Frequently Asked Questions

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, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride. 

Each greenhouse gas has a different environmental impact which can be measured through the Global-Warming Potential (GWP) metric. Based on their respective GWP, each greenhouse gas can be converted into carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) to determine their individual and combined contributions to global warming. Hence, carbon offsetting is typically transacted in CO2e as a common unit.  

How are my flight emissions calculated?

Singapore Airlines (SIA) calculates flight emissions using TEM 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).

How long will it take for me to view my emissions after uploading my company’s data into the system?

Your company’s data will be processed within 48 hours, and an email notification will be sent when it has been successfully processed.

If I have made mistakes in the submission of flight information, will it let me know where I made an error?

Yes, you will receive an email notification with the file of the offset transactions that were not calculated due to data errors in flight information.

Do I need to provide my company data if I want to complete a carbon transaction?

Yes, one’s company data is required so as to ensure that the correct tax (in regions where this is applicable such as Australia and New Zealand) is applied in the invoice.

Does my organisation need to pay Government Service Tax (GST) when purchasing carbon offsets with Singapore Airlines?

The SIA Group’s voluntary carbon offsets are provided via the BlueHalo® digital solution, a system by Australia-registered carbon offset provider, Tasman Environmental Markets (TEM). Hence, only Australia-based entities are subjected to GST.

What type of payment can I use to undertake the carbon offsets?

Customers can make an electronic bank payment through invoicing or utilise HighFlyer points for purchase of carbon offsets

What is the conversion rate if I use my company’s HighFlyer points to pay for carbon offset?

The rate is 150 HighFlyer points for every S$1 worth of carbon offset.

My company does not have sufficient HighFlyer points in its account, but would like to support this Carbon Offset Programme. Can I purchase HighFlyer points to pay for the carbon offsets?

No, you cannot purchase points to pay for your carbon offset. If there are insufficient points in your company’s HighFlyer account, you can consider paying for carbon offsets in full via electronic bank payment through invoicing, or split your offset transactions into smaller batches which can be paid using the points you have.

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?

The SIA Group supports carbon offset projects that are verified in accordance to  international standards by independent third-party auditors under the Verified Carbon Standard Program and the Gold Standard

These standards ensure that each project delivers real, measurable emissions reductions, which would not have occurred in a business-as-usual scenario, should the project not be implemented. Each project is then issued carbon offsets, and each offset holds a unique serial number for traceability to prevent double accounting in the market. For instance, if the project demonstrated a reduction in emissions of 1,000 tonnes, they would be issued with 1,000 verified carbon offsets.

Supported projects are also compliant or finalising compliance with strict criteria under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) governed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 

Carbon offsets purchased by customers are retired by TEM in the respective carbon registries where the projects are verified. This ensures that the offsets cannot be traded again.

Which offset projects does my contribution support?

The SIA Group supports a portfolio of accredited projects which brings about environmental and socio-economic benefits to communities in Asia. These projects include:

  • Forest restoration initiatives in Indonesia which capture and stores carbon in trees, preserve habitats for native wildlife, and support development of the local villagers through employment and training opportunities.
  • Solar energy projects in India that generates clean renewable electricity for power which would otherwise have been supplied by a fossil-fuel fired power plant. These projects also creates jobs, and strengthens rural electrification coverage.
  • Distribution of efficient, clean burning cookstoves which significantly reduce the amount of smoke produced during cooking and associated health risks, particularly for women and children who are responsible for preparing meals in Nepal.

Learn more about our projects here.

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.

What else is Singapore Airlines doing to reduce its environmental impact?

The SIA Group continues to find new pathways to reduce our impact on the environment. At the same time, we remain committed to enhancing our customer’s journeys with us. Learn more about our sustainability initiatives here.

Does SIA participate in 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 carbon emissions for international flights and reduce aviation’s impact on climate change. 

It is the first global market-based measure developed for the aviation sector to offset residual carbon emissions that cannot be directly reduced through technological and operational improvements, and sustainable aviation fuels, in order to meet ICAO’s aspirational goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020. ICAO sets strict criteria for which carbon offset project development programmes are eligible for compliance under CORSIA. 

CORSIA plays an integral role in helping the aviation industry decarbonise in a cost-efficient manner. The SIA Group has voluntarily participated in it since 2019, ahead of the mandatory implementation for all airlines from 2027.

Why does SIA offer offsetting when it complies with CORSIA?

While SIA supports and complies with longer-term international obligations under CORSIA to reduce emissions from international aviation, we believe that every act counts and we aim to empower our customers to play a part in reducing their impact on the environment and contribute back to society.  Voluntary contributions to the programme help to bring about environmental and socio-economic benefits to communities in Asia. 

Is my contribution helping SIA reach its CORSIA obligation?

No. SIA will manage all compliance requirements under CORSIA at our own cost.

Who is TEM?

TEM is an Australia-registered carbon offset service provider that supports the SIA Group Voluntary Carbon Offset Programme through its BlueHalo® digital platform which allows instant calculation of customers’ flight emissions and the offset of those emissions via this  website.