Frequently Asked Questions
How does flying affect the environment?
As planes fly, they burn fuel that releases greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases block heat from escaping Earth’s atmosphere which leads to increased temperatures and changes in climate. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicates that aviation contributes around 2 per cent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions.
What is carbon offsetting?
Carbon offsetting allows individuals and businesses to reduce their environmental impact. By purchasing independently verified carbon offsets, travellers support environmental projects that remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere (such as planting forests) or prevent future emissions from occurring (such as replacing a coal-fired power station with a wind farm). One unit of carbon offset represents one metric tonne of greenhouse gas emissions reduced or removed from the atmosphere.
Why do we only refer to carbon?
There are seven main greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbon, hydrofluorocarbon, sulfur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride.
Each greenhouse gas has a different impact on climate, called the global-warming potential (GWP). For instance, methane’s GWP is 25 while nitrous oxide’s GWP is 298. We convert the amount of each greenhouse gas into the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same GWP. This is called the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) and makes it possible to measure the greenhouse gases and determine their individual and combined contributions to global warming. This is why carbon offsetting is typically transacted in ‘carbon’ or CO2e.
How does carbon offsetting work for flights?
We have calculated the emissions for each Singapore Airlines flight, and as a passenger you can offset your share of these emissions. The emissions for each flight are calculated on a per-passenger basis. Once you offset your flight, the equivalent number of carbon offsets will be purchased and retired by TEM in order to balance out your share of the flight’s emissions.
How are my flight emissions calculated?
Singapore Airlines calculates flight emissions using TEM’s BlueHalo® technology. The BlueHalo® software uses the current UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) international standards to convert greenhouse gas emissions associated with your flight such as aircraft type, distance travelled and litres of fuel used, to tonnes of CO2e. The BlueHalo® calculations are continually updated as best practice international standards for greenhouse gas calculations evolve.
Is the carbon footprint different for different cabin classes?
Yes. First Class and Business Class seating configurations take up more space and weight on an aircraft, as compared to Premium Economy Class and Economy Class seating. We also recognise that different cabin classes have a bigger impact, and have factored this into our calculations in accordance with international standards (e.g. a Business Class seat will have a larger emissions profile because of factors including the larger and heavier seat).
I am connecting from/to another airline, can I offset my carbon footprint from that flight from this programme too?
Yes, you may do so via this page by entering the respective destination and origin. All flight emissions are calculated using TEM’s BlueHalo® technology. All contributions will go towards the SIA Group’s curated list of carbon offset projects.
How often are the carbon calculations updated?
The BlueHalo® software is instantly updated with the most up-to-date emissions factors as they are published by the various agencies, including the current UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). BlueHalo® also adds new routes as they are added or changed by SIA.
How do you know the offset is really happening?
Singapore Airlines only purchases carbon offsets from projects that are verified at the highest international standards and are either already compliant or finalising compliance under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) which is governed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Projects are verified by an independent third-party like the Verified Carbon Standard Program and the Gold Standard who ensure each project meets strict criteria to deliver measurable and permanent emissions reductions additional to a business-as-usual scenario. Following compliance with the relevant third-party, the project is then issued with carbon offsets, each with a unique serial number. For instance, if the project demonstrated a reduction in emissions of 1000 tonnes, they would be issued with 1000 carbon offsets.
Once Singapore Airlines purchases carbon offsets from a project, they are then retired, ensuring the offset cannot be traded again, and completing the carbon offset cycle for the traveller.
Which offset projects does my contribution support?
Singapore Airlines purchases carbon offsets from a carefully curated portfolio of projects across the Asia region that remove greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, or prevent future emissions from occurring.
Our portfolio of projects includes:
- The restoration of native forests in Indonesia, which capture carbon stored in the trees, provide employment and training opportunities for local residents and establish vital habitat for native wildlife
- Solar energy projects that are replacing fossil fuel generation for reliable clean electricity across India, creating jobs and strengthening rural electrification coverage
- The distribution of efficient cookstoves which significantly reduce the amount of smoke produced during cooking, lowering the risk of respiratory, heart and eye disease particularly for women and children who are responsible for preparing meals in Nepal.
Learn more about our projects here.
Why can’t I choose my own carbon offset project to direct my contribution towards?
To secure a long-term supply of premium carbon offsets at a consistent price, Singapore Airlines purchases carbon offsets from a portfolio of accredited projects. We support projects such as renewable energy in emerging economies, forest restoration initiatives and the distribution of clean cookstoves. By supporting an entire ecosystem of projects, we are leveraging our environmental and social impact and helping educate our customers on the additional benefits sustained by taking action on climate change.
Why is there a minimum contribution of 1SGD?
To account for the processing fee associated with the carbon offset transaction, the minimum charge for offsetting the emissions of a flight is S$1.00.
Do I get a refund if I cancel my booking?
To purchase a carbon offset is to make a contribution to a verified carbon project. Hence, if a passenger pays for an offset but does not travel, no refund will be accorded.
Can I offset my flight at the same time as I book?
Customers are encouraged to offset their flight emissions through our dedicated microsite at https://carbonoffset.singaporeair.com.sg. We are committed to providing an easy, pleasant carbon offset experience and will continue to enhance this for our customers as the programme expands. We currently offer our customers the opportunity to learn more about the programme and projects.
Does Singapore Airlines profit from this programme?
No. Singapore Airlines does not profit from the sale of carbon offsets purchased under the carbon offset programme. One hundred percent of the contribution made by customers is used to source carbon offsets from premium projects worldwide. Administration fees are included to carry out due diligence of sourcing and supplying carbon offsets including managing the offset retirement process and all carbon accounting.
Why is Singapore Airlines matching passengers’ offsets and what does this mean?
To encourage passengers to make the switch to fly carbon neutral, we will be matching the amount of emissions being offset by a passenger flying on Singapore Airlines or Scoot for a period of six months, effectively doubling the positive impact from customers’ actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
What else is Singapore Airlines doing to reduce its environmental impact?
As we look to the future, we continue to focus on finding new ways to help ensure the world around us is conserved for future generations to enjoy. We are committed to enhancing the journeys and experiences of travellers while actively reducing our impact on the environment. Learn more about our sustainable food sourcing, waste reduction, fleet efficiency and renewable energy initiatives in our sustainability report here.
Can I offset my company’s flight emissions?
Not at the moment, however SIA will be extending the Singapore Airlines Group Carbon Offset Programme to corporates in the near future. For corporates with any queries, do reach out to your account managers.
What is CORSIA?
Developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2016, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) is a carbon reduction and carbon offset programme to lower CO2 emissions for international flights and reduce aviation’s impact on climate change. ICAO have set strict criteria for which carbon offset project development programmes are eligible for compliance under CORSIA.
Why does SIA offer offsetting when it complies with CORSIA?
SIA believes that every act counts. SIA gives our customers the opportunity to offset their flights because it is important to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere as soon as possible. At the same time, SIA complies with longer-term international obligations under CORSIA.
Is my contribution helping SIA reach its CORSIA obligation?
No. SIA will manage all compliance requirements under CORSIA at our own cost, and not at a separate charge to customers.
Who is TEM?
Tasman Environment Markets, or TEM, is Asia Pacific’s largest carbon offset provider dedicated to connecting businesses and consumers with taking action on climate change. TEM provides the SIA Group with its BlueHalo® digital platform which allows instant calculation of customers’ flight emissions and the offset of those emissions via the website https://carbonoffset.singaporeair.com.sg.