Harbour Air Marks Five Years of Going Carbon Neutral
By Matthew Hoekstra, Richmond Review
A Richmond-based airline is marking five years of flying the friendly skies carbon-neutral.
Harbour Air became the first airline in North America to go completely carbon neutral in both flight services and corporate operations in 2007.
Employees came up with the idea, and the now corporate policy keeps the environment at the forefront for everyone in the company, said Meredith Moll.
“We faced some resistance when we first started the program, but…people are recognizing that we are the most carbon-neutral way to get between Vancouver Island and the Mainland,” said Moll, Harbour Air’s vice-president of sales and marketing.
All flights include a carbon offset that is used to mitigate the environmental impact of emissions associated with the flight. Carbon offsets are purchased from B.C.-based Offsetters, which invests in renewable energy projects on behalf of the airline.
“We really try to focus our initiatives on local projects so that we’re benefiting all the communities in which we serve,” said Moll.
Projects funded by Harbour Air include a gas capture project at the Nanaimo Landfill and a geothermal installation at Deltaview Habilitation Centre.
Many airlines now offer customers the option of buying offsets for their flights, but Harbour Air ensures all its flights are carbon-neutral by building offsets into ticket prices.
Harbour Air already lays claim to having the most climate-friendly mode of travel across the Strait of Georgia, not including the emissions it offsets by purchasing carbon credits.
“We have heard back from some of our larger corporate clients who do choose us over our competition when they’re making their travel decisions because of what we’ve done and the initiatives we’ve put in place,” said Moll.
Earlier this year, the Vancouver Airport Authority awarded Harbour Air a Clear Skies Award for its commitment to improving environmental performance.
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