Sustainable aviation is within reach – just look at Ryanair

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The global aviation industry is in crisis and it’s far from over 

For over two years now, we have learned how a new and constantly mutating virus can change life as we know it and take almost all certainties away – literally overnight.

Among all affected industries, the aviation industry was probably disrupted the most. Piggybacking on aviation’s ability to connect cities, countries and continents, the virus was able to reach even the most remote places of our planet, travelling as a stowaway. When governments around the world tried to prevent – or rather slow down – the spread of Covid 19, the skies became plane-free and airports turned into ghost towns. 

Luckily, however, with the vaccination rollout and increasing herd immunity in large parts of the world, the pandemic’s end seems in sight and air travel is (slowly) growing back to the pre-covid numbers. 

Unfortunately, Covid has required our entire attention and people have forgotten about another crisis looming. A crisis which will be far deadlier and much more disruptive than the pandemic – the climate crisis. 

Airlines can make a real difference with their emissions, they just need the will

During Covid, we have learned that all we can do is sit at home and wait for some bright-minded scientists to develop a vaccine, which offers the only way out of the crisis. The climate crisis, however, will not be solved by only a few, as it will take every one of us to keep this planet habitable and the global climate below 1.5 degrees. 

The media and environmental activists such as Fridays for Future, Greenpeace and Extinction Rebellion often identify the aviation industry as one of the biggest ‘climate killers’ worldwide. The result is flygskam (flight shame) which is – for those who don’t know – the shameful feeling when flying on an aircraft that burns fossil fuels and emits huge amounts of CO2. This leads to a bad image for an industry that is crucial for a globalised world. While aviation is not the single cause of the planet heating up, it is undoubtedly clear that things need to change.

How to fly green (literally)

The good news is that the solution to effectively combat climate change in the immediate short-term is already here! We won’t need to wait for scientists who come up with bold new ideas this time, as the solution is thousands of years old: Industrial hemp. 

Cultivated around the world for centuries, industrial hemp has the ability to sequester huge amounts of CO2 quickly, safely and permanently, while providing plenty of ecological and economical co-benefits. At Hempoffset, we use industrial hemp’s superpower and offer the carbon credits for sale. Not only are these offsets officially verified and certified – they also reduce CO2 measurably in near real-time. 

Ryanair is not just about low fares

Ryanair’s Sustainability Report 2022 is a very interesting read (you can read the full report here) and shows real commitment to minimising CO2 emissions, with a pathway to zero emissions by 2050.

Ryanair Boeing 737 in flight.

Among Ryanair’s 2022 activities:

  • Took delivery of 73 new Boeing 737-8200s (AKA MAX) for peak summer 2022 which are 16% more fuel efficient than the previous generation and carry 4% more passengers.
  • Entered their first SAF (sustainable aviation fuels) partnership with Neste, and supported Trinity College Dublin in the calculation of SAF Lifecycle Emissions.
  • Continued their engagement at the EU level and with individual member states to make the case for Single European Sky.
  • Ryanair flights are covered by both ETS and CORSIA (offset schemes).

Today’s air travellers demand reliability, punctuality, and an airfare for a reasonable price. But they also demand sustainable operations. Airlines can offer their customers a mechanism to effectively offset their carbon footprint via Hempoffset, which operates as globally as the airlines themselves. 

Finally, industrial hemp offers a path out of aviation’s dependence on fossil fuels.

Learn more

Read Ryanair’s comprehensive Sustainability Report 2022 here.

Single European Sky initiative, could reduce aviation’s emissions by a whopping 10% by using joined-up thinking.

CORSIA offset scheme for aviation.

Our post on flight shame, with aviation offset calculator tool.

Image credits

Aircraft over forest – Photo by Sam Willis:

Ryanair plane in flight – Photo by RON ROV:

Airplane window sunset view – Photo by Stefan Stefancik:

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Felix Roick
Chief Operations Officer at Hempoffset | Website

Felix is Hempoffset's aviation and agriculture expert. He brings the two fields together to offer sustainability services to our aviation customers, with a real carbon offset service for customers and operations, and a pathway to net zero.

Share now, sow the seeds of love...

By Felix Roick

Felix is Hempoffset's aviation and agriculture expert. He brings the two fields together to offer sustainability services to our aviation customers, with a real carbon offset service for customers and operations, and a pathway to net zero.

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