The company is calling for a set of common metrics to report carbon emissions to ensure greater transparency so “customers can make informed decisions about which airlines to choose”.

Backing the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) proposal to develop a standardised methodology for carbon reporting, TUI’s director of sustainable development Jane Ashton, says a methodology would also help the Government in setting appropriate airline taxes.

“If all airlines were reporting on carbon emissions using consistent metrics and sources of measurement then we believe the Government could start to use this information to adjust taxes that they are currently imposing on airlines,” said Ashton.

As a significant emitter of carbon, the travel and aviation industry has stepped up action on its environmental impact. This has also been driven by a raised awareness amongst customers who are now basing the environmental status of an airline on their travel decisions.

Research conducted last year by TUI Travel found that 50% of customers felt it was very important that their holiday company be more transparent about what they are doing to reduce their impact on the environment and to support local communities.

Two thirds of customers stated the importance of issues, carbon emissions, climate change and pollution.

Ashton added: “It’s clear to us that our customers are starting to take this kind of information into account when booking holidays, which is why we believe we should be doing more as an individual company as well as an industry to make this type of information accessible and easy to understand.”

In the latest Sustainable Holidays Report, TUI Travel announced hitting its target of reducing absolute and relative carbon emissions by 6% two years early, and has now set a target of reducing TUI Travel’s airlines’ per passenger carbon emissions by 9% by 2015.

Leigh Stringer

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