Frequently Asked Questions
How does flying affect the environment?
As planes fly, they burn fuel which 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% 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 carbon offsets, customers 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 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).
After I upload my company's data into the system, how long will it take for me to view my emissions?
Your data will be processed within 48 hours and you will receive an email when this is completed.
If I have made mistakes will it let me know where I made an error?
Yes, the system will email you a file of the transactions that weren’t able to be calculated due to data errors.
Do I need to provide my company data if I want to complete a carbon transaction?
Yes, for us to correctly invoice you we need some information to ensure we provide the correct tax and other information on our documentation.
Does my organisation need to pay Government Service Tax (GST) when purchasing carbon offsets with Singapore Airlines?
As we are offering our voluntary carbon offset programme through Tasman Environmental Markets (TEM), which is an Australia-registered carbon offset provider, only Australia-based entities are subjected to GST.
What type of payment can I use to undertake the carbon offsets?
Currently, you can make an electronic bank payment through invoicing. Singapore Airlines will offer credit card payment function at a later date.
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.
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 selected 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 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’re leveraging our environmental and social impact and helping educate our customers on the additional benefits sustained by taking action on climate change.
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 per cent 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 until 31 December 2021, 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 are continuing 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.
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 cargo 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?
TEM is Asia-Pacific’s largest carbon offset provider dedicated to connecting businesses and consumers with taking action on climate change. TEM provides Singapore Airlines Cargo with its BlueHalo® digital platform which allows instant calculation of cargo flight emissions and the offset of those emissions via the website.