Online travel agency FlightPlanners.co.uk has introduced a 'Carbon Zero' programme.
The facility allows customers booking online or through the Freedom Travel Group members call centre in the Isle of Wight to make an additional payment to be used for managed forestry or energy efficiency programmes. These effectively offset the amount of carbon dioxide their flight will produce, according to the company.
The customer contribution option has been created as an op-out, rather than opt-in scheme, in an effort to encourage customers to use the facility.
The calculation of the amount of CO2 and the offset price - carried out by co2balance.com and validated by Bournemouth Universitys School of Conservation Sciences - is based on the departure and arrival airports and is seamlessly integrated into the online booking process.
FlightPlanners.co.uk managing director George Georgiou said: --We are providing our customers with the opportunity to offset their CO2 emissions in full or, in a first for the online travel industry, they can opt to offset a lesser amount more in line with their budget.
He added: --We are extremely pleased to be leading the way in raising awareness and providing environmentally friendly options for customers, whilst at the same time maintaining consumer choice without hindering our competitiveness.
Report by Phil Davies
Monday, September 4, 2006