UK-headquartered platform Victor is committing to improve the environmental aspects of the private aviation industry by reducing and mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions of private jets. The company finds that a private jet emits up to 20 times more CO2 per passenger mile than a commercial airliner, a shocking statistic rarely admitted within the industry that displays the true extent of the emissions challenge. Its new climate action strategy aims to create an immediate call to action and establish a sustainability benchmark for the $26.1 billion jet charter industry in support of the UK government's recent commitment as the first G7 country to a net zero target by 2050.
In 2018, Victor successfully rolled-out an optional Carbon Reduction Programme that saw the carbon emissions of 25 per cent of its European flights offset, working in partnership with Air BP and BP Target Neutral. Now Victor is committing to double offset the emissions of every flight booked as part of a three-pronged climate action plan in a bid to become Europe's most environmentally responsible private jet charter company.
The three-pronged strategy comprises: double carbon offsetting; reducing fuel burn; and adoption of sustainable alternative fuels (SAJF).
Victor now guarantees to double offset the CO2 emissions of every flight, saving approximately 46,000 tonnes of CO2 over the next 12 months. Over the next five years this is projected to save approximately 403,499 tonnes of CO2, which is equivalent to the personal annual CO2 emissions of 81,000 people in the UK (based on average emissions of five tonne per person per annum). Victor is supporting internationally audited and accredited carbon reduction projects managed by BP Target Neutral, Vertis and South Pole. These are largely nature-based schemes such as forest restoration in Brazil and Zambia, which have additional socio-economic benefits to the communities where they are based. For environmentally conscious flyers, and those who recognise their personal and company reputation may be on the line, Victor is encouraging them to contribute out of their own pocket to go beyond the standard 200 per cent offset through its Unlimited Programme. In June this year, Victor achieved accreditation for double offsetting the carbon footprint of its London headquarters, and New York and Santa Barbara offices.
Offsetting alone is not enough and, in a bid to reduce consumption through smart technology, Victor is working with RocketRoute to leverage its flight routing algorithms in order to calculate emissions, optimise flight routes and reduce fuel burn. After every flight, RocketRoute records the actual flight plan filed by every operator, providing Victor with a highly accurate view of actual fuel consumption for carbon credit calculations. Victor also compares this data with an optimal flight plan that is simulated by RocketRoute just prior to take-off. The difference between the RocketRoute simulated data and the actual flight plan data is investigated on a plan-by-plan basis to pinpoint route inefficiencies and potential fuel burn reduction. A recent 2019 concept study conducted for departures from Gatwick airport of both commercial and private aircraft movements found that, for routes that could be optimised, RocketRoute identified an average of five per cent fuel burn reduction, with some operators seeing even greater fuel savings.
The company is working in partnership with Neste, the world's largest producer of sustainable renewable fuels on a long-term mission to promote awareness and ultimately drive the adoption of waste-to-fuel solutions within the private aviation industry. It is also partnering with European Business Aviation Association on the same mission.
Victor founder and CEO Clive Jackson comments: “As a business leader, I have the opportunity to take a bold and perhaps unpopular step in highlighting a very uncomfortable truth within our industry. We must act now and encourage others to follow our lead rather than passively waiting for governments and legislation. The problem is only going to get worse, so the sooner we all start to prioritise the reduction and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, the better chance we have at preventing a 1.5 degree increase in the Earth's average temperature.”