Through carbon offsetting, airline passengers can invest in projects that reduce CO2 emissions or sequester CO2 from the atmosphere to counterbalance their share of the carbon emissions produced by their journey and/or shipments.
While many airlines offer a form of carbon offsetting to customers, United Airlines run a particularly innovative scheme targeted at corporate customers, which allows them to track and offset the emissions associated with their business travel and freight shipments at the enterprise level.
United’s ‘Eco-Skies CarbonChoice’ offsetting scheme for corporate customers was launched in 2014, to go along with the airline’s long standing offset programme for individual passengers.
The programme provides corporate customers with regular cargo and/or passenger carbon emissions usage reports based on actual flight level data. The sophisticated system takes account of the type of aircraft, routes, seasonality, payload, and customer-specific business travel and cargo shipments and allows customers to accurately offset their carbon emissions at the enterprise level.
The proceeds from United Airlines’ carbon offsetting are invested in a diverse range of projects coordinated by Sustainable Travel International.
One such project, Conservation International's Alto Mayo Forest Carbon Project in northern Peru, helps to protect a critical watershed for more than 240,000 people and many threatened species found nowhere else on Earth. The project also provides jobs for local families and incentivises new approaches to farming that support rather than undermine native forests. This project is an independently verified REDD+ carbon offset project registered under the Verified Carbon Standard.
United’s domestic projects include the Garcia River Forest Project, which helps to conserve forestland, restore wildlife habitat and protect local forestry jobs in the heart of California’s Redwood region, and the Capricorn Ridge Wind project, which helps to displace fossil fuel-based energy production with clean, renewable wind power. This project produces enough wind-based electricity to power approximately 220,000 homes annually.