Ryanair Pledges To Double Optional Environmental Impact Charge

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Ryanair will double its optional carbon offset fee. The low-cost carrier’s charge, which goes towards environmental projects, will be raised from €1 ($1.08) to €2 ($2.16).

Ryanair, Carbon Offset, Fee Increase
Ryanair is doubling its optional carbon offset fee. Photo: Ryanair

As an airline, Ryanair takes its environmental commitment incredibly seriously. In fact, it calls itself the greenest airline in Europe. However, recently the Advertising Standards Agency ruled that the airline could not use this phrase in three different adverts. One of the key points of the airline’s environmental policy is its carbon offset fee which is optional for passengers. This optional fee is the center of today’s news. Let’s find out more.

So, what’s new today?

From today, the Irish airline will double its voluntary carbon offset fee. This will mean that customers who are conscious of the carbon impact of their flight will now have to pay twice as much to offset. However, while the amount has doubled, the increase won’t really be noticeable to most passengers, as they will only pay and extra euro should the opt to take part.

The low-cost carrier says that 3% of its customers are currently participating in this voluntary scheme. It added that 100% of funds raised through the scheme go towards carbon offset projects supported by Ryanair. Ryanair’s outgoing CMO Kenny Jacobs explained the airline’s environmental situation:

The airline says that last year it spent €1.5 million ($1.6 million) on 2 projects. This partly helped to fund wood fire stoves in Uganda and reforestation in southern Portugal. Over the coming year, Ryanair is looking to increase the number of partners it works with.

Will this make a difference?

Assuming that passengers continue to donate funds at the same rate, this will mean a huge difference for the airline. It would have €3 million ($3.2 million) worth of funds to donate to projects.

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Personally, whenever I fly Ryanair myself I opt to pay the voluntary fee. However, unlike some other carriers, Ryanair does not use any specific method in order to calculate how much CO2 needs to be offset.

Instead, it applies a flat charge. This means that you would pay €2 if you were to fly from Stansted to Cologne, or Stansted to Gran Canaria. These 2 example flights have very different durations.

Ryanair, Carbon Offset, Fee Increase
Ryanair would charge the same amount to offset these two flights. Photo: GCMap

What does the airline have to say?

In December, Ryanair hired its first Director of Sustainability. This person, Tom Fowler, said:

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“We are pleased with the very positive response from our customers in 2019 to our voluntary Carbon Offset initiative100% of the funds raised through these voluntary carbon offset donations will be routed to our environmental partners, who are actively working on carbon offset and carbon reduction programs. With this modest increase in voluntary contributions, we can do more in 2020 and we look forward to unveiling more 2020 environmental partners in the coming months.”

Do you think they doubled fee will have a big effect? Would you pay it yourself? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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