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New partnership allows Stansted Airport passengers to offset their carbon emissions

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Passengers at Stansted Airport will be able to offset the carbon emissions from their flights thanks to a new partnership between its operator, Manchester Airports Group (MAG), and New Zealand's CarbonClick.

An offset tool enables travellers to calculate the environmental cost of their trip and buy credits to compensate, linking directly to green projects in the UK and abroad.

For example, one carbon offset credit removes the equivalent of one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. This means one passenger's return flight to Dublin would require 0.087 of a carbon credit to remove approximately 87kg of CO2 from the atmosphere, while a return flight to Barcelona would need the equivalent of 0.279 carbon credits to be offset, removing approximately 279kg of CO2.

Stansted Airport. (52451832)
Stansted Airport. (52451832)

That means a return flight to Dublin from Stansted would cost £1.34 per passenger to offset and £3.95 for Barcelona.

Each contribution will be split between woodland creation in the Lake District at Cumbria's Lowther Estate, which promotes biodiversity and reduces carbon and the risk of flooding, and Promoting Improved Cooking Practices, which makes and distributes efficient charcoal stoves. Their use reduces the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere and supports communities in Ghana and Nigeria.

Neil Robinson, MAG's corporate social responsibility (CSR) and airspace change director, said: "By offsetting emissions from their flights, passengers can make a real difference to worthwhile projects which support a sustainable future.

"Our partnership with CarbonClick makes carbon offsetting easy and accessible regardless of which airline you're travelling with or your final destination.

"High-quality carbon offsetting is just one of the tools available to our industry as we work towards a greener future. We're confident this partnership will encourage our passengers to opt in and have a positive impact every time they fly with us."

The introduction of passenger carbon offsetting is just part of MAG's sustainability programme. In its five-year CSR strategy published last year, the group committed to becoming a net-zero carbon business by 2038 and announced a prize of five years' free landing fees worth over £1m to the first zero-emission aircraft based at a MAG airport.

Despite accusations of greenwashing from critics like campaign group Stansted Airport Watch (SAW), MAG was the first airport group in the UK to be certified carbon neutral, in 2016, and earlier this year was named in the top 30 of the Financial Times' Climate Leaders Report out of 300 European companies. The group is one of only two airport operators to sit on the Government's Jet Zero Council.

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