Kenya Airways launches passenger program to cut carbon emissions

Kenya Airways, the Pride of Africa has announced the launch of a new voluntary Carbon offsetting tool aimed at providing a channel for its customers to contribute towards reducing the effect of carbon emissions by supporting environmental sustainability initiatives.

In this  unique initiative developed in cooperation with International Air Transport Association (IATA), the airline will now offer its passengers the opportunity to 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 and through this it is now possible for a passenger to pay an additional amount in respect of carbon emissions related to that flight applied per person.           

Speaking during the official launch to unveil 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 said 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 Ngong Hills Reforestation Project, newer fuel efficient aircraft and fuel saving initiatives that have been employed throughout our operations.”

Amounts collected through this program will be used to support projects that have been qualified by IATA and certified by UNEP as being credible enough to contribute to positive impact on sustainability. One of the already identified projects 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 offsetting programme will be rolled out 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 solution will be made available to the network of travel agents available globally while in phase three the airline will make the programme inclusive for 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 1st Airline in Africa to be able 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 was 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 catalyse the transition towards a low-carbon, resource efficient Green Economy,”

 “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", added Mr. Steiner.

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.