Air Canada gives customers option to help the environment - Airline teams with Zerofootprint to let passengers buy carbon offsets for travel

    MONTREAL, May 28 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada is offering customers the
choice to reduce the environmental impact of their travel in cooperation with
Zerofootprint, a not-for-profit organization that operates carbon offset
    "Air Canada is committed to giving customers the opportunity to reduce
the environmental effects of their travel. We not only want to make it
possible for people to make good environmental choices, but we also want to
play our part in addressing climate change," said Charles McKee,
Vice-President of Marketing at Air Canada. "By working with Zerofootprint, we
will make it easy for people to calculate the impact of their journey and
mitigate those effects with a small, voluntary additional payment to support
environmental projects that reduce greenhouse gases."
    Customers booking travel on Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz or their regional
partners through will have an option to purchase a carbon
offset for their trip. They will find information about carbon offsets, a
calculator to determine the amount of carbon dioxide their trip will generate
and the cost to offset it, and an easy way to pay the cost of offsetting their
trip either with their ticket purchase or at another time. For example, based
on the specifications of Air Canada's current aircraft, it will cost $19.20
for a customer to offset their share of carbon emissions on a return flight
from Toronto to London and $12.80 for a return flight from Vancouver to
    "Offsetting makes a real difference to the environment in three important
ways," said Deborah Kaplan, Executive Director of Zerofootprint. "It balances
out climate-changing carbon dioxide that is put into the atmosphere by our
activities, it highlights the environmental cost of goods and services we buy,
and, when you offset with trees, it restores ecosystems, habitats, watersheds,
greens communities and creates jobs."
    Carbon offsets are just one way Air Canada is minimizing the
environmental impact of its operations. Among other things, the airline has:
instituted an active weight reduction program and adopted more fuel-efficient
procedures for take-offs and landings; reduced engine usage on the ground
during taxiing and ground delays and cut fuel consumption in the air with more
efficient flight plans; expanded its on-board recycling program; employed
hybrid technology for ground support vehicles; and continually upgraded its
fleet, most recently with the addition of new Embraer and Boeing 777 aircraft,
with a resulting 28 per cent improvement in fuel efficiency since 1990 and
82 per cent since 1970.
    In addition, Air Canada is a lead participant in a voluntary agreement
between Canadian carriers and the Canadian government to achieve fuel
efficiency improvements of 1.1 per cent per year over the period from 1990 to
2012. Through the International Air Transport Association and the
International Civil Aviation Organization, Air Canada is working globally with
other carriers on environmentally-friendly reforms of Air Traffic Management
(ATM) systems. One example is an initiative through ICAO, where a current
proposal to better optimize the European ATM network could result in annual
carbon dioxide savings of about 12 million tons, equivalent to removing
3 million cars from European roads.

    For information on these initiatives see

    Montreal-based Air Canada provides scheduled and charter air
transportation for passengers and cargo to more than 170 destinations on five
continents. Canada's flag carrier is the 14th largest commercial airline in
the world and serves 34 million customers annually with a fleet consisting of
335 aircraft. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, providing the
world's most comprehensive air transportation network

    Zerofootprint is a not-for-profit organization that combines the best
financial and environmental engineering, social networking tools and business
intelligence to create products and services that help large corporations,
organizations and individuals significantly reduce their environmental
footprint. Zerofootprint aims to be the world's leading brand in green by
generating thought leadership and designing practical solutions to solve
global problems.

For further information:
For further information: Air Canada Contacts: Isabelle Arthur
(Montréal), (514) 422-5788; Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto), (416) 263-5576;
Angela Mah (Vancouver), (604) 270-5741;; Zerofootprint Contacts:
Deborah Kaplan, Executive Director, (416) 457-3844,