13 June 2024

GreenAir News

Reporting on aviation and the environment

Travalyst and top travel brands launch carbon emissions standard for flights

Not-for-profit sustainable travel organisation Travalyst and its coalition of six top travel brands have announced that they have aligned on a shared framework to collect and display flight emissions data. This, say the partners, will allow consumers wanting to book a flight with lower emissions to more easily find the information they need. The framework consists of a set of shared principles and preferred methodology for estimating carbon emissions from air travel, which have been agreed and committed to by the Travalyst coalition partners, which include Skyscanner, Google, Booking.com, Trip.com Group, Tripadvisor and Visa. Travalyst, founded by Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, says moving towards travel industry-wide alignment in the decarbonisation of aviation is an important part of transforming the net positive impact of travel and tourism.

Skyscanner and Google will be the first two coalition travel distribution partners to implement the Travalyst aviation sustainability framework across their platforms for consumers, with the others confirming their intention to adopt and implement the model from 2022 onwards. Founding partner Skyscanner, which has been instrumental in the development of the framework, launched its Greener Choices model in 2019.

To support the coalition’s goal of greater industry adoption, Google has published a Travel Impact Model for emissions estimates that further details the Travalyst framework. Acting as a technology provider, Google said it will make it possible later this year for more platforms to easily display carbon estimates using the Travel Impact Model, with minimal technical requirements.

Travalyst said the focus of the new model is on bringing more immediate transparency around carbon emissions for flights and expects the collaboration will evolve over time “to reflect further factors impacting sustainable aviation”.

Commented CEO Sally Davey: “We know that one of the barriers to consumers making better choices is a lack of visibility and overly complicated information, leading to confusion. By delivering clear and consistent tools for collecting and reporting airline data, we are helping travellers and the industry to make more informed – and lower emitting – air travel choices.

“It is hugely significant that our partners have reached agreement on this framework and will be using the same data across all of their platforms.”

Last month, IATA launched the first airline industry-developed methodology for calculating CO2 emissions per passenger for a specific flight (see article).

IATA Director General Willie Walsh said the CO2 calculation would enable organisations and individuals to make informed choices about flying sustainably, including decisions on investing in voluntary carbon offsetting or the use of sustainable aviation fuels.

“We’re working closely with IATA and other key stakeholders to align our respective approaches to CO2 calculations,” Davey told GreenAir.

A report published in October 2021 by Skyscanner and market researchers YouGov, following a global survey of 6,000 air travellers, found people in general felt there was very little information regarding sustainability and what is available was very confusing.

Although sustainability is seen as a key issue and people are willing to make more sustainable travel choices, they believe the responsibility lies chiefly with governments and the travel industry. Many also did not believe carbon offsetting helps to reduce the effect of global travel and felt there was too little or confusing information on its benefits. Across all countries surveyed, cost remains a key and deciding factor when it comes to booking plane tickets.

However, Eva Stewart, Global Sector Head of Travel & Tourism, YouGov, said: “Large proportions of society across all researched countries show great awareness of sustainability issues and an ever-growing interest in travelling more sustainably. The research suggests that consumers will be prepared to buy sustainable travel offers if these are made readily and easily to them.”

Photo: Munich Airport

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