Over the years, airlines have publicly acquiesced that flying big cans in the sky takes up a whole lot of resources that, over time, mess with the environment. As the terms “climate change” and “sustainability” have become part of many peoples’ everyday nomenclature, airlines have made changes, some big and some small, to help with the future of our planet. Corporate responsibility, including fuel efficiency, carbon footprints, recycling and, to coin a phrase the Walt Disney Company invented decades ago, “environmentality” are all taken into airlines’ overall consideration.
British Airways (BA), for example, has been committed to the environment for years. They’re committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and have a plan of short-, medium- and long-term initiatives to get there. They’re already flying more fuel-efficient aircraft and have retired many of their old “gas guzzler” planes, including their beloved 747s. They’re also investing in aviation fuel produced from sustainable ethanol.
Earlier this week, BA launched its new sustainability program, called “BA Better World.” The BA Better World website explains how they’re, “…putting sustainability at the heart of our business by reducing emissions and waste, contributing to the communities we serve and creating a great place for people to work.” They also explain how they’re creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, as well as how they’re tackling climate change…all showing how they’re a responsible business with high standards.
Here’s their video that explains more about it:
As part of BA Better World, the airline is formally inviting passengers to contribute to mitigating their flight’s carbon footprint.
From Travel Daily News:
In a UK first, British Airways also announced that from today its customers can purchase sustainable aviation fuel to reduce their carbon footprint via its not-for-profit organisation Pure Leapfrog. This is in addition to the existing option for customers to offset their emissions.
The non-profit, Pure Leapfrog, allows passengers to calculate their share of emissions to get from Point A to Point B, and they then have a choice of paying for carbon offsets (i.e., protecting places around the world that are environmentally at risk, such as the last rainforest in Asia, the biodiverse region at the intersection of the Andes ranges and the Amazon basin), or for their share of the sustainable fuel required to fly the plane they’re in.
Don’t get me wrong – I think the program is a lovely way to help the environment. However, this (granted, voluntary) fee is not instead of the fuel surcharge that BA has been charging since 2004. Nope…you still have to pay the fuel surcharge and then they’re asking passengers to (again, voluntarily) pay even more because it’s sustainable fuel.
I promise I’m saying this tongue-in-cheek, but the whole thing just feels like they’re double-dipping on the ask for the gas money, doesn’t it? 😉
Feature Image: British Airways / Twitter
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary