The government has made it a priority to reduce carbon emissions with the goal of transitioning to a net zero emissions economy by 2050.
For many government agencies, travel represents the majority of their total carbon emissions. Avoiding travel will have the largest impact on decreasing your agency’s carbon emission footprint. When reviewing your travel needs, you can use the avoid-shift-improve continuum:
See below for details of specific carbon emissions reduction guidance.
Things that affect how much carbon is produced:
For long haul flights, carbon emissions are about three times higher for business class compared to economy class. This is because there's more space per seat, so each person accounts for a larger portion of the whole plane's carbon emissions.
Some examples of average carbon emissions dependent on class of travel are shown below:
This shows that if your travel policy limited travel to economy or premium economy class for appropriate journeys, your carbon emissions have the potential to be halved for those journeys.
Suppliers on the AoG air travel services panel that offer premium economy class currently are: Air New Zealand, Qantas Airways, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and Virgin Australia.
When the plane takes off it uses more fuel than when it is cruising. For shorter flights, this accounts for a larger proportion of the journey. It means that there will be lower emissions for direct flights than multi-leg trips. This is important as often the cheapest indirect route will incur the highest carbon emissions.
Newer planes can be more efficient and some airlines and routes have seats more often filled than not. There is a wide variation between per passenger emissions for different airlines when you take into account these factors.
When booking international flights, consider asking your travel management services provider about which option would be the most fuel efficient.
Consider alternative transport, for example, the Eurostar is significantly less carbon intensive than air travel, despite similar travel times. See below for a comparison of indicative travel times:
Ministry for the Environment's journey to lower emissions.
If your agency would like more information on carbon emission reduction, please either contact your travel management services provider or email the travel team.
If your agency has examples of initiatives you are currently working on then please email the travel team as we would love to hear from you.