Malaysia Airlines launches passenger carbon offset programme and shows interest in using jet biofuels
Fri 13 June 2008 – Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has launched a voluntary carbon offset programme, ‘Towards a Greener Future’, that allows customers of the airline and its subsidiaries Firefly and MASwings to pledge a contribution towards reducing the effects of CO2. At the launch ceremony, the Managing Director and CEO of MAS, Dato’ Sri Idris Jala, expressed an enthusiasm to use biofuels.
Proceeds from the offset programme will be channelled to trust fund managed by the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM), which acts on behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. Funds will be used on selected UN-sanctioned forest conservation projects in Malaysia.
The agreement was signed on behalf of FRIM by YB Datuk Suboh bin Mohd Yasin, and Captain Dr Ooi Teong Siew, Malaysia Airlines’ General Manager, Corporate Safety, Security, Health & Environment (see photo). The ceremony was also attended by YB Dato’ Maznah Mazlan, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, and MAS Managing Director/CEO Dato’ Sri Idris Jala.
“This project is part of our company-wide commitment towards environmental responsibility,” said Idris. “This is also part of a larger programme we are initiating. We launched an internal ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ (3R) project in March 2008 to encourage our staff to practice effective waste management in their daily work environment.”
MAS and its subsidiaries will apply the offset scheme to all staff travel, and there will be participation in the scheme from Shell, Maxis and Malaysia Airports.
The offset is not included as an option in the online booking process. Customers must click-through from a ‘Towards a Greener Future’ section on the home online booking page. A carbon calculator works out the amount of CO2 emissions for a particular trip and a sum calculated to offset the emissions. The amount is then paid for by credit card. Customers can make separate voluntary contributions.
Idris confirmed to reporters that MAS is interested in biofuel. “When biofuel is a commercially viable product, we would certainly like to use it,” he said. Malaysia is one of the world’s leading producers of palm oil and is already incorporating it into biodiesel blends.