The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the oneworld Alliance have recently embarked on a collaborative effort to enhance the accuracy of CO2 emission calculations in the aviation industry. This initiative involves all 13 member airlines of the oneworld Alliance, who have committed to sharing their operational data with IATA’s CO2 Connect emissions calculator.
The airlines participating in this venture include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, and SriLankan Airlines.
Introduced in June 2022, the CO2 Connect platform aims to leverage specific airline data, such as fuel burn, belly cargo, and load factors, to provide precise CO2 emission calculations per flight. The tool currently supports calculations for 74 different aircraft types, which represent about 98% of the active global passenger fleet. Additionally, it incorporates traffic data from 881 aircraft operators, covering approximately 93% of worldwide air travel.
Traveler Insights: A Disconnect Between Awareness and Knowledge of Carbon Footprints
The CO2 Connect data is accessible to various industry stakeholders, including airlines, travel management companies, and other partners, through an API, flat file, or airline sales channels. This widespread availability is particularly relevant in light of a recent opinion poll indicating a significant gap in traveler awareness regarding the carbon footprint of their flights. While 90% of travelers acknowledge their responsibility to be informed about flight-related carbon emissions, only a minority are currently aware of these details. This situation underscores a growing expectation for airlines and travel agents to proactively provide this information.
Upcoming Features: CO2 Connect’s Expansion into Corporate and Cargo Reporting
As part of its ongoing development, CO2 Connect is set to introduce additional features. These include a corporate reporting solution to facilitate accurate CO2 emissions reporting for business travel and plans for CO2 compensation solutions next year to assist airlines and other industry partners. Furthermore, a specialized cargo calculator is slated for release in 2024 to meet the demands of shippers and freight forwarders for accurate emissions data based on actual airline performance.
This collaborative endeavor between IATA and the oneworld Alliance marks a significant step in the aviation industry’s ongoing efforts to provide transparency and accuracy in CO2 emission reporting, reflecting a broader commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable practices.
IATA Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Chief Economist, Marie Owens Thomsen said: “travelers want to make informed choices regarding their CO2 footprint and IATA CO2 Connect set out to provide CO2 emission calculations based on operational data. We are delighted that oneworld will become the first airline alliance to join this initiative, bringing in its 13 member airlines as data contributors. Their decision underscores the importance of the industry’s objective of providing consistency and alignment in this field.”