Calculate and reduce your flight's carbon footprint

Calculating your footprint

How we calculate the carbon footprint of a flight

1

First we calculate the distance between the two airports to give us the amount of kerosene the plane needs for the journey.

2

Next we add an extra 1.1 tons of kerosene to account for take off, landing and taxiing to and from the runway.

3

3.1kg of CO2 is created for every 1kg of fuel used. So we multiply the fuel mass above by 3.1 to estimate the CO2 emitted.

4

Finally we divide this amount by the average number of passengers for that type of flight to work out your personal contribution.

1

First we calculate the distance between the two airports to give us the amount of kerosene the plane needs for the journey.

2

Next we add an extra 1.1 tons of kerosene to account for take off, landing and taxiing to and from the runway.

3

3.1kg of CO2 is created for every 1kg of fuel used. So we multiply the fuel mass above by 3.1 to estimate the CO2 emitted.

4

Finally we divide this amount by the average number of passengers for that type of flight to work out your personal contribution.

First things first

Tips for reducing your flight-related emissions

While flying less is the most obvious way to cut flight emissions, there are loads of great hacks for cutting flight emissions in creative ways!

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Fly economy

Did you know that business & first-class flights generate more carbon emissions?

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Pack light

This can really reduce flight emissions! Less weight in the plane means less fuel.

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Eat local

You've flown in but your food doesn't have to! Explore local veggie delicacies.

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Stay sustainable

Make your accommodation when you get there a lovely, eco-friendly place.

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Transit green

Explore wonders closer to home. There are adventures just around the corner!

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Fly closer

Explore wonders closer to home. There are adventures just around the corner!

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Fly direct

All that up & down and in & out of airports consumes more fuel than direct travel.

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Don't fly

Take a month to travel there by camel. Kidding. But could you get there another way?

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Fly newest

If you can, pick an airline that's invested in newer, more fuel-efficient planes.

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Drop domestic

Take off and landing guzzle fuel, so domestic flights have high emissions per km.

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Tell everyone

Shout about your decision to reduce flight emissions. Others will be encouraged to do it too!

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Video meetings

Video meetings are the new normal! Take that meeting without going anywhere.

Beyond offsetting

How to truly earn a clean conscience

Coagou EcoTree

Offsetting is such a problematic term. At EcoTree, we aim to help people practically and financially towards a greener future. Individually, we'll never be able to completely offset or remove our footprint on the planet. We can't buy our way out of positive action going forward. But together, we can make a cleaner step in the right direction.

See our carbon manifesto
Lanrivain Forest, France
Your greener future

Owning trees in our forests to reduce your footprint

The first thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is reduce emissions. Here's why owning one of our trees should be the next thing...

biodiversity

We are foresters. Proper, certified, passionate ones! So we don't just plant trees, we nurture forests that provide vital sustainable timber resources.

biodiversity

EcoTree forests are vital carbon sinks, where trees are sustainably managed to contribute to the fight against climate change over their lifetime.

biodiversity

Biodiversity is at the heart of our forestry. By becoming a tree owner, you're preserving the forest home of many vital plants and animals.

biodiversity

The benefits are all yours! It's your tree, so it's your contribution to carbon capture, your biodiversity haven and your profit when the tree is cut.

Lanrivain Forest, France
The dirty details

How EcoTree calculates carbon emissions on flights

Coagou EcoTree
Lanrivain Forest, France

To give you a better idea of how we calculate your carbon footprint for a flight, let's take an example. Say you hop on a short flight of around 1000km that takes two hours. We add the fixed figure of 95km for approach and avoidance manoeuvres. 2.7kg of kerosene will be used every kilometre. That's 2.95 tonnes for the trip. We add 1.1 tonnes for take off, landing and taxiing, giving us 4.01 tonnes in total.

For every kg of kerosene consumed by the plane, 3.1kg of CO2 is produced. So in our example above, your flight would give a carbon footprint of 12.43 tonnes of CO2. 75% of that total comes from the flight, 25% for landing and take-off phases. When calculating short flights, we estimate 7% of the load is cargo. We increase this to 26% for long-haul flights. So for your flight example, 93% of the footprint (11.56 tonnes) should be split between the passengers.

If we assume 150 seats on aircraft used for short haul, and an occupancy rate of around 82%, we have 122 other passengers that you'd personally share the CO2 load with. To be fairer to all, we apply a multiplying factor to account for the fact that business and first class occupy proportionally more space than an economy-class seat. And when calculating long-haul flights, the amount of kerosene for take off, landing and used per km is bigger, but divided between more people.

Finally, a little note about dirty old NOx. Trees unfortunately don't absorb this greenhouse gas, which is also produced from the combustion of aeroplane fuel. So to compensate for this, we just aim to absorb even more CO2. We therefore double our CO2 total when factoring NOx into the equation.

So without NOx added, our footprint for this short flight is 94kg of CO2.

Start your green journey

Got carbon footprint questions

We're here on the other end of the internet, happy to answer questions about calcuting carbon footprints or our growing movement.

Ask away