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Air Canada helps business achieve green targets

July 30, 2008, Montreal, Que.  - Air Canada, in conjunction with Zerofootprint, is extending its popular carbon offset program to incorporate clients to make it easier than ever for businesses to meet their green objectives.


July 30, 2008
By Administrator

July 30, 2008, Montreal, Que.  – Air Canada, in conjunction with Zerofootprint, is extending its popular carbon offset program to incorporate clients to make it easier than ever for businesses to meet their green objectives.

“Air Canada is the country’s preferred airline for business travel so it is uniquely positioned to help environmentally-conscious companies achieve their green objectives. With Zerofootprint, we are expanding our carbon offset program to provide companies easy-to-use and flexible options to offset all or portions of the carbon emissions resulting from their business travel,” said Charles McKee, Vice President, Marketing, at Air Canada. “We are building on the success of our collaboration with Zerofootprint which, in little more than a year, has already seen Air Canada customers voluntarily offset 9417 tonnes of carbon, the equivalent of taking 2,331 cars off the road for a year.”

“We believe this program will be very attractive to corporations since carbon presents a new and fundamental challenge to business. More and more companies are starting to measure and manage their carbon footprint due to public demand, employee engagement, shareholder interest, and newly defined sustainability goals,” said Deborah Kaplan, Executive Director at Zerofootprint.

Air Canada’s corporate customers will have access to a dedicated and secure application at www.zerofootprintflights.com that will provide a customized solution for offsetting carbon emissions generated by business travel. Corporations will be able to upload travel data easily, select a percentage of travel to offset, purchase offsets online, and have the ability to access and review their past transactions.

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In addition, Air Canada and Zerofootprint are also expanding the number of carbon offset projects to support. At present, Air Canada customer carbon offsets are achieved through a forest restoration program in Maple Ridge, B.C., but corporate customers will have three other certified offset programs to choose from to better complement their corporate environmental objectives.

These include:

•    A landfill gas recovery project in Niagara Falls, Ont., that captures methane so it can be converted into power for both the landfill facility and a nearby mill.

•    A tire recycling program in Trois Rivieres, Que., that uses old tires to produce a variety of post-consumer goods.

•    The Run of River Hydro Dam upgrade in Ottawa, Ont., that will see a 100-year old hydro dam refurbished so it can provide clean and renewable power. (Available starting October 2008).

Air Canada and Zerofootprint intend to make all these programs available to individual, retail customers in the near future.

Carbon offsets are just one way Air Canada is minimizing the environmental impact of its operations. Among other things, the airline has: instituted an active weight reduction program and adopted more fuel-efficient procedures for take-offs and landings; reduced engine usage on the ground during taxiing and ground delays and cut fuel consumption in the air with more efficient flight plans; expanded its on-board recycling program; employed hybrid technology for ground support vehicles; and continually upgraded its fleet, most recently with the addition of new Embraer and Boeing 777 aircraft, with a resulting 28 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency since 1990 and 82 per cent since 1970.

In addition, Air Canada is a lead participant in a voluntary agreement between Canadian carriers and the Canadian government to achieve fuel efficiency improvements of 1.1 per cent per year over the period from 1990 to 2012. Through the International Air Transport Association and the International Civil Aviation Organization, Air Canada is working globally with other carriers on environmentally-friendly reforms of Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems. One example is an initiative through ICAO, where a current proposal to better optimize the European ATM network could result in annual carbon dioxide savings of about 12 million tons, equivalent to removing 3 million cars from European roads.