Silverjet reviews carbon offset scheme
3 September 2009
Following the Government’s decision earlier this month to double air passenger duty (APD) for business-class only airlines Silverjet announced today that it is to offer customers the choice to opt-out of its own industry-leading carbon offsetting programme when booking a seat on the airline.
Silverjet remains extremely proud of and committed to its CarbonNeutral programme which has to date seen the airline offset 100 per cent of its customer flight emissions, contributing in excess of £550,000 to a range of environmental projects identified in conjunction with The CarbonNeutral Company.
Lawrence Hunt, Silverjet CEO, said: “Offering customers the ability to opt-out of paying to offset their carbon emissions via our programme has been a difficult decision for us and not one we have made lightly.
“However, following an internal review and advice from environmental experts, we feel that given the doubling of APD as well as growing recognition for the ‘polluter pays’ principle, it is right for us to offer an opt-out option for our own carbon offsetting scheme and let customers decide whether they wish to pay the extra amount.
“We sincerely hope that customers will remain opted-in to our programme and we can continue to invest their funds in appropriate environmental schemes, as currently there is no guarantee offered by the Government to this effect from any of the monies they raise from APD.
“We have stated on many occasions our deep disappointment with the APD levy on customers and believe it is a blunt instrument. Since we announced our launch in 2006 APD has increased 300 per cent (from £20 to £80) and to date the Government has provided no evidence that the £1 billion of funds raised from the duty are being used to offset aviation emissions. We have written to the Chancellor and Department for Transport again this week to express these concerns and request that they consider a number of alternative options we have put forward on several occasions.
“We remain fully committed to acting in a responsible way towards managing the impact of flight emissions on the environment and will continue to engage regularly with our customers, The CarbonNeutral Company and other environmental experts to ensure the projects we are supporting are the most advanced on offer.”
Sue Welland, Founder and Creative Director of the Carbon Neutral Company, said: “We support Silverjet’s decision to offer customers the opportunity to opt-out of its CarbonNeutral scheme as it is in line with our belief in the ‘polluter pays’ principle.
“Silverjet has the most advanced offsetting scheme of any airline in the world and we look forward to continuing our strong relationship in the future as we continue to identify the most relevant and sophisticated projects around the globe to support environmental protection.”
Customers who purchase tickets on Silverjet from Wednesday 24 October will be able to opt-out of the offsetting charge when they book on the airline’s website Flysilverjet.com.