News Release, The Netherlands, Utrecht, 2016, October 7th
Last year’s Paris Climate Agreement between 196 countries worldwide was a major milestone. It showed global recognition of the climate problem, its urgency and the ambition to keep the global temperature rise to under 2 degrees. But the document contained no agreements on international air travel, they have their own global environmental plan. At the Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is the plan CORSIA adopted on the 5th of October in Montreal. According to this plan, the airline industry will voluntarily make its growth CO2 neutral from 2020; from 2027 neutral growth will be mandatory. Because new technologies and sustainable fuels are not yet sufficient, offsetting will be used to reach this goal. But the airline industry is commonly criticized for doing too little too late, and for only considering growth.
The limitations of the plan
CORSIA takes only the CO2 emissions into account, only about 50% of the total Greenhouse Gas emissions caused by air travel. And it lacks long term ambitious targets to reduce emissions in order to better align with the goals of the Climate Agreement of Paris, but also for the credibility of this Market Based System.
It is possible to fly less!
Climate Neutral Group (CNG) advises companies in the Netherlands about reducing the CO2 emissions caused by their vehicle use, energy use and business air travel. We therefore know that actively working on and implementing sustainable business travel policies can be successful. Reducing emissions from business air travel by 10-25% is easily achievable and also saves 6-15% of the costs of business travel. “More companies should do this, but we see that it is not high on the agenda for most of them,” says Mark Huis in ‘t Veld, Senior Carbon Advisor at CNG. “So we interviewed internationally operating companies about what they are already doing to make their business travel more sustainable. What are their goals, what measures have they taken and what challenges have they faced?”
It is high time to put business travel on the table.
CNG spoke with CSR and/or Travel Managers at 18 international operating companies. All of them have sustainability as a high priority, but the sustainability of business air travel is not or is only barely considered. In addition, employees often have a lot of freedom in choosing their travel, something that makes mandating sustainability difficult. Three quarters of the companies that CNG spoke with, have a CO2 reduction goal for the organization, but only a fifth have one for business travel. Placing business travel higher on the sustainability agenda is must be prioritised by the management – the question is what is holding them back. The CO2 emissions from business travel are significant, an average of around 20% of the total CO2 footprint for a company. But whether a company calculates its footprint, and which direct and indirect emissions are included in it, is not regulated outside of the mandatory EU-ETS market. When it comes to flying, the potential for reducing CO2 emissions and saving costs is significant, and it is easy to realize. For companies that prioritize climate and cost consciousness, it is definitely worth it. And it is a much-needed contribution to helping the airline industry to reach its goal of a 50% reduction CO2 emissions by 2050.
Just imagine if all companies reduced their CO2 emissions from business travel by 15%…
The desire is there. With insight into the effects of reduction measures available, and with the results of this study, CSR and Travel Managers have the discussion points and guidance at hand to convince management, make employees aware and make progress. Success factors, barriers and visions are translated into a practical approach to implementing a sustainable travel policy, one that is supported by management and accepted by employees.
 Carbon Offset & Reduction Scheme for International Aviation
More information for editors – not for publication
Ciska Uijlenbroek, Climate Neutral Group, Marketing & Communication Manager – +31 6 42 61 47 17
About Climate Neutral Group – www.climateneutralgroup.com/en/
Climate Neutral Group strives for a 100% climate neutral world! Our mission is to help companies as much as possible to make the transition to climate neutral business and production. Each organization and each product causes some amount of CO2 emissions and therefore has an unintended negative effect on the climate. Together with Climate Neutral Group, organizations address sustainability subjects using a step-by-step plan, ‘insight-reduction-offsetting’. This can result in a large CO2 reduction in a short time, in the areas of energy, mobility and business air travel. In this way, an organization does not only become more sustainable, but also benefits from the reduction, innovates and meets higher required standards. A win for the organization, and a win for the climate!