Qantas and Jetstar have become the first major airlines to achieve carbon neutral certification for their carbon offset programs under the federal government’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS).
A voluntary certification scheme, the NCOS Carbon Neutral initiative allows Australian businesses to measure, reduce and offset greenhouse gas emissions associated with business operations or products. Established by the federal government’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, NCOS is administered via the Australian Carbon Trust, which acts as an independent accreditation body.
“Qantas and Jetstar customers have the option to fly carbon neutral by offsetting their own share of flight emissions. With increased understanding of climate change, the carbon offset programs provide the flying public and business travellers with a very real and convenient way to take action on climate change at an individual level,” said CEO of the Australian Carbon Trust, Meg McDonald.
Qantas Group chief risk officer, Rob Kella, said the company’s carbon offset scheme was part of a “comprehensive environment strategy”, with both Qantas and Jetstar launching “offset programs in 2007 to give our customers the choice of flying carbon neutral”. “Since then all contributions received have gone towards purchasing carbon offsets generated by accredited abatement projects. The program has offset over 850,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions to date. This is the equivalent of taking around 200,000 cars off the road for a year.”
NCOS commenced on July 1 2010 as a successor scheme to the government’s Greenhouse Friendly initiative.