Mr Dixon said.

These trees will not only sequester carbon from the atmosphere but will also aid in the prevention of salinity, erosion and soil degradation and provide income for farmers.

Mr Dixon said that under the new program, Qantas and Jetstar passengers could elect to offset their share of flight emissions by making a small contribution through and

We have undertaken a full Life Cycle Assessment of all operations, calculating the emissions associated with carrying a passenger from one point to another. An online calculator assesses data about the flight sector and automatically advises customers of their emissions and the cost of offsetting them. We have also committed to offsetting the emissions for all staff travelling for business purposes as well as those generated by the Group`s ground transport vehicles, added Mr. Dixon.

All contributions will go towards Australia-based Greenhouse FriendlyTM approved abatement programs, which may include energy efficiency measures, generation of renewable energy and tree planting projects. These programs have been independently verified and subsequently authenticated by the Commonwealth Government`s Australian Greenhouse Office and either remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or avoid their release in the first place.

Mr Dixon said the Qantas Group was focused on achieving a carbon dioxide savings target of more than two million tonnes by June 2011 through a range of environmental initiatives.

He said that in addition to its Carbon Offset Program, the Qantas Group was committed to driving improvements in fuel efficiency as a world leader in the development and application of technological innovation.

Under our $25 billion fleet investment program, we are taking advantage of the latest airframe and engine designs, with both the B787 and A380 set to deliver improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions in the range of 10 to 25 per cent.

Mr Dixon said other technology-based and operational initiatives included:

  • the establishment of a dedicated, business-wide Environment and Fuel Conservation department, which was working to deliver sustainable carbon dioxide emission reductions, with 130,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide saved in 2006/07 through its fuel conservation program alone, equivalent to the removal of 30,000 cars from Australian roads
  • the use of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) advanced satellite navigation procedures that utilise Global Positioning System (GPS) technology to optimise flight approach and departure tracks
  • the development of User Preferred Routes, enabling the airline to alter its flight paths where possible to make the best use of higher level wind patterns
  • the introduction of Variable Cost Index Flight Planning to ensure aircraft operate at optimal speed, based on daily variation in wind, temperature and weight – maximising efficiency and reducing fuel burn and emissions.

He said Qantas would continue its focus on existing conservation strategies relating to energy, water, and waste usage in all areas of the operation – inflight and on the ground.

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Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.