Through a unique initiative developed in cooperation with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Kenya Airways, “The Pride of Africa,” will now offer its passengers the opportunity to voluntarily participate directly in offsetting the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions related to their flights.
The program is based on a “Carbon Calculator Tool” built into the airline’s online ticket booking process. Passengers can choose to pay an additional amount applied per person to offset carbon emissions related to their specific flight.
Speaking during the official launch of the program, Kenya Airways Group Managing Director, Dr. Titus Naikuni said, “This is an exciting development for Kenya Airways because it shows the commitment that we have to environmental sustainability. What is even more interesting is that we are giving our customers an opportunity to walk on this environmental conservation journey together with us.”
He further stated that Kenya Airways was committed to contributing to global efforts in increasing the level of awareness on environmental issues. “The development of this program is another milestone for Kenya Airways after other successful environmental sustainability programs including the Ngong Hills Reforestation Project, newer fuel efficient aircraft and fuel saving initiatives that have been employed throughout our operations.”
Fees collected through this program will be used to support projects that have been qualified by IATA and certified by UNEP as being credible in having a positive impact on sustainability. One current project is the Olkaria III Phase 2 Geothermal Expansion Project in Kenya which has been successfully commissioned by Orpower 4, Inc. located in Hell’s Gate National Park near Naivasha, Kenya.
The Kenya Airways Carbon Offset Program will be introduced in three stages. The first stage is already live on the airline’s website and is available only for 100% Kenya Airways operated flights.
During the second phase, the Offset Program will be made available to the network of travel agents available globally. In phase three, the airline will make the program will be extended to passengers travelling within the entire network including on code shared flights.
In 2009, Kenya Airways Carbon Emissions Monitoring Plans also got a seal of approval by the UK Environment Agency in line with the EU-ETS legal requirement.
Kenya Airways prides itself as the First African airline to offer the Carbon Offset Program.
Speaking at the same event, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, noted that climate change is one of the biggest threats facing mankind today. “Finding more sustainable models and approaches to air travel and other forms of transport is a key part of global efforts to tackle climate change and catalyze the transition towards a low-carbon, resource efficient Green Economy.”
He further stated that, “Carbon offsetting is not in itself a solution to climate change, the most effective way being to reduce our emissions. However, high-quality offsetting can reduce the impact of our actions and also help fund projects in developing countries that address both climate change and wider sustainability challenges, such as cleaner energy and improved management of natural resources.”
UNEP is working with airlines, transport companies and some 250 other participants through the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net). Launched in February 2008, the network shares ideas, success stories and best practices on moving towards climate neutrality by reducing and offsetting greenhouse gas emissions. Today, CN Net has private and public sector members from 50 countries. All have set greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets that are among the most ambitious in the world.