Lufthansa is to carbon offset all European flights that fall under corporate fares from next year – and at no extra cost to corporations.
From 2020, corporate customers will fly CO2 neutral with Lufthansa Group Corporate Value Fares.
The CO2 offsetting will be carried out through certified climate protection projects of the Swiss foundation myclimate. The non-profit organisation, which Lufthansa Group has been working with since 2007, guarantees that the projects not only reduce greenhouse gases but also contribute to the global sustainable development goals of the United Nations.
The development follows the launch of the airline group’s consumer-facing sustainability platform, Compensaid, that allows travellers to track and offset their individual carbon footprint with the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel, or by funding reforestation projects.
Andreas Koester, Lufthansa sales director for the UK, Ireland and Iceland, alluded to the offsetting initiative at the Royal Automobile Club last month during a BBT Editor’s Lunch.
At the event, Koester – who was joined by Marco Willa, Lufthansa’s general manager, sales UK, Ireland and Iceland – told travel buyers: “If you have a European corporate fare, as of next year we will offer a fare where CO2 emissions are offset, for all of your travels. And we’re not increasing the fare.
“There’s obviously flight shaming by the Greta movement… we’re taking responsibility. We have our own programmes, like Compensaid, which any traveller can do, but if you have a corporate travel agreement in Europe, your carbon footprint will be offset.”
Robert Stevens, director of partnerships at ClimateCare, also spoke at the BBT Editor’s Lunch, which saw a frank discussion on topics including climate change, air fares and the future of the modern travel programme.
“The Lufthansa Group takes its responsibility for the environment very seriously and has already taken many initiatives to reduce the CO2 emissions of its aircraft. With the new Lufthansa Group Corporate Value Fares, we are now taking the next step and offering our corporate customers in all European markets an innovative solution for sustainable mobility. We have already made our own business air travel CO2-neutral,” said Heike Birlenbach, SVP, sales Lufthansa Group Network Airlines and CCO Hub Frankfurt.
Myclimate supports a reforestation project in Nicaragua, photovoltaic plants in the Dominican Republic and the dissemination of energy-efficient cookers powered by solar power and energy from biomass in Rwanda, Kenya, Madagascar and China. These measures reduce the fuel consumption of wood and coal, protect the local forests and contribute to the improvement of air quality in addition to the associated CO2 savings.
Lufthansa Group is also working on a tariff option without CO2 compensation for those companies that already have their own initiatives.
This latest move follows British Airways’ announcement it plans to carbon offset domestic flights, while Air France has pledged to voluntarily offset emissions on flights in mainland France from next year.