Pioneering Airline Rewarded for its Environmental Policies

British Airways is due to receive more than £6 million from the UK Government after becoming the world’s first airline to take part in a new scheme which starts today (Tuesday 2 April 2002) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The airline has committed to reducing its carbon dioxide emissions in the UK by 125,000 tonnes over the five years of the scheme to 2006.

And in return the Government has agreed to make more than £6.5 million in incentive payments if the annual reduction targets are met over that period.

British Airways is one of 34 organisations which successfully applied to join the UK Emissions Trading Scheme. The scheme will begin operating on 2 April 2002.

The scheme makes incentive payments to each organisation as they reach agreed CO2 reduction targets. If an organisation achieves more than its target it can sell its surplus reductions to companies involved in the scheme who have not met their agreed targets.


British Airways plans to meet its targets by a combination of measures including investment in newer more fuel efficient aircraft, reducing energy usage across its property portfolio as well as better overall energy management.

Hugh Somerville, Head of British Airways Sustainable Business Unit, said: “British Airways has played a leading role among the world’s airlines in discussing how we can all contribute to reducing CO2 emissions.

“It is great news that the UK has become the first country to set up an economy wide CO2 emissions trading scheme which allows businesses from a true cross section of industries to trade and manage their CO2 emissions as a group.

“British Airways is the only airline to be taking part in the first phase of the initiative and we hope this will place us in a strong position when international emissions trading comes within a few years.

“We are confident that we can meet all of our prescribed targets over the next five years and receive our instalments of around £1.3 million per year.

“This scheme is a classic example of what is good for the environment can also be good for business.”