The SAS Group is offering passengers who wish to offset the impact of their air travel on climate change the option to voluntarily support sustainable development projects in renewable energy and other areas. SAS President and CEO Mats Jansson said, “We are very gratified that we can offer our customers this possibility. It is part of the SAS Group’s environmental strategy, and is a suitable complement to the primary mechanisms in the Kyoto Protocol.”
SAS views voluntarily offsetting carbon dioxide emissions as part of its environmental work, and has decided that it will pay such compensation for all Group business travel.
Starting today, customers can log on to the SAS website ( www.sasgroup.com ) and be able to click through to a company with which the compensation transaction will take place. Customers will be able to offset carbon dioxide emissions by choosing to support various sustainable development projects such as renewable energy. A common feature of these projects is that they have generated a documented reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, which has been verified by a third party.
As its partner, SAS Group has chosen The CarbonNeutral Company ( www.carbonneutral.com ), whose carbon management system is “assured” by the accounting firm KPMG, and which maintain a rigorous project selection and verification process. CarbonNeutral has extensive experience with projects involving carbon dioxide reduction and sustainable development.
The price for compensating for flight emissions varies according to the point of origin and destination. A typical roundtrip flight between Scandinavia and Europe generates approximately 300 kilos of carbon dioxide per passenger, and costs about EUR 4.50 (US $6). Compensation for roundtrip travel between Scandinavia and New York, for example, would be about $26.
The option to voluntarily offset carbon dioxide emissions is a transitory solution until 2011 when aviation will be included in the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme, for which SAS has been a strong advocate.
SAS has long been active in the development of more environmentally adapted technology, plus its own initiatives in fuel-savings, more direct landing approaches, and creating infrastructure improvements through activities such as a common air-traffic control system in Europe.
SAS Group airlines operate in Scandinavia, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the U.S., where SAS serves New York, Chicago, Seattle and Washington, D.C.