Carbon Offsetting launches at Manchester Airport - MIDAS

Carbon Offsetting launches at Manchester Airport

23 March, 2009

Passengers who use Manchester Airport now have another method to offset the carbon emissions from their flights thanks to a new feature available on the Airport's website.

Carbon offsetting is a mechanism for compensating for carbon emissions that are currently unavoidable by paying for equivalent emissions savings or reductions to be made elsewhere. Many of the airlines using Manchester already offer this option to passengers. The new scheme will complement this and enable passengers to offset their flights via a link on the website.

The Airport Group has committed to tackling the emissions generated by its operation and already has a carbon neutral target for the energy used in its buildings, airfield and car parks and the fuel used in its vehicles.

This new initiative delivers the commitment set out in the Airport’s Masterplan to 2030 to encourage passengers to use an offset scheme for their flights and is linked to the core target for the Airport to be carbon neutral by 2015.

Penny Coates, the executive board member with responsibility for the environment at the Manchester Airports Group, said: “We’re taking a proactive role within the airline industry to make CO2 emission reductions already, but as a Group we want to support the work of our airline partners and help encourage passengers to use a carbon off-set scheme and so we now offer the facility though all of our websites right across our Group.”

A study undertaken by the Omega partnership, which is based at Manchester Metropolitan University, and is developing knowledge to support long term sustainability solutions for the aviation industry in the UK surveyed passengers at Manchester Airport and showed that, whilst many had heard of carbon offsetting, less than a tenth had then gone onto investigate the options.

The study found that given that offset schemes are currently voluntary, if a greater uptake is to be achieved then much more needs to be done to raise awareness of the existence and benefits of such schemes. To assist with this ambition, the airport will be monitoring usage of the links and reporting take up on an annual basis.

As well as offering passengers the opportunity to offset, the airport already offsets its own business travel as well. Business travel is an essential part of aviation and today’s modern global economy but the airport minimises its own business travel and annually offsets the CO2 emissions that this travel produces.

While many of the airlines who fly out of Manchester, such as Cathay Pacific and Virgin, already offer the facility to offset; the airport is also linking up with Carbon Clear, a carbon management company that helps businesses and individuals to reduce their carbon impact.

Mark Chadwick, CEO of Carbon Clear, said: “I am delighted that the Manchester Airports Group is taking a proactive lead in managing and reducing its carbon impact. As well as reducing its own operational emissions, it is taking an industry leading role in helping inform its passenger community to do the same using high quality carbon credits that make a very real contribution to climate change and the communities they serve.”

Just one of the projects supported by Carbon Clear has been the use of biomass that has displaced the need for coal in a jute manufacturing mill in India. By using residues from the plant as a replacement for coal, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have subsequently been reduced.

Britain’s carbon offset industry is currently estimated to be worth £50 million while the expected push towards a worldwide low carbon economy has left experts predicting that the carbon offsetting industry could eventually be worth £18 billion in the global marketplace.

The ability to offset the carbon cost of your flight is now available at:
http://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/carbonoffset

Source: Manchester Airport

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