Using the CarbonChoice tool, cargo customers with large-scale, regular shipments will be able to receive customised emissions reports with the option to offset their company’s carbon footprint through the airline’s partner, Sustainable Travel International.

United Airlines said it was introducing the tool to assist its corporate customers in incorporating carbon-neutral business practices into their overall business strategy.

“United cargo shippers consistently tell us they’re focused on understanding their company’s environmental impact, and they’ve asked us specifically for a large-scale program like this,” said the company’s vice president of cargo, Jan Krems.

Its managing director of environmental affairs and sustainability Angela Foster-Rice added: “Reducing United’s emissions through our fuel efficiency programs and helping our customers offset carbon emissions are some of the best ways United can be an environmentally responsible airline.”

In 2013, United Airlines became one of the first airlines to offer an online cargo carbon calculator that customers could use to enter their individual shipment data and track emissions.

The new tool works by recognising weight, flight data related to aircraft type, routes and seasonality, and applies a next-generation CO2 emissions calculation methodology informed by the International Air Transport Association’s recommended practice for airlines to calculate CO2 emissions from freight transport.

The airline has also partnered with Sustainable Travel International to ensure that all of its carbon offset projects have obtained independent third-party verification and are registered with recognised carbon offset programs.

Last year the company was named Air Transport World’s Eco-Airline of the Year due to its accomplishments in fuel efficiency, responsible waste management, and for its leadership in developing sustainable alternative aviation fuels.

In 2013 it reduced CO2 emissions by more than 925,000 metric tonnes and exceeded its goal of reducing fuel consumption by 85 million gallons. It also has a partnership with AltAir Fuels to bring commercial-scale, cost-competitive renewable jet fuel to its Los Angeles hub later this year.

Earlier this year it became the first airline in the world to fly with split scimitar winglet technology that cuts fuel consumption by up to an additional 2% over the airline’s existing fuel-saving winglet technology. Since 1994 United Airlines has improved its fuel efficiency by 33%.

Maxine Perella

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