UK’s largest airport group announces carbon offsetting scheme for passengers

passengers

Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has announced it will provide passengers at all three of its airports the ability to offset the carbon emissions from their flights in a new partnership with CarbonClick.

CarbonClick’s voluntary offset tool allows passengers, regardless of their airline or destination, to quickly calculate the emissions from their flight and purchase carbon credits to compensate for them. Every purchase can be immediately linked directly to the climate projects that CarbonClick supports in the UK and abroad.

For example, a return flight to Amsterdam from Manchester Airport can be offset for £2.14 per passenger and a return flight to Dubai for £11.54 per passenger. Each offset will be split equally between two causes: the UK-based ‘Woodland Creation in the Lake District’ on Lowther Estate, Cumbria, which promotes biodiversity and reduces carbon and the risk of flooding and ‘Promoting Improved Cooking Practices’, which makes and distributes efficient charcoal cookstoves. Use of the stoves reduces the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and will improve the health of communities in Nigeria.

Buying one carbon offset credit removes the equivalent of one tonne of CO2 from the atmosphere. This means that one passenger’s return flight to Amsterdam would require 0.145 of a carbon credit, which will remove approximately 145kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, while a return flight to Dubai would need the equivalent of 0.836 carbon credits to be offset, removing approximately 836kg of CO2.

Accredited, high-quality carbon offsetting is just one tool immediately available to the aviation sector as it moves towards a more sustainable future and works to support the reduction in overall CO2 levels from the atmosphere.

The announcement comes after MAG published its latest annual CSR Report, detailing the Group’s work over the last 12 months in tackling climate change and supporting communities. In the report, MAG reaffirmed its commitment to becoming a Net Zero Carbon business by 2038. The report also documents other achievements, including reaching 58 per cent of energy used by the Group coming from renewable sources, 93 per cent of waste diverted from landfill, delivering more than 23,000 hours of volunteering work by MAG colleagues over the last 12 months, and making available more than £253,000 from its Community Trust Funds to support communities throughout the pandemic.

Additionally, the Group has been ranked the highest performing European airport operator in GRESB’s annual Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) ratings published last week. GRESB provides investors and financial institutions with an overview of how organisations manage and perform against key environmental, social and governance issues. The latest ratings identify MAG as a ‘sector leader’ in the impact of its sustainability policies across the Group.

The CarbonClick offsetting scheme is available at all of MAG’s airports – Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands – and can be accessed via each airport’s website, or through QR codes displayed around terminal buildings.

MAG’s partner CarbonClick is a leading carbon offsetting organisation based in New Zealand and has to date worked with more than 760 businesses. The company is also partnered with Fraport Slovenija and Galapagos Ecological Airport in delivering carbon offsetting, as well as Etihad Airways and Air Tahiti Nui.

Neil Robinson, MAG CSR and airspace change director, said: “By offsetting emissions from their flights, passengers can make a real difference to worthwhile projects which support a sustainable future.

“Our partnership with CarbonClick makes carbon offsetting easy and accessible regardless of which airline you are travelling with or your final destination.

“High quality carbon offsetting is just one of the tools available to our industry as we work towards a greener future. We are confident this partnership will encourage our passengers to opt in and have a positive impact every time they fly with us.”

Dave Rouse, CarbonClick CEO said: “CarbonClick is delighted to be working with Manchester Airports Group, who are showing true environmental leadership, offering its passengers an easy and accessible scheme to compensate for the emissions generate by their flights.

“Travellers are becoming increasingly concerned about carbon emissions from their flights. Although most travellers are willing to offset their flight, the majority of passengers worldwide fly with airlines that don’t offer carbon offsetting. The MAG solution helps all travellers to do so in a simple, meaningful way with complete transparency.”

The introduction of passenger carbon offsetting is just one of a range of actions as part of MAG’s sustainability programme. In its five-year CSR Strategy published last year, the Group stated its industry leading commitment to becoming a Net Zero Carbon business by 2038, and announced a prize of five years free landing fees worth over £1m to the first zero emission aircraft based at MAG airport.

MAG was the first airport group in the UK to be certified carbon neutral in 2016 and was earlier this year named in the top 30 of the Financial Times ‘Climate Leaders Report’ out of 300 European companies. The Group is also one of only two airport operators to sit on the Government’s Jet Zero Council, which is working with Ministers and the wider sector to achieve a Net Zero industry by 2050.

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