Greener and cleaner: carbon offsetting for people and planet
Fly Cathay, Fly Greener
Imagine flying to Australia to see the Great Barrier Reef but all the sea life has gone; or arriving in Bangkok to find the most beautiful temples have been flooded. Dream destinations are under threat from climate change, which is why we developed a plan to address it.
At Cathay, our plan to combat climate change includes buying more efficient planes and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – things we can do ourselves. Since 2007, we have been helping our customers to do their part as well.
We know that individuals, schools and businesses are trying to make greener choices. Reducing your carbon footprint is a big part of this. Fly Greener is our voluntary carbon offsetting programme that customers can sign up to when booking their flights, or any time after their trip.
Burning jet fuel releases carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Through Fly Greener customers can opt to pay a small fee that goes towards projects that offset the impact of those emissions. Our projects not only reduce emissions, they also help people in developing countries by improving their health and more.
Bondhu Chula Cookstoves in Bangladesh
Less than 20% of the 35 million Bangladeshi households have access to clean cooking. Traditionally, they cook on “three-stone” open fires which release smoke and harmful pollutants. These lead to nearly 50,000 premature deaths a year and cause millions to suffer from respiratory tract infections.
The Bondhu Chula, or the “friendly stove”, is designed to ensure more efficient and cleaner home cooking. Fuel consumption can be reduced by approximately 50%, leaving families with more disposable incomes and better health. This project also promotes job opportunities by working with over 5,000 local entrepreneurs for stove production, distribution and after-sales services.
Solar water heating in India
An estimated 240 million people in India are without electricity. Those who are connected rely primarily on fossil fuel-based electricity for water heating, which can be harmful to both the environment and personal health.
Against this backdrop, solar water heaters aim to provide households, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as institutions with an in-house hot water supply fuelled by renewable energy. Through replacing carbon-intensive electricity grid with solar energy, this project is estimated to reduce approximately 120,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. With all solar products manufactured domestically in Bangalore, plenty of employment opportunities are created for local residents. The project also facilitates the installation of new energy infrastructures and scales up its application within the country.
Sichuan household biodigesters in China
The rural areas of Sichuan Province are one of the most underdeveloped regions in China. To improve the quality of rural homes, this project distributes small-scale biogas plants that enable low-income householders to convert animal waste into a clean energy source and high-quality organic fertiliser. The plants digest manure and recover methane by-products (i.e. biogas) through the process of anaerobic digestion, saving households’ money on fuels and fertiliser.
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 800,000 tonnes per year, the project improves air quality and sanitation for rural communities. Prior to such installations, household members used solid fuels like coal for energy needs, while animal waste is typically disposed into surrounding water bodies or drainage systems in the local villages.
Henan solar-powered cookers in China
About half of the population in rural China still relies on fossil fuels for cooking and heating. The extensive use of coal, combined with poor stove design and low-quality manufacturing, has exposed rural communities to multiple environmental hazards such as air pollution.
Making use of ample sunshine in Henan Province, this project involves the distribution of 50,000 solar-powered cookstoves to the underprivileged across eight towns. These solar cookers displace traditional inefficient coal-fired stoves to heat up, cook or pasteurise food and drinks, significantly reducing fuel consumption and bringing health and financial benefits.
The next time you fly Cathay, Fly Greener and help us fight climate change, protect destinations and promote sustainable development around the world!
Check out our carbon offset calculator to see how affordable making a difference can be!