4AIR eliminates the confusion associated with participating in aviation sustainability initiatives.
Whether you operate a single aircraft or a large fleet, integrating a carbon offset program into your airline service operations can be a laborious and confusing task. The 4AIR team has the knowledge you need to make participating in your operation as easy as a daytime VFR landing.
The director of your company has just announced the news that you dread: he wants you to set up a carbon offset program as quickly as possible. Of course, this is a great idea. Want to run a responsible flight service, but where to start? You have heard the term “carbon offsetting”, but you are not sure how it applies to a private flight service.
As the first company built around providing basic carbon offsetting advice to business and general aviation operators, 4AIR has taken the initiative to develop programs that are easy to implement.
As 4AIR President Kennedy Ricci explains, a carbon offset program is essentially a mechanism to find the most cost effective way to offset the production of a metric ton (mtCO2) carbon dioxide emissions from your aircraft.
“We check the operator’s usage, then they buy offset credits that cover that amount of CO2, so that they can achieve carbon neutrality, ”he says. “These credits are used to pay for one of the many ‘green’ projects like solar power, hydropower, wind farms or other renewable energy programs.
While anyone can buy carbon credits, one of the most time consuming and confusing aspects, at least from your perspective, can be figuring out exactly how many credits your operation needs to purchase. With all the variables, this task alone can stop a program before it starts.
“We are using the ICAO carbon intensity of 3.16 for jet fuel as a benchmark,” said Ricci. “That way there is a level of standardization. But we also take into account the differences resulting from someone chartering or owning their aircraft and see if the operator is using the SAF. [sustainable aviation fuel] and how much.
“Once we have that volume of SAF, we calculate it against their total fuel consumption and then base their compensation on the remaining number,” he continues. “It’s a complex situation because there are so many variables to calculate the reduction in FAS. The same aircraft can operate the SAF from different locations with different mixes and emission reductions. This requires a lot of coordination with the aircraft operator and the fuel supplier.
4AIR “aviation” carbon offsets.
Right now, you’re probably thinking that creating a carbon offset program for your flights department is as difficult as planning an international flight using a roadmap and a sextant. You’re not alone.
However, providing guidance through the maze of carbon offsets is exactly what 4AIR was created to do. The company was built around the unique needs of business aircraft operators.
“We work with a wide range of customers, including aircraft and helicopter operators, charter and jet card providers, aircraft management companies and aircraft manufacturers, and we also collaborate with airports now, ”said Ricci. “We offer a wide range of services to meet individual goals. “
He adds that because the whole carbon offset movement in business aviation is brand new, 4AIR is frequently called upon to develop and implement a turnkey solution.
“Right now the flight services are very busy doing what they’re here to do: fly,” says Ricci. “They don’t have time to learn all the details of a carbon offset program or to include SAF in their operation. We become their internal experts in sustainable development, so it is the easiest way to get involved in solutions adapted to business aviation. We make it as easy as possible, but there’s a lot of education going on around starting a program like this.
“For example, if they want to start using SAF, we help them identify opportunities to increase or book and claim, as well as set a smart start budget,” Ricci continues. “We can also monitor the growth in availability of SAFs and how they can tailor their travel planning.
“If they are already using the SAF, we can pull together any additional emission reduction documents and flag them, so they understand what their current carbon footprint is and the different ways they have to offset it,” he adds. -he. “We can act as the flight department’s carbon accounting service. Most of our partners just report their flying hours or fuel increase to us and we take care of everything else for them.
Ricci points out that 4AIR’s expertise can also be used to help the flight department integrate its operations with those of the company’s current umbrella carbon offset program provider.
“There are many carbon offset providers in the commercial sector, but few of them know about business aviation operations or sustainable aviation fuels,” says Ricci. “They can calculate an operation’s carbon footprint using a different scale, and they may be unable to factor in SAF’s savings.
“Some just don’t understand the value of planes to a business today. One flight service told us that its “corporate” carbon offset provider said its best solution was to fly less, ”he continues. “It’s not our way of looking at it. We believe aviation can be part of the solution and we’re here to help translate recommendations into things that work for business aviation.
The cost of carbon offsetting.
Right now, you’re probably wondering what all of this will cost your flight department. According to Ricci, this is one of the most important services that 4AIR provides to its partner companies.
“We help them understand the costs of different levels of participation in carbon offsetting,” he says. “Right now there are four tiers: our tier one, which is 100% carbon offsetting, costs around $ 10 per hour of flight time for a turboprop, up to $ 40 per hour for any business jet. smaller than an Embraer Lineage or a BBJ.
“Our level two is 300% offsetting and includes additional liability for non-carbon emissions. Tier three adds SAF credits to that and goes beyond neutrality in reducing carbon emissions, ”says Ricci. “Tier four adds investments in new technology and partnerships with researchers to fund advances that will help introduce new technologies like hydrogen and electric aircraft.
“Depending on the type of aircraft and its use, participation in level four will add between $ 100 and $ 400 per hour to operating costs,” he continues. “We are working with the owner / operator to determine what level of participation is best for their situation. They can always adapt as their circumstances change.
Ricci points out that because participation is purely voluntary, any investments you make in carbon offset credits are not currently considered “operational expenses”. Therefore, they are not tax deductible in the United States.
Use your credits wisely.
While calculating and purchasing credits is the primary goal of any carbon offset program, there is also the question of how you choose to allocate your credits. Ricci says that helping partners find the right places to invest their carbon credits is one of 4AIR’s greatest benefits.
Currently, anyone can buy credits to offset their own carbon output, but buyers should be careful that not all credits are created equal. Ricci stresses that it is essential that these credits be certified and authenticated to comply with international standards.
Credits purchased by 4AIR are all verified globally against standards approved by CORSIA. This way, there is never a question about their validity. Once individual credits are redeemed, their unique identification numbers are removed and cannot be resold.
“Where it gets a little more technical is on the credits you use,” Ricci continues. “People think it’s just about planting trees. It could be that or a lot more. There are literally thousands of projects and technologies to invest in and not all are created equal. We perform due diligence, verify calculations and profit assumptions for all options and identify the best options for our partners, so they can make an informed and impactful choice.
Don’t be put off by the lags.
While there’s no doubt that flight operations of all shapes and sizes will want to participate in some sort of carbon offset program, it can be a bit intimidating, as Ricci notes.
“Our goal is to facilitate the sustainability efforts of flight operations with minimal impact on their day-to-day operations while having maximum impact on broader aviation sustainability efforts,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if they want to do it all in-house, want a turnkey solution, or just want to maximize their opportunities with the company’s current carbon offset program, we’re here to help.
“Whether it’s incremental improvements or advising on operational changes, 4AIR has been designed to meet the unique needs of business aviation operations,” concludes Ricci. “Our job is to go as far as our partners want to enable them to easily reduce their global carbon footprint, while maximizing the utility of operating their aircraft.”