Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Climate Change Question 8

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Question

Does the brand (company) give customers the option of compensating for their CO2 emissions for flights or other means of transport, when booking a travel product?

Dutch version: Biedt het merk (bedrijf) aan consumenten de mogelijkheid om CO2 te compenseren wanneer zij een reisproduct met een vlucht boeken of een andere manier van transport?

German version: Bietet der Reiseanbieter seinen Kunden die Möglichkeit, um den Emissionsausstoß der gebuchten An- und Abreise zum Urlaubsort zu kompensieren?

References

Compensating for the greenhouse gas emissions that result from a business trip or holiday is becoming more common and more accepted in the sector. In fact, as there is often no 'green' alternative to high-speed long-distance transportation, CO2 compensation is the only option if you want to neutralize the impact of your travels. Only informing consumers about compensating for the carbon emissions generated from their trips is not enough, Tour Operators and Travel Agencies should provide the option of compensating on the booking form to make it easy for consumers. This also means that payment for compensation must be handled by the travel organisation.

There are many organizations that offer voluntary compensation schemes. They use the funds raised to invest in renewable energy projects, such as wind farms, or in tree-planting projects (or similar carbon sinks). There is some debate about the value/efficacy of compensation, as these projects may not always have 'added' value (i.e. the project would exist without the donation. For more information, read this note on the concept of “additionality”).

Acknowledged companies that are recognized for compensating for CO2 emissions by planting trees:

Acknowledged companies (recognized and approved by the WWF) that compensate for CO2 emissions by offering carbon credits from renewable energy projects that offer “additionality”:

Ranking guidelines

Reward a 'Yes' to companies that give the consumer an option during the booking process for adding CO2 compensation to their booking. (This will be offered through e-booking and booking forms, so you should actually attempt to book a travel product online).

A 'Yes' is also rewarded when CO2 compensation is already included in the sales price (see Tour Operators and Travel Agencies Climate Change Question 9).


Yes:

  • When booking, [brand] offers the consumer the option of compensating for CO2 emissions via ...
  • CO2 compensation via [Green Seat / Trees for Travel / Verified Carbon Standard / …] is included in the sales prices.

No:

  • The [brand] only provides information about CO2 compensation, but does not offer to handle CO2 compensation on behalf of the consumer.
  • [Brand] explicitly chooses not to give information about CO2 compensation, see ...

?:

  • [Brand] does not communicate any information on CO2 compensation on its website or during the booking process.