Airline industry faces a number of challenges in trying to cut down their carbon footprint. Nonetheless, there are a myriad of opportunities that when adopted, the industry will ultimately curb the problem. Among the proposed ones include using bio-fuel, develop plans to effectively and efficient use energy, reduce number of flights among others. It is recommended that a blend of these strategies be dopted. will help greatly.
The report is an in-depth examination of how airline industries can reduce their carbon footprint. By definition, carbon footprint refers to the amount of green house gases such as carbon dioxide that an individual, event or organization releases to the environment. It is worth noting that the gases that constitute the green house gases are released during transportation, clearing of land, fuels manufacturing of goods and services plus production as well as consumption of food (Nielsen, 2006).
With regards to the country green policy, the 2007 white paper states that the policy will aim at putting the United Kingdom on a path to reduce carbon dioxide emission by 60% come 2050; this is with a real progress by 2020 (Caruso, 2009). The policy is very significant as it will help curb the problem of global warming, ensure that energy which is an essential part of economic growth will be available to the future generation and more importantly it will help in providing citizens with clean, efficient and cost effective energy (Wackernagel & Rees, 1995). For air line industry to cut down their carbon footprint, it is necessary for them to take a proactive approach. This will allow them to come up with their own strategies that will fit their strategic plan. The approach will also ensure that bad things will not happen as they will be addressed at an infant stage before exploding.
Steps to be taken
According to Cahill, 2010 one major challenge facing airline industry in their quest to reduce carbon footprint is the exponential growth of passengers. Additionally, the industry lack internal experts who are well versed with environmental matters. Similarly, low energy density of bio-fuel put the industry at an awkward situation. It has also been noted that a strategy that is suitable today might not be appropriate in the near future, thus money can be invested into a plan that might not yield results in tomorrow.
As suggested by Difiglio et al, 1990 despite the mentioned challenges, there are a number of opportunities that the industry can capitalize in their desire to cut down on emission of GHGs. One major way is to come up with strategies that will help in efficient consumption of fuel. For instance, the industry might develop engines that effectively burn fuel so that the amount of CO2 emitted is in small amounts (Wackernagel & Rees, 1995). Additionally it is worth noting that a lot of energy is consumed in preserving food. Efficient use of energy will help in cutting down industry’s carbon footprint. Similarly the manner with which food is served might play a bigger role in reducing emission of GHGs. Using materials that can be recycled is a plus. Similarly, foods that can be served and eaten without use of spoons or fork will also help in cutting down carbon dioxide emission (Kollmuss et al, 2008).
Additionally, when the industry seeks to reduce the number as well as distance of their flights, it goes without saying that the emitted green house gases will reduce (Demerjian, 2008). More importantly, there is need to step up the efforts of using carbon-free bio-fuels. With this, it is apparent that emission of green house gases will be a thing of the past. Lastly digitizing the print materials such as magazines, catalogue among others will help in addressing the problem. The major problem of the strategies is that customers will be compelled to pay extra cash for a greener environment to be realized (Cahill, 2010).
Conclusion and recommendation
It is evident from the review of carbon footprint reduction in airline industry that there are a number of challenges. However, there are major opportunities that if rationally adopted, can results in a positive manner of cutting down emission of green house gases. The strategies include; digitization of print material, using alternative sources of energy such as bio-fuel, reduces miles of number of flights among others. Having in mind that the strategies change with time, it is recommended that the industry tries their best to incorporate as many strategies as possible. This will help and counterbalancing the weaknesses of the other plan. It is worth noting that economic growth will be sustainable for the long-term. However, airlines will experience reduced margin profits.
Cahill, H 2010, “Are the Airlines Doing Enough to Reduce their Carbon Emissions?” Web.
Caruso, L. 2009, “What Are The Best Strategies For Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions In Transportation?” Web.
Demerjian, D 2008, “Its Back against the Wall, Airline Industry Looks to Come Clean” Web.
Difiglio, C, Duleep, G, & Greene, D 1990, “Cost Effectiveness of Future Fuel Economy Improvements,” Energy Journal, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 65-86.
Kollmuss, A, Zink, K, & Polycarp, C 2008, “Making Sense of the Voluntary Carbon Market: A Comparison of Carbon Offset Standards.” Stockholm Environmental Institute and Tricorona. Web.
Nielsen, R. 2006, The little green handbook, Picador: New York.
Wackernagel, M & Rees, W 1995, Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth. New Society Publishers: Philadelphia, PA.