18/06/2008 FLYINGGROUP BECOMES FIRST AIRLINE TO OFFSET CO2 EMISSIONS

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The business and charter airline FLYINGGROUP today announced its ambitious CO2 offset program. With this initiative, the company is setting an important precedent for the Belgian aviation sector and taking a leading role in tackling CO2 emissions from European business flights, particularly in the Benelux countries and France.FLYINGGROUP’s CO2 offset scheme means the company’s offices, premises and employee movements are now CO2-neutral. With regard to flight operations, FLYINGGROUP is launching, on 1 July, a scheme that will actively encourage passengers to offset their contribution to CO2 emissions.The company brought in independent consultants CO2logic to calculate the CO2 footprint of the company’s infrastructure, employees and flight operations and then set up an offset scheme. The study showed that FLYINGROUP emitted almost 16,500 tons of CO2 in 2007 (in house + flight operations).FLYINGGROUP is launching its CO2 offset scheme well in advance of the 2012 deadline for the aviation sector to become part of the European emission trading scheme.Although the aviation sector is responsible for 8 percent of total global CO2 emissions, and business flights account for just 1.6 percent of global CO2 emissions, FLYINGGROUP, as a leading business and charter airline, is keen to build on its market-leading role in the fight against global warming, says Bernard Van Milders, deputy director of FLYINGGROUP. In the current climate, we'd prefer to act today rather than tomorrow in dealing with CO2 emissions by introducing CO2 offset for passengers and CO2 neutrality for our premises and employee mobility. 

CO2 Charter In July, FLYINGGROUP is to launch a charter under which the company undertakes to tackle CO2 emissions. With this charter, FLYINGGROUP is promising to make emissions from its corporate buildings, and from employee mobility, completely CO2 neutral, to consistently update its fleet with a focus on green technology and, finally, to encourage and educate customers to offset CO2 emissions from flight operations by including emissions from flight operations in the pricing.CO2 emissions will be offset through the purchase of CO2 certificates, via CO2logic, from a bio-mass project in India. The company is also opting for greener company vehicles and investing in a green infrastructure as the company grows and develops.With regard to its fleet, FLYINGGROUP announces that it has ordered 19 new aircraft equipped with greener technology which will emit considerably less CO2 and NOx (fine particles of carbon).FLYINGGROUP also intends to reduce CO2 emissions from its fleet by making operations more efficient. This will take place in close cooperation with the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), the Business Aviation association. As part of this, FLYINGGROUP is taking part in a pilot project with Eurocontrol and the EBAA to refine measurement and reduction schemes.FLYINGGROUP is educating its customers and encouraging them to offset CO2 emissions by applying a surcharge. This new pricing system allows the customer to offset their contribution to CO2 emissions.We view the CO2 offset program as part of FLYINGGROUP’s mission to be a forward looking and leading player in European charter and business aviation. Sustainability is an essential part of this. The CO2 emissions scheme is a long-term program which we will continuously promote, evolve and improve, confirms Bernard Van Milders.