Carbon offsets in aviation - The effectiveness of carbon offsets in increasing the environmental image of airlines

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
Degree programme
(Mikkeli) Bachelor’s Program in International Business
Objectives The main objectives of this study were to analyze the effects of climate change on airlines and study the effectiveness of carbon offsets as a tool to increase environmental trust in airlines, which would help airlines in retaining environmentally conscious consumers. The thesis tries to study options to make airlines environmentally and economically sustainable. Summary Airlines are an important part of the current economic system, but the airline industry contributes around 3% of all global greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon offsets, a practice where a company pays for a carbon-reducing project, offsetting own emissions, was analysed as a potential tool to make airlines more sustainable environmentally and economically. Using a survey, peoples’ attitudes on sustainability, airlines and carbon offsets were measured. Conclusions Amongst respondents, sceptical attitude towards carbon offsets was present, but the respondents seemed to hedge a lot in their answers relating to offsets. They were also ready to pay for carbon offsets, even though they might have been uncertain about the effectiveness. The surveyed people were not as knowledgeable on offsets as on environmental issues in general, which is in line with earlier similar studies. Using biofuels and fuel-efficient aircraft were perceived as the most effective tools by the respondents. Under normal prices, most people seem to be willing to offset at least a signification portion of the emissions of their flight.
Thesis advisor
Warhurst, Russell
sustainability, airlines, carbon offsets, environment, Finland
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