Travelling creates impacts on the environment and there is no way to avoid that. There is no such thing as completely carbon-neutral travel, so it’s important to be aware of your impact, to minimise this as much as possible and only offset as little as possible. Minimising your impact means travelling with organisations and suppliers who are actively working and continually improving their environmental standards.
Offsets only work if they create a permanent and sustained benefit and for that, they have to be invested in carbon-biodiversity programs. This work is specifically linked to processes that protect human life support systems.
CarbonCover 365 provides a simple and effective way to offset a year's worth of carbon emissions, helping grow biodiverse native forests for the equivalent of $1 a day. The annual offset covers 23 tonnes of CO2-e, which is the average amount of carbon emitted by each person in Australia.
In addition, Greenfleet ensures:
To calculate this annual per-person average, Greenfleet partnered with the staff at the Energy Transition Hub at the University of Melbourne, following Australian and international standards.
The aim of this calculator is simplicity. There are many tools for calculating carbon use but there's no point trying to be absolutely precise, because there are no single perfect, and agreed measures. For starters, there are uncertainties in both the data inputs and the outcomes. For example, even if you pay $20 for one tonne of carbon, how do you know if all the vegetation will survive and have the desired effect? Where and more importantly, how the money is invested, and what positive lasting impact it has, are hardest to measure.
These are calculations made by DeluxeLife. We make no guarantees as to the precision or relevance of these to your specific circumstances but we have done our best to ensure that they are as useful and conservative as possible, while remaining simple. The metrics we have settled on, are based on calculations used by Greenfleet for their Carbon Cover 365 project. The research underpinning the development was peer reviewed by staff of the Energy Transition Hub at the University of Melbourne.
The impact that you have on holiday, isn't just limited to pure carbon. While travelling, you transfer the impact of your lifestyle including pollution and disturbance to wildlife.
Loss of wildlife populations and habitat connectivity leads to structural decline in the planet’s ability to stabilise climate, so viable carbon-offset is also dependent on "biodiversity".
The processes animals create, are directly linked to soil fertility, clean water and climate. They are the driver for food security and local livelihoods. Many carbon offset programs invest in carbon monocultures or plantations. These do not integrate biodiversity and therefore, lack the continual improvement or added-value frameworks. We believe that investing in carbon-biodiversity programs better ensures your money can 'grow' into a bigger investment over time. Even in the short-term, you're not just reabsorbing climate but you're reducing soil erosion, nutrient run-off, wildlife conservation etc. There are many spin-offs of a good carbon-biodiversity program.
There are three main components of our calculations: A. Daily (day to day) carbon use; B. Carbon production from flights; C. Multiplier to capture uncertainty in data inputs / improve confidence in offset outcomes.
Daily (day to day) carbon use
The World Bank estimates the average Australian used about 15.5 tonnes per year of carbon in 2016. According to the Victorian government EPA, Australian households generate "more than 18 tonnes per household each year ... depending on where you live and your lifestyle, annual greenhouse gas emissions can vary from as low as 3 tonnes up to 30 tonnes or more". According to Greenfleet, the average annual figure for Australians is 23 tonnes.
We adopted 23 tonnes per year (63.01 kg per day) as the average base value.
Carbon production from flights
We used the MyClimate website and calculated the carbon used by an economy flight from Melbourne to Cairns, via Brisbane (2 legs, total 4h 20m flight time) as 524 kg. This resulted in an estimate of 262 kg carbon created per leg (that flight would be two legs and the return would be four legs). This equates to about 122 kg per hour. However, Carbon Independent publishes higher figures of between 134 - 250 kg per hour so we adjusted our single-leg consumption to 322 kg, which would be equivalent to 150 kg per hour. We also calculated an adjustment for business (1.30x) and first class flights (2.48x).
The daily average household consumption (above) also includes annual flights, so we've doubled up on this measure, by also adding flights. This makes our assessment even more conservative.
Further, we've added a 1.5x multiplier to the final figures. This captures and residual uncertainty in:
Final amount offset
We have presumed $1 per 50kg of carbon. This is equivalent to about $20 per tonne. The current Australian market price for carbon per tonne is about $17.50 and Greenfleet use $15.8 - $16.0 tonnes in their Carbon 365 project. The additional amount is a contribution we make to supply further biodiversity contribution.