Irish LCC Ryanair Updates Its Environmental Policy

Ryanair, the Irish low-cost carrier has updated its environmental policy. As part of its new policy, the airline is committing to completely cut non-recyclable plastics from its operations by the end of 2024.

Ryanair, BALPA Strike, Pilot Strike
Ryanair has released a new environmental policy. Photo: Ryanair

Ryanair is an airline known for its low fares, and characteristic CEO, Michael O’Leary. However, the carrier also places a big value on the environment that it flies in. In a day where almost everybody is talking about the environmental impact of the aviation industry, Ryanair certainly wants to show that it is doing its bit.

Monthly emissions stats

Since June Ryanair has been publicly publishing its carbon dioxide emissions statistics once a month. The airline became the first in the European Union to start doing so. This was a move which it hoped would allow it to lead by example. The carrier places a high value on its CO2 emissions per passenger per kilometer.

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In August the carrier achieved a figure of 67g, up one gram from its first reported figure of 66g for May. However, despite being fairly low, this isn’t good enough for the low-cost carrier. Over the next eleven years, Ryanair wants to cut this to just 60g Of CO2 per passenger per kilometer. It will achieve this with its fleet of new Boeing 737 MAX due to be delivered, in addition to increasing the number of seats filled on its aircraft.

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Ryanair’s new 737 max aircraft are part of a $200m investment. Photo: Ryanair

Carbon offsetting

Ryanair operates a voluntary carbon offset scheme for passengers. When booking flights, the option to add a donation to offset the carbon from your flight exists. In fact, I used it just today when booking a flight with the low-cost carrier. Ryanair says that so far it has raised a total of €2.5 million for its environmental partners. The airline states that this accounts for over 2% of passengers since the scheme started.

Environmental taxes

Ryanair also stated that in the financial year of 2020 it will pay in excess of €630 million worth of environmental taxes. These taxes were described by the carrier as “delivering no environmental benefits” and “favoring high-fare inefficient airlines over low-fare efficient ones”.

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Ryanair, BALPA Strike, Pilot Strike
Ryanair was the first EU airline to start publishing monthly CO2 statistics. Photo: Ryanair

Of the new policy, Kenny Jacobs, the airline’s chief marketing officer, said,

“As Europe’s greenest/cleanest airline, we are proud of what we have achieved to date – and are pleased to launch our newly updated, improved, and expanded Environmental Policy detailing our improvements and future targets.”

He went on to add: “Operating the youngest fleet in Europe, high load factors and efficient fuel burn, has enabled us to continuously lower our CO2 emissions to become the greenest airline in Europe.”

What do you think of Ryanair’s environmental policies? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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