Air travelers worried about their carbon footprint created by flying on a commercial aircraft can now breathe easy when they book a flight on Qatar Airways. The Doha-based carrier has partnered with the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Carbon Offset Program, one of just four programs in the world to be approved by the Quality Assurance Standard (QAS) audit system, which evaluates corporate carbon neutrality.
“As an environmentally responsible airline, our modern fleet of technologically advanced aircraft, together with our fuel-efficiency program, combine to optimize aircraft performance and reduce the environmental impact of flying,” Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said in a statement. “Our customers can now help to further minimize their environmental footprint by opting to contribute to our carbon offset program.”
Through this program, passengers who book through Qatar can choose to offset the emissions produced during their journey by purchasing carbon credits. Funds will go directly to the Fatanpur Wind Farm project in India via sustainable development company ClimateCare. The project comprises 54 turbines in the state of Madhya Pradesh that contribute clean energy to the Indian energy grid, displacing energy produced by fossil fuel sources.
“[Qatar Airways'] support for the Fatanpur project not only reduces global carbon emissions, it also provides employment opportunities; delivers improved education through providing materials and expertise to nearby schools; and supports a mobile medical unit—enabling improved healthcare to the local community,” Robert Stevens, ClimateCare’s director of partnerships, said in a statement.
While it’s true that aviation does contribute to global carbon emissions, it is one of the greener industries out there: In 2018, aviation was responsible for just 2.4 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions, while the automotive industry was responsible for nine percent. That said, every step towards a more sustainable future counts—and airlines like Qatar who offer passengers the chance to make greener decisions about their trips are heading in the right direction.