HOUSTON , Dec. 3 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Continental Airlines (NYSE: CAL), the world's fifth largest airline, today announced that it has launched a carbon offsetting program, developed in partnership with non-profit Sustainable Travel International. The voluntary program allows customers worldwide to view the carbon footprint of their booked itinerary, which Sustainable Travel International calculates from fuel consumption of Continental's aircraft, and to make a contribution to Sustainable Travel International.
Proceeds from customer contributions to Sustainable Travel International fund the purchase of carbon offsets, which are generated from high-impact sustainable development projects that are designed to reduce the impact of carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere. Sustainable Travel International provides carbon offset projects, located all over the world, which are independently verified or certified by third-party sources.
The carbon offsetting option is part of a company-wide commitment to
environmental responsibility. The airline has achieved an almost 35 percent
reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption per mainline
revenue passenger mile flown over the past 10 years. This is due in large part
to the efforts of its employees in streamlining operational procedures and to
an investment of more than
"Having a high-profile, high-quality offset program available to Continental's customers is a significant step for mainstreaming carbon offsetting in air travel," explained Brian T. Mullis, President of Sustainable Travel International. "When combined with energy efficiency, greater use of renewable resources, waste reduction and thoughtful consumption, offsetting offers a solid strategy for addressing concerns associated with climate change."
Customers who choose to participate in the carbon offsetting program may contribute to one of four project portfolios: Gold Standard emission reduction projects managed by MyClimate, which are renewable energy and energy efficiency projects validated, registered and verified following Clean Development Mechanism principles under the Kyoto Protocol; international reforestation projects that preserve and create critical forests and that are designed using the standards set forth by the Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance; U.S. Green-e certified renewable energy projects, such as wind farms; or a combination of these projects.
Customers may choose to contribute a suggested amount that is calculated based on the carbon emissions related to their itinerary, or they may choose to contribute a different amount toward the reduction of greenhouse gases.
The carbon offsetting calculator on continental.com can be accessed in one of four ways: from a link on the confirmation page after a customer has purchased a ticket; under Reservations > Change/View Existing Reservations for an existing itinerary; via the "My Account" section (requires a OnePass account and booked itinerary); or through the About Continental > Company Profile > Commitment to the Environment section. No ticket purchase is required to access the offsetting calculator via About Continental.
Moving forward, Continental plans to work with Sustainable Travel International to enhance the program to address environmental concerns and will continue to meet customers' needs.
In addition to offering a carbon offset project for individual customers, Continental now has the ability to provide its contracted corporate customers the carbon emissions associated with their business travel with Continental.
Program will allow travelers to calculate the carbon footprint of their booked itinerary and purchase carbon offsets online
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Aviation expert Mike Boyd said he thought high-profile announcements by airlines are akin to building a firebreak to show the industry is taking some action.