In London last week we attended the Business Travel Show and presented our thought leadership at CACTUS where we met industry leaders discussing their role and seeking information on sustainability within the business travel sector.
At The BTS we attended a seminar called ‘Travel price and risk outlook for 2020’. Here a panel consisting of Suzanne Sangiovese, Richard Johnson, Simon Antoniou and Hanne Marit Schultz discussed corona, climate change, extreme weather, big sport tournaments and that sustainability is not the cheapest option, which is true and likely to be this way for some time. The panel discussed that sustainability is a buzz word and asked how it could evolve from this to the next step, encouraging sustainability businesses to come forward with cheaper, greener solutions and for travel companies to work with consultants to think further.
One poll at the seminar stating that 60% said the cost of travel was the major decision making factor, 12% stating sustainability. Showing there is a big way to go for sustainable aviation fuel and flying green.
Reducing emissions isn’t a cheap task. It was discussed at the CACTUS event that many are ‘borrowing’ carbon from other countries where it is cheaper to reduce emissions. The analogy of you needing to go on a diet and then asking someone else to stop eating chocolate for you was brought up by Professor Kevin Anderson, Climate Scientist at the University of Manchester and the Centre for Sustainability and the Environment at Uppsala University.
FGA have been thinking about this discussion and the purpose of offsets, and we have recently been contacted by natural capital investors working in the U.K. Investing in local land and forestry offsets will cost more but it does support local communities. This could be one way to stop ‘offshore’ offsetting.
We believe offsets do have their benefits and can work towards investing in aviation research and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) itself. [Edit 9th April 2021: at FGA we do believe in a range of offsets/carbon reduction credits including a range of prices and globally spread which includes many social and economic benefits for the nations.] FGA are project initiators and have approval to create SAF as a carbon credit – one example being the creation of aviation fuel from waste. However, the discussion is that the carbon credit is too expensive right now, and so it has been difficult to create a favourable case for investors to fund this work even though in theory the idea that it can be counted as an offset is good. As it stands SAF is counted as an offset through CORSIA, the global aviation scheme to reduce and offset carbon, so it is accepted by the industry as an offset. We believe this piece of work and the application approval is important to demonstrate that we can create carbon credits within the aviation industry itself through Gold Standard. However, how do we create a more a favourable price for the carbon credit? Or do we need convince corporate travellers that right now the carbon credit is going to be higher? FGA have ideas on this and will be looking for more solutions.
We spoke to Michelle Dyer this week, Vice President, Risk & Compliance – Europe & Africa, M&A, and Sustainability of Amex Global Business Travel, who supports the creation of carbon credits from SAF itself and and the notion that SAF credits won’t be cheap in the short term, Michelle said ‘Travel buyers are interested in the role carbon offsets have to play in their greenhouse gas mitigation strategies. SAF carbon credits would enable companies to offset air travel emissions with reductions made in the aviation industry and help drive innovation in the decarbonization of travel.’ Agreeing that SAF credit’s long term benefits has much to offer the travel industry itself.
We ask you to join us to think about this, to think about your travel policies and to mitigate for your future risk.
Fly Green Alliance was set up because through an alliance we can shift this industry in to commercial viability and begin to fly green.