Frequently asked questions

1. What impact does the aviation industry have on the environment

Despite the fact that aviation constitutes less than 3% of the total worldwide carbon emissions, members of the airline industry are working together to reduce their impact on the environment. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has committed itself to reducing industry emissions by 25% by the year 2020. Their goal is to gradually place aviation on the path to becoming carbon neutral, and eventually, to a future with zero carbon emissions. The IATA strategy is based on 4 main principles:

  • New technologies
  • Infrastructure
  • Operational measures
  • Fiscal incentives (including emissions trading)

2. What is a Carbon Footprint?

Many of your activities, or those of your company, generate carbon emissions that accelerate global warming and climate change. A carbon footprint is a measure of the impact your activities (or those of your company) have on the environment. It is calculated as a function of the quantity of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide (CO2).

3. How can I offset my carbon footprint??

Offsetting your carbon emissions consists of reducing (“offsetting”) greenhouse gas emissions and balancing the effect of emissions by financing projects that reduce the same quantity of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. By offsetting the emissions produced by your flight, you will be committing to reducing an equivalent amount of CO2, since your donation will be used to finance reforestation, energy conservation, and renewable energy projects.

4. How are CO2 emissions calculated?

The quantity of CO2 produced by your flight is calculated based on the average fuel consumption per mile of the Copa Airlines fleet and takes into account the quantity of CO2 emitted per kilogram of fuel burned by the airplane and the distance flown between the departure and arrival airports.

5. How does the Voluntary Carbon Offset Program work?

Using the calculator on our webpage www.copair.com, our passengers can calculate the quantity of CO2 that will be emitted by their flight, as well as the total cost of compensating that quantity of CO2. The emissions estimate is simply a guide or suggested amount to help passengers determine the size of their donation, but you determine the actual contribution amount you wish to make. Sustainable Travel International (STI) will oversee the investment of your contribution in high impact sustainable development projects, such as reforestation and renewable energy projects. In addition to offsetting your CO2, the sustainable development projects provide social and economic benefits to the communities in which they are located.

You will be able to choose the type of project to which you would like to contribute when you pay for your flight. The per ton cost of the carbon credits for each type of project are shown. Once you complete your payment, STI will provide you with a receipt that includes the details of your offset. The Voluntary Carbon Offset Program page has a link to the STI website. You can navigate through their website to learn more about the organization, the projects it finances and the companies with which it works.

6. Why did Copa Airlines team up with Sustainable Travel International?

There are a variety of emissions offset programs out there, as well as different organizations that specialize in financing environmental projects. However, these programs vary widely in quality. In order to offer our passengers a reliable and high-quality option for offsetting their emissions, Copa Airlines decided to work with STI because of their high standards and policy of obtaining independent, third-party reviews of all the carbon emission offset projects.

STI projects must be able to show that they reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on the CDM Gold Standard, be consistent with the principles of the Kyoto Protocol, or be Green-e Certified by the Center for Resource Solutions. STI received the highest possible score in an independent review of carbon emissions offset programs conducted by the group Clean Air-Cool Planet.

STI works with some of the most trusted and committed companies to helping the environment, in both the airline industry and other commercial sectors, including the standout Continental Airlines. The organization also works with the World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic, Whole Foods Market, Ben and Jerry’s, The Coca-Cola Company, and other companies with a serious commitment to the environment.


Please visit Sustainable Travel International for more information.

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