Iberia’s New Carbon-Offsetting Programme

At the end of last week, Iberia Group announced the launch of CO2labora – the new carbon-offsetting programme that allows passengers to take charge of their own carbon footprints. Customers will be able to support one of two certified climate projects based in Guatemala and Peru as they are given the ability to offset one or several of their flights.

A view of a webpage entitled 'CO2labora'.
Passengers flying with Iberia Group will be able to offset their flights via the new programme | © Iberia Group

CO2labora: Iberia Group’s Newest Strategy for Attaining Sustainable Air Travel

The word ‘labora’ comes from the Spanish verb ‘laborar’ which means ‘to work’ or ‘to make an effort in achieving something’ – which suits this initiative pretty well. The programme works as follows: fliers with Iberia Group who want to offset their carbon footprint can select any of their past flights and by using Iberia’s carbon footprint calculator, customers can find out the equivalent monetary value of their flight’s emissions. This will then be donated as an investment into one of two certified climate projects working to create reserves and develop socially inclusive companies with indigenous tribes.

There are four significant variables that the carbon footprint calculator takes into consideration when calculating the total CO2 emissions of a flight. The first is the aircraft type, as its size and weight can affect overall fuel efficiency. This year, Iberia has been in the process of renewing its fleet to include more efficient aircraft, such as the Airbus A350-900, of which the group has gained five in total in the first nine months of the year.

Woman sitting in Business class on a flight. A tray of food sits in front and she holds a small bowl from which she is eating from.
Factors that affect a passenger’s carbon emission during a flight include aircraft type, the weather that day, operation efficiency and cabin type | © Iberia Group

The New Carbon-Offsetting Programme That Empowers The Passenger

Other factors that are taken into consideration when calculating a flight’s carbon emission are the weather, the overall efficiency of the flight and the customer’s cabin type. The direction of the wind accounts for a percentage of fuel consumption as more fuel would be used if the wind was travelling in a different direction to flight.

The efficiency of operations is an undergoing effort for the group. Iberia has launched initiatives that aim to reduce fuel consumption and increase the amount of sustainable air travel performed in the hopes of operating more efficiently. Whether a passenger flies in Economy, Business or First class also has an impact on overall emissions.

A Greener Future: The Two Climate Projects That Iberia Group Are Investing In

Customers will be able to choose between two climate projects to ensure the offsetting of their flights. The first is a project based in Izabal, Guatemala, where the creation of new nature reserves (as well as preserving existing ones) is promoted as the island faces deforestation and activities involving land that aren’t sustainable.

Izabal is the temporary home for over 120 species of migratory birds (birds that regularly migrate depending on the season). This fact makes the area a spot that requires conservation due to the amount of biodiversity present. With the contribution of Iberia Group passengers, the project will be able to promote authentic ecotourism within the area to generate income for the communities whilst simultaneously informing visitors of the importance of these ecosystems. As well as this, offsetting passengers will also help in providing resources to support community development and area monitoring.

Indigenous women stand with large skirts pulled to their sides within wooden room.
The project in Peru aims to support indigenous communities | © Jack Gordon for USAID/ Digital Development Communications

The second project customers can support is one in Peru, on the edge of the Peruvian Jungle. 119,837 hectares of land make up the tropical forest and seven communities that are part of the Shipibo-Conibo and Cacataibo tribes manage this large ecosystem. The project would help support the communities in maintaining the forest, promoting the sustainable use of communal lands and training members of the community in the management of natural resources.

Last year, in partnership with CHOOOSE, Iberia Group gave corporate clients the chance to access their carbon footprint records and the chance to offset their output, too. Although this initiative is not a new one, people from all cabins can now take part in this feature that goes towards a more sustainable way of flying.

What are your thoughts on Iberia’s programme? Let us know in the comments below!

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Kirsty Atek
Kirsty Atek
Kirsty Atek is a visual artist based in London who is interested in sustainability.

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