International flights is increasing all the time, not only for Sweden. There is a need of a fast change of the emissions, not only measures on a long-term basis. Personally I don’t get much guilt of flying, but I do think that frequent fliers at least should consider other travel options too. Though I think that much of the responsibility should lay on the airline companies.

“Air travel is the world’s fastest growing source of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which cause climate change. Globally the world’s commercial jet aircraft fleet generates more than 700 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), the world’s major greenhouse gas, per year. One person flying a return trip between Europe and New York generates between 1.5 and 2 tons of CO2. This is approximately the amount a European generates at home for heating and electricity in one year”.

Source: GreenSkies

The Scandinavian airline company SAS have a project with LFV, the Swedish Civil Aviation Administration, with what they call green flights or landings, which means they’re able to coast all the way down directly instead of flying in circles waiting for their turn to land and burning more fuel. There also is the benefit of less noise for the neighborhood.

They’re now extending the project over the Atlantic, from US east to Stockholm / Arlanda on the flights with the Airbus A330. There has already earlier been more than 1,500 green approaches with SAS Sweden’s Boeing 737 at Arlanda.

Mark the fact that the saving from green approaches with a Boeing 737 is an average of 150 kilograms aircraft fuel or approx. 475 kilograms carbon dioxide per landing and with a long-route aircraft 200 – 300 kilo aircraft fuel or 600 – 950 kilo carbon dioxide per landing. They’re first in the world to use technical support to do this.

It will probably become standard world over, but it will take years to install the new software everywhere and to train the air traffic controllers. It’s a pity if it weren’t implemented fast enough world over, it should be prioritized.

As a SAS passenger you can also use SAS emission calculator to calculate how much your trip will be contributing to the emissions. You also can make compensation transactions to offset carbon dioxide emissions by choosing to support various development projects. Even the Swedish Government has adopted the carbon offsetting.

Though I think that we have a long way to go before every passenger feel the duty to do this.

When you’re trying to find airline companies with less emissions, look for newer airplanes that are filled with as many passengers as possible, that’s the easiest way for you to at least do something.

There have been discussions in Sweden already, to set limits for the companies business travel by flight within the country. They should instead take the train when it’s possible. Within Europe this could be done more than it is today. Limiting the high speed trains to the bigger cities, but improving the other railways within the country.

When it comes to business travel, many companies have already adopted a green travel policy, which have made the national flights decrease and the train traffic to increase, since around 2006 in Sweden.

The big dilemma for the private traveler is that going by train can be so much more expensive that the person might not afford it. It might not be possible to switch to train either if going by train expands the trip by days, forcing the person to stay overnight, adding up costs for stying in hotels.

Travel by boat is not always a good alternative either, mostly the fast speed ferries are big emissions sources. Even flights are better than the fast ferries. When we’re going to the island Gotland, outside Swedens east coast, flying would be to prefer instead of taking the speed ferry, but we need the car on the island.

Every one has to take their responsibility. Personal or business travelers, airlines companies or what ever. The travel has increased tremendously and keep doing so. This need to be handle through international cooperation without doubt, to fasten up the measures as much as possible.

Sweden is a very environmental caring country, many times leading in our acts for the environment, despite the fact that we’re such a small country. What good does it do when some countries are keeping up their much bigger pollutions of the environment? Well, some one has to start and show good examples :-D

Very interesting is that the first biogas fuelled train has been developed in Sweden, maybe the first in the world. Modern gas engines with catalysers have replaced both of the diesel engines, meaning that no carbon dioxide adds to the atmosphere.

SAS want to become one of the first airlines with a mix of biosynthetic fuel and the oldfashioned aviation fuel. Swedish Biofuels got funds from the US Department of Defense this summer to develop biological jet fuel based on grain crops. Let’s hope that the further development of replacements of the old transport methods is developing fast. Before it’s too late.

I don’t believe that people are going to stop traveling, so we simply must find other solutions. I hear many voices saying that this is a big problem, but do we want to change our own traveling habits? Most travelers says no.

Personally I say that I’ll consider other transport methods and maybe even how often I travel, but for me it’s also a matter of what my damaged back allows me – and pure survival. I only manage the summer time here in Sweden and really need to go somewhere the rest of the year to not get in a worse condition.

The flights are there. They’re tempting us, we start to dream about get away from the gray every day life. The society today is such a difficult place to live in, very stressful. We need to go somewhere else for recreation.

Very often when it comes to those kind of questions, I find that the responsibility is put on the private person, not as much on the companies and the government as one could wish.

If every single company started a procedure to find their emissions and how to reduce them, I think that we would see much more effective reduction and faster!

Swedish Government
SAS Scandinavian Airlines
Swedish Civil Aviation Administration
Swedish Biogas

Captain ♥ Lifecruiser

17 Comments on “Mark green approach to travel”

    Jeni Hill Ertmer said:

    Very interesting post – and one that holds much importance for the future of the world and its resources too! Great job!

    Jeni Hill Ertmer’s last blog post..It’s Not Easy Being Green

    Hootin' Anni said:

    Wow…what an inspiring write up Captain! You did ONE EXCELLENT job for this week.

    mine’s posted.

    British Prime Minister : Environmental News said:

    [...] future. His support for the expansion of Heathrow shows a flippant disregard for the damage that a growing aviation sector is having on the environment. It also ignores the concerns of millions of Londoners who are increasingly suffering from aircraft [...]

    Skittles said:

    I have never heard of coasting in on a landing. What a wonderful idea.

    We (collectively on this planet) need to really strive to find ways to save our resources.

    Skittles’s last blog post..First Letter Of My First Name

    Misty Dawn said:

    This is an inspiring, important, and very impressive post! Fantastic – and Thank you!

    Misty Dawn’s last blog post..Ten on Tuesday *10 Best Games*

    Maribeth said:

    You know we met a nice Swedish couple named Stefan and Jessica on the cruise. They were so much fun and we really enjoyed them.

    And Miles To Go... said:

    wonderful post!! I learned so much!! Have a wonderful Tuesday.

    And Miles To Go…’s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday (#32)

    TorAa said:

    Interesting post.
    Allthough working in a highly global company, I have not been travelling in business for years. Most of our meetings is “Phone” meetings supported by computer presentations – a technology now advanced enough to replace most – at least internal, business travelling/meetings. Also educational classes.

    Biofuel, can be of great value to the environment, but, if farmers replace food production with fuel production, we will have a new serious challenge: Lack of food. Special in the poorest countries
    (Like opium and kokain etc in other senses).

    Large windmills looks also promising. But we have observed killing of birds in large amounts.

    Solarcells and Thorium seems to be the best energy source in the long run.

    Metan, in all reports I’ve read, is more dangerous to the climate than CO2. But, then again we talk about Agriculture. Rice and Cattles. Which we hardly can reduce or taxe like fuel for Cars, Aircrafts, Trains, Ships and Powerplants.

    We must also be willing to pay for keeping and bringing the Rain Forests back to what was the status 50 years ago. They are depending on CO2 – if lack of Rainforest then surplus of CO2.
    The more of the Rainforest we burn down, the less we can travel, which will have an enourmous impact of tourisme , again the poorest countriest will be the loosers.

    The North European evergreen forests are tremendous and important purification “machines” – as well as the North American. An effort to bring them back to the beginning of the 1800 hundreds would have a very positive impact.

    One thing is the Global Warming.
    Another thing that seems to hit the Earth much earlier is the fact that half of the worlds population will lack clean, fresh water by 2025. And that is really just around the corner.
    Lack of fresh, clean water is undoubtly caused by humans. From production fascilities, chemicals and agriculture.

    Yes, we have challenges in the years to come. I only wished the discussions and the search for sustainable solutions would be more balanced – not only a question of reducing the emission and paying taxes for CO2 (incl relief taxes to “help” poor countries.) Politicians and experts can travel to meeting after meeting for years – but if more than 3 billion people suffer from polluted water in 17 years time – then they have mislead the people of all countries and animals and plants would be extinct for ever. Bright Future?

    Have a Dom

    TorAa’s last blog post..Welcome to Ola in Miami Beach

    claudie said:

    “fight against winds and tides”, to progress and save our planet!

    claudie’s last blog post..A new resident!!!

    raja said:

    Halo Captain…Im boarding the ship after a long time, since my exams are going on in my college….. I also write about global warming and stuff very often. This is the way to create awareness to your readers. Your fans will follow some of your instructions atleast, like me :smile:

    raja’s last blog post..Fitness Equipment

    RennyBA said:

    This was a very interesting and readable post captain and you’ve done a real good job in this important matter. Thanks for taking your time and for sharing with us – an eye opener and something to think about.

    RennyBA’s last blog post..Armond & Ko in Brussels – a Gastronomic sensation

    Andrée said:

    How important this is. I have been reading and hearing of Bill McKibben (of Vermont!) who says the three most important things we can do to reduce our carbon use is (1) insulate our houses (2) eat locally and (3) stop using airplanes, which are awful polluters. You have given us so much information here. I hope people pay attention!

    Andrée’s last blog post..Heads or Tails: Mark: Make Your Mark

    A. said:

    An excellent post Captain! So too is TorAa’s comment. Food for thought for all of us.

    A.’s last blog post..A fetching shade of purple

    Link said:

    I agree with you that the bulk of the responsibility on this issue should rest with the airlines only because I don’t have much faith in the average traveler making significant changes in their routines.

    Nice blog, by the way, I found it searching for more info on the SAS emissions calculator of all things.

    Link’s last blog post..Quick Tips For Traveling Cheap

    Easy Ways to Go Green said:

    Great post — with the travel industry continuing to grow, simple solutions like this, as yet only practiced in far too limited a number by airlines, need to instead become the mainstream. And if there are less carriers and less flights and the tickets cost a bit more in order for the planes to be able to land immediately, then so be it. Seems ultimately a small price to pay!

    Airline Flight Codes said:

    Wow! Great post
    Well traveling is my passion I love wandering but life is so busy that planing vacations would be impossible it is just in dreams.If the world of Aviation, Aeronautics and Aircrafts is your thing, you will certainly enjoy this extensive and complete collection of Aviation Glossaries and Dictionaries. Fly High :cool:


    Very interesting post. Thoroughly enjoyed it :-)

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