Carbon Offsets & Virgin Blue

I just sent the following suggestion to Virgin Blue. I fly all the time for work – to Melbourne mostly – so I’m keen to do ‘less bad’ (not saying its good!). And am in the process of signing up for Greenfleet for car and home.

Feel free to copy the letter as well if you like and send in your feedback! Or start on Qantas!

Cameron

+++++

I read with great interest and happiness the welcome in the Feb 07 edition of Voyeur by Brett Godfrey outlining what Virgin Blue is doing as part of addressing the global warming impacts of airline travel.

As a frequent flyer, especially on Virgin Blue, and member of Velocity, the impact of my flights for work has been on my mind quite a lot in recent times.

So I applaud the initiatives you have announced and welcome the opportunity to purchase credits along with my flights.

It had been on my mind to suggest to you that you find some way to link Velocity accounts for individual users with Greenfleet or some other like-minded initiative. Since Velocity keeps a record of all my flights – origins and destinations – I am sure if there was some way to share this information across to Greenfleet they could automatically calculate my carbon footprint on an annual basis and issue me with an invoice.

As i’m signing up to Greenfleet to help offset my car use and household carbon footprint, I have been looking at the ‘travel’ option as well.

I would think that launching some initiative to link your frequent flyer program with a carbon offset program would be a world first (definitely an Australian first!) – and certainly provide another point of difference with the Virgin Blue brand in Australia and Oceania.

I also refer you to this report by the UK Sustainable Consumption Roundtable which suggested rather than making paying to offset carbon emissions voluntary, they should be automatic with an opt out option – i.e. customers will be charged for their carbon unless they opt out. It remains voluntary but will have a much higher hit rate.

The report can be found here:
http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/publications.php?id=367

Cameron

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