London Heathrow Airport has begun asking passengers to offset carbon emissions by directly purchasing sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for flights.
Through partnering with the global climate-tech company Chooose, Heathrow has launched a voluntary online offsetting platform. The platform will enable passengers to calculate and offset their emissions by purchasing SAF from Sky NRG for the airport. Any remaining emissions will be offset by certified global reforestation projects. Compatible with any airline or end destination, the platform is designed to reduce the main roadblocks for SAF, high cost and limited production volumes, by using passengers’ financial contribution to demonstrate popular demand for this solution.
This platform arrived as the global airline association IATA announced that all member airlines have committed to net zero by 2050 and as the UK government announced its ambition to implement at least 10% SAF usage by 2030. Currently, more than 60% of Heathrow’s airline partners, by capacity, are committed to turning at least 10% of their fuel supply into SAF by 2030. To bring down costs and trigger investment in scaled-up production, the airport has also called for the UK’s latest mandate to be complemented with a ‘price support’ policy.
Alongside this passenger funding initiative, the airport has also launched an augmented reality ‘Sustainability Showcase’ in Terminal 5 to increase passenger awareness of the airport’s use of SAF as the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow gets underway. The immersive experience gives passengers a look into the future of green flying and shows how the UK can become a leading force in the production and use of SAFs. Passengers can take a closer look at what the airport is doing to combat carbon, such as running all the airport’s infrastructure on 100% renewable electricity, with the option to purchase SAF on the spot with the new Chooose platform.
Matt Gorman, director of the airport’s carbon strategy, said, “We have a real sense of momentum behind reducing carbon emissions from flying – with airlines, airports, fuel companies, airlines, investors and governments all coming together to tackle the problem. We’re delighted that from today Heathrow passengers will be able to offset their flights by purchasing SAF with our partner Chooose – the more people who talk about and use SAF, the faster we’ll be able to scale-up production and cut carbon emissions from flying for good.”