Carbon footprint study results we can do something with

Brighter Planet, the environmental group that recently teamed up with MasterCard to offer corporate customers carbon footprint reports, is always looking for a better way to track and impact carbon footprint accounting. After studying more than 9 billion airline passenger departures, Brighter Planet found huge energy efficiency variables on different flights on the same routes.

Brighter Planet’s carbon footprint study determined that “energy efficiency per passenger mile varies tenfold across the entire industry,” CEO Patti Prairie told The firm is proposing an advanced means for corporations to calculate the carbon footprint of air travel that includes much more information than their current standard.

Factoring aircraft fuel economy, passenger load factors, seat density, freight share and flight distances for more than 130 million flights between 2000 and 2010, Brighter Planet came up with some startling results.

Some flights are more energy efficient than others flying the same route.
“We found significant savings opportunities-the companies could reduce carbon emissions across the routes we analyzed by up to 40 percent if they switched from the least efficient to most efficient flights,” according to the report.

Often, switching to a lower carbon flight costs the same or less too. Right now, the trick is knowing which flight is best and offers the lower carbon choice. Soon, that will be easier to do.

Brighter Planet’s Careplane software plugin calculates carbon output from flight search results generated on travel sites Kayak, Orbitz and Hipmumk accessed using Google Chrome or Firefox with the Careplane add-on installed. Careplane inserts carbon footprints as we search offering the information for our consideration when making a buying decision. sums it up nicely: “Choosing a greener flight doesn’t just reduce your footprint. As more people start factoring sustainability into travel decisions, it creates a powerful market signal that consumers take airline efficiency seriously.”

Flickr photo by heidielliott

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