Voluntary Carbon Offset Program
Thai Airways International is committed to taking part in the global effort to minimize aviation industry's impact on the environment. THAI has opted to adopt the IATA-administered carbon offset program, as it is a readily available tool that enables airlines to offer passengers the ability to compensate for their carbon emissions.
THAI is proud to introduce the Carbon Offset Program to passengers who want to offset the carbon dioxide generated from flying. We are pleased to offer you, our passengers, an opportunity to help the environment through our Carbon Offset program when you purchase tickets on THAI.
When booking flights via our THAI website, you will be able to decide whether you wish to compensate for the CO2 emissions. You will be able to see the amount of CO2 emitted for that particular flight, and see the related cost for the offset. As well, you can view details on where your offset contributions are invested.
Please be noted that carbon emission is calculated based on a methodology developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA)
Carbon Offset FAQs
Climate Change and Carbon Offsetting
How much environmental damage does flying cause ?
Aviation contributes around 2% of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. However, there is evidence to suggest that non- CO2 aircraft emissions at high altitude may have additional
global warming impacts. Research is ongoing to investigate the complex physical and chemical reactions that occur in the upper atmosphere.
What is carbon offsetting ?
Car driving and flying consume energy and produce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2) - which contributes to climate change. Governments, businesses and individuals are all responsible for reducing the carbon emissions they create.
You can compensate for your own emissions by paying someone to make an equivalent greenhouse gas savings. This is known as "carbon offsetting" and includes investment in projects, such as renewable energy from wind farms and hydro-plants.
More and more individuals and businesses are volunteering to offset their emissions. Offsetting is not a "cure" for climate change, as the most effective way to combat climate change is to reduce our emissions. However, if done in the right way, offsetting can reduce the impact of our actions and help raise awareness of the issue.
What is carbon offsetting for aviation ?
You can offset the emissions caused by your flying. The principle is that emissions for each flight are divided amongst the passengers. Each passenger can therefore pay to offset the emissions caused by their share of the flight's emissions.
Passengers can offset their emissions by investing in carbon reduction projects that generate carbon credits.
What are carbon credits ?
A carbon credit is a permit that represents one ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) that has either been removed from the atmosphere or saved from being emitted. Passengers can purchase carbon credits generated by certified renewable energy and energy efficient projects in developing countries that are verified to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
These carbon credits are then "cancelled" on an official register to ensure that they cannot be sold or used again. Carbon credits create a market for reducing greenhouse emissions by giving a monetary value to the cost of polluting the air.
There are two principal types of carbon credits: certified emissions reductions (CERs), which are backed by the UN, and voluntary emission reductions (VERs). VERs are backed by recognized quality standards such as the Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Gold Standard. VERs play an important role in emission projects with high sustainable development benefits.
THAI Offset Program has chosen only to invest in the UN-backed CER credits. THAI believes that at the moment CERs offer the highest quality offsets. Nonetheless, when a global VER registry is developed and endorsed by the UK's Offset Quality Assurance Scheme, the purchase of high quality VERs may also be offered. Carbon emission reduction projects have a finite life and THAI reserves the right to invest in projects with similar environmental and social benefits, if credits in the original project are no longer available.
Is offsetting the carbon emissions from my flight compulsory ?
No, it is entirely voluntary. As a passenger, you are free to offset any or none of your flights.
Carbon offsetting should be considered as a tool that an individual or an organization can use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other methods include selecting renewable energy options, improving energy efficiency at home and work, cycling to work, recycling and conserving energy by turning off lights, turning down the heating or up for air conditioning.
Has the IATA carbon calculator carbon calculator been independently endorsed ?
Yes, The UK's Offset Program Quality Assurance Scheme has reviewed and approved both the methodology and the airline's data input. Once a year an airline partner in the IATA Offset Program is subject to independent auditing by the Scheme to ensure valid data entry and compliance with the approved methodology.
How often is the carbon calculator data updated?
It is updated annually but if a new aircraft enters the fleet or a new route is flown it will be updated more frequently. The UK's Offset Program Quality Assurance Scheme's Approval Body indicates that, for a new route, the airline can extrapolate carbon emissions from similar routes (aircraft types and distance) or await the collection of route-specific information over a period of one year. THAI has chosen not to offer passenger offsets on new routes until supporting data has been collected and approved.
How is cargo carried in the hold of an aircraft accounted for when calculating the passengers’ share of the emissions on a route ?
As part of the calculation method, the IATA tool subtracts the emissions associated with cargo, which may be carried on a passenger flight so only the emissions attributable to the passengers are provided
Why are the emissions larger if I travel in a premium class (business or first)?
Premium class seating configurations take up more space and weight on an aircraft than economy class seating. Based on ICAO recommendations, the emissions associated with premium class travel are estimated as double those in economy.
How is the type of aircraft taken into account in the carbon calculator methodology ?
Different aircraft have different characteristics (fuel efficiency, seat configurations, etc.) and, for those routes in which two or more aircraft types are used, the weighted averages are taken into account.
How are the emissions calculated for travel on multiple flights?
The emissions for each leg of the journey are calculated and added together to give total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for the entire trip.
Does the IATA carbon calculator take into account the impact of non-CO2 gases at altitude ?
Research by Nobel Prize winning, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicated that non-carbon dioxide (CO2) gases such as water vapor (condensation trails) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), released at altitude by aircraft have undefined but additional global warning impacts beyond those of the CO2 emissions alone. When the international scientific community agrees on the emission factors for non-CO2 gases released by aircraft and the UN endorses this, the IATA carbon calculator will be updated.
Does the airline charge an administration fee or mark-up on the offset price ?
Unlike many others offset programs, THAI does not charge an administration fee or mark-up on the offset price paid by the passenger. THAI recognizes that passengers are making a voluntary donation in order to improve the environment and, hence, the airline should not profit from such contributions.
In fact, all administration costs involved in the program including website re-development, carbon emission data collection and carbon purchasing are borne by the airline.
Why do different offset providers give different prices to offset the same emissions ?
The price of carbon offsets is related to two main factors: market conditions and quality. Carbon is a commodity so when demand is high, during periods of strong economic growth, offset prices rise and vice-versa.
In order to ensure strong passenger participation, the THAI offset program only invests in offsets of the highest quality that have been delivered and independently verified by the UN. Other offset schemes invest in projects that have not successfully delivered certified emission reductions and/or have not been subject to the same levels of authentication and verification.
Why does the price for offsetting the same journey change over time ?
Carbon credits are a tradable commodity and, hence, the price per ton reflects the cost on the date the credits are purchased. Carbon credit prices change due to market conditions and are also subject to fluctuating currency exchange rates. THAI will attempt to ensure that these prices changes are kept to a minimum.
Can I get a refund if I purchase an offset but subsequently do not take a flight ?
No, it is recognized that the purchasing of an offset by a passenger is a charitable donation and, hence, if a passenger pays for an offset but does not travel, this offset should be "carried over" for a subsequent flight and no offset is purchased.
Offset Program Approval
Has the offset program been independently approved ?
THAI offset program has been approved the UK's Carbon Offset Approval Scheme, the only independent offset program quality assurance scheme. The Program has been shown to meet the requirements of the scheme including environmental integrity, emission calculation methodology, clear and transparent pricing, accurate marketing material and consumer information. In addition, THAI offset program is permitted to use the approved offset Quality Mark.
Carbon Offset Portfolio
Funds collected by through our optional Carbon Offset Program will be contributed to these projects
Thailand : Korat Waste To Energy Project
Sanguan Wongse Industries (SWI) is a leading tapioca starch manufacturer in Thailand. Tapioca starch is used throughout South East Asian cuisine as a thickening agent and the processing facility at Korat, Central Thailand, is the largest of its kind in the country. A bi-product of the production process is wastewater containing organic material from the processed cassava plants. This is typically stored in open wastewater lagoons, producing significant quantities of methane-a powerful greenhouse gas. The project involves the installation of an Anaerobic Baffled Reactor (ABR) which prevents methane being released into the atmosphere and uses the biogas to create heat to dry the wet tapioca starch to the final dry starch product. Using this energy is displacing over 9.8 million litres of fuel oil per year previously employed to dry the starch product. Excess biogas will be used to produce electricity and will displace electricity from the Thai NationalGrid, which is currently dominated by fossil-fuel power. The plant will accommodate a total of up to 5MW of electricity generating capacity.
Additional Benefits :
o Encouraging other starch producers in Thailand to adopt energy efficient practices
o Acting as an important capacity building project, national and locally
o Creating employment opportunities
o Making use of waste material that otherwise gives rise to a considerable hazard
i.e. flammable methane rich biogas emitted into the surrounding air
o Providing additional value for cassava production through energy production
Brazil : Braco Norte IV Small Hydro
The project is located in a remote region in the northern portion of Mato Grosso State, North Eastern Brazil. Mato Grosso is one of the fastest growing economic regions of Brazil, mainly because of the activities of the export oriented agribusiness. As a result, the electricity market in the area is forecast to grow at 5% p.a. The region was connected to the national grid in 2003 but losses occur frequently due to the very long distances between the gravity centre of the system and the region's towns.
Bra?o Norte IV is a small run-of-river hydroelectricity project with 14MW capacity, running off the Bra?o Norte River, a subsidiary of the Amazon River. By adding local electricity sources to the grid, transmission losses are reduced. The project improves the supply of electricity with consistent, clean, renewable hydroelectric power while contributing to regional and local development.
Additional Benefits :
o Supplies reliable source of clean renewable electricity
o Transmission losses in the grid are reduced
o Reduces GHGs by avoiding electricity generation from fossil fuel sources