Heathrow Airport Targets Zero-Carbon With New Offsetting Projects

London Heathrow is the United Kingdom’s busiest airport with over 80 million passengers passing through each year. While the hub is on course to become one of the first major airports to go carbon neutral, it has introduced a new service to help offset these travelers’ carbon emissions.

Heathrow Airport
Heathrow Airport is putting new initiatives in place to help reduce its carbon footprint. Photo: Heathrow Airport

Progressive approach

According to a press release, Heathrow Airport has partnered with climate action company CHOOOSE to launch a project that helps support offsetting programs across the world.

By using a “Flight Footprint Calculator” that is accessible on Heathrow’s website, passengers can calculate the carbon footprint of their journey. Thereafter, they can offset the amount by supporting two independently verified schemes.

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A reforestation project in Uganda, which is certified by the Verified Carbon Standard can be supported under this scheme. Along with this, a wind farm in Costa Rica can be assisted through the program.

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The two projects are on different continents and follow different techniques. However, they both combine to contribute to important processes that help combat climate change.

Heathrow Sky
Airlines and airports increasingly came under fire last year during the Extinction Rebellion protests. Photo: Getty Images

Simple process

Heathrow’s director of sustainability, Matt Gorman shared how the partnership can make it easy for passengers to offset their emissions. Additionally, the airport plans on making the process possible within terminals.

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“We are proud to be partnering with CHOOOSE to make this impactful offsetting choice available to passengers, regardless of what airline they are traveling with. This service will be available online while we also work on a plan to trial offsetting kiosks in our terminals”, Gorman said as per the press release.

These initiatives are part of Heathrow’s zero-carbon goal. It has invested £100 million to help it decarbonize. Efforts include switching to only using electric vehicles and renewable energy onsite.

“We are on a journey to becoming a zero-carbon airport by the mid-2030s, having already invested more than £100 million to improve sustainability and remove 90% of carbon from our infrastructure on the ground.” Gorman concluded.

CHOOOSE CEO Andreas Slettvoll states that a majority of fliers would now pay a premium to offset their footprint when in the air. It hopes to connect with modern travelers more effectively than previous offsetting services.

Heathrow Airport Terminal
Heathrow is the UK’s largest airport and is also one of the biggest airports across the globe. Photo: Heathrow Airport

National interest

Birmingham International Airport also announced its commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by the mid-2030s. It recently published a decarbonization roadmap for the year ahead.

Meanwhile, the UK government is investing £300 million to develop greener forms of air transport. Altogether, British aviation bodies are showing their intent to tackle climate change this decade.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported that the carbon cost of air travel has reduced by 50% since 1990. Therefore, these initiatives can go a long way if they continue to be applied.

What are your thoughts on these carbon offsetting projects launched by Heathrow Airport? Let us know what you think in the comment section.

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George Adams

This is great! I checked ut out and it is both transparent and supporting quality carbon projects. So many shady offset programs out there, and Heathrow seems to have done a very good job here.

AndyJ

What if I had an extra large bowl of Mexican refried beans before a flight and expelled an extraordinarily large quantity of methane gas? Would I be covered? Or does this only apply to CO2 gas? This American laughs at your flight shaming attempts. And I’m sure there are many others that do as well.

Paul

I wonder how they plan to promote this? Will passengers by directed to the website as they pass through the terminal? There aren’t many reasons to go to an airports website so, while its a nice idea, will it gain much traction/have much real impact?

Sarah

Some Airlines make it easy for passengers who book on their web sites to pay an offset carbon fee. I do it regularly on United Airline’s site.