SCANDINAVIAN Airlines Systems launched a carbon offset programme for international congresses and events as a part of the SAS official airline product, and were at IMEX 2008 to present this concept.
The programme will enable congress organisers to include carbon offset for air travel in their aim for creating carbon neutral events. At the event the organiser can visualise and publicise the total carbon emission and offset paid for the specific event.
To make this possible Scandinavian Airlines work in partnership with The Carbon Neutral Company (TCNC), a supplier of CO2 reduction projects and sustainable development activities for many well-known major customers.
SAS and TCNC can offer the organiser to include carbon offset as part of the online registration for the event, enabling the individual delegate to pay offset when registering for the conference. It will also be possible to use the existing SAS/TCNC website for paying the carbon offset connected to a specific event, by using the designated event code.
For both options the event organiser or the conference delegate will receive a certificate from TCNC on the carbon neutral travel. The organiser can choose if the offset should be mandatory or voluntary. The offset could even be sponsored. The programme is for all attendees travelling to the event.
'We are very pleased to be able to offer this in connection with our SAS Group Official Airline programme,' said Sus Nygaard, manager conventions and events. “We believe this will meet the increased demand among conference organisers for environmental friendly products and services.'
In March 2007 SAS was one of the first airlines to offer the voluntary carbon offset to individual passengers. Since then the carbon offset is also a possibility in the SAS corporate agreements and now also for the official airline agreements for international meetings. The programme will also be available for events in Scandinavia where SAS is lead airline for a Star Alliance Conventions Plus agreement.
The SAS Group has launched a new environmental strategy that includes an ambitious strategic environmental target. The new strategic environmental target is to reduce total carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared with 2007.
The new environmental target assumes passenger growth of four per cent per year and for each producing unit the target entails halving carbon dioxide emissions by 2020. The methods of achieving this reduction are by implementing energy enhancements, mixing jet fuel with alternative second generation fuels and better coordinated air traffic.
In addition to reducing total carbon dioxide emissions, prior to 2011 the SAS Group's various airlines and ground operations shall, for example, have only cars based on the current definition of a green vehicle, have certified environmental management systems in accordance with ISO 14001 and the SAS Group's airlines shall be a leader in the work toward sustainable development in air transport, thus contributing to sustainable social progress.