Virgin Blue has become the first airline in Australia to have a comprehensive and certified carbon offset program that forms part of its integrated strategy to address environmental impact issues, including greenhouse gas emissions.
The program, which has been certified by the Australian Government under the Australian Greenhouse Office's Greenhouse Friendly initiative, provides the airline and its passengers with the opportunity to neutralise emissions. Guests on Virgin Blue can offset their flights for as little as A$1. Monies collected via the optional carbon offset program will be used to purchase abatement from projects in Australia and New Zealand.
Virgin Blue Chief Executive, Brett Godfrey said, "As an airline company, we are well aware of the challenge to balance the demand and growth of air travel while at the same time actively working to reduce aircraft emissions. The introduction of this program is a significant step in the right direction and one we hope other airlines will follow."
Offsetting flights on Virgin Blue will occur by purchasing abatement from the Australian Greenhouse Office Approved Greenhouse Friendly Abatement Projects. While offsetting on Pacific Blue or Polynesian Blue flights, will occur by purchasing abatement from Gold Standard projects in New Zealand that are endorsed by the New Zealand Government.
Virgin Blue has also signed up for the Australian Greenhouse Challenge Plus Program, joining nearly 800 other companies committed to improving energy efficiencies and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Virgin Blue will measure, monitor and report on its overall emissions as it aims to reduce them year on year.