Pack light and head straight to your destination - here's our tips on what you can do for flight sustainability
Finnair is working for more sustainable travel every day, but you as our customer can also make an impact on how green your travels turn out to be. Make these clever choices on your next trip, as tipped by Eveliina Huurre, our Senior Vice President, Sustainability.
The sustainability of flying is affected by not only the development made within airlines but also the decisions passengers make. Finnair's Senior Vice President of Sustainability Eveliina Huurre suggest that you should take environmental issues into consideration when you start planning your trip.
- First and foremost: choose the most direct flight you can find. Google Flights is a great tool when planning your route. By clicking the button emission on the site, you can see the emission load of your chosen route and make comparisons between different options, she begins.
After finding the best route you can compensate the emissions produced. Finnair has also brought its compensation option back this spring. Through the service you can calculate the emissions of your flight and compensate the carbon footprint by seamlessly combining renewable aviation fuel and emission reduction schemes.
- Emission compensations can now be purchased directly via Finnair. Choosing direct flights and compensating are simple sustainability actions you can do easily before starting your travels.
Pre-order your food and pack perfectly
Flight emissions are greatly impacted by what is loaded onboard. That is why Huurre strongly advises to pre-order your meals. It not only makes flying pleasant, but it is also more eco-friendly.
- The more people pre-order their meals the less options we must load onboard. This directly impacts the weight of the plane and its fuel consumption. At the same time, we can reduce food waste as everyone gets exactly the meal they want.
Another way to impact emissions is by packing your own bags sensibly. In 2018 we made a calculation on the subject. If all our passengers that year would have packed one kilogram less, it would have saved enough fuel to fly from Helsinki to Tokyo twenty times. If you pack five kilos less, you are saving 5% of your flight's carbon footprint.
- I think it's important to involve children in packing and teach them to pack light from an early age. Children can for example choose their outfits for each travel day, after which the parent can take out excess options, Huurre mentions.
Huurre herself confesses being a "super-packer", managing a one-week work trip with nothing but hand luggage.
- Before I fly, I write a list of the type of clothes I need for meetings and social events. When I get to my destination, I combine my shirts and skirts in different ways. This makes it possible to have a new outfit every day even when I don't have that many things with me. When it comes to toiletries, I always pack small sample-size pouches, never full bottles of creams or shampoos.
When it comes to sustainable travel an often-heard statement is that you should try to take longer trips. Huurre points out that it is good to remember that many of us don't have the option to do so.
- But if you do get a chance, it can be great to combine experiences or sight-seeing to your work trip. You can for example travel to your destination a day early, before work starts.
Don't forget the joy of travel
Huurre wants to remind that sociality is also a part of sustainability. After the prolonged pandemic we all have an urgent need to finally spend some time with loved ones. Meeting your colleagues in person is also highly anticipated by those working in global organizations and companies.
- I think it's wonderful that the world is now opening. Our society is made of people and every one of us misses those important social contacts. My sister for example lives in Switzerland and hasn't seen the rest of the family in two years. Teams meetings do not make up for touching, Huurre says.
She feels it is important to take sustainability seriously but look at it through a positive lens as well. We should remember that flying is an important tool in keeping in contact with others.
- Our responsibility at Finnair is to be worthy of all our customer’s trust. We simply want to take care of all our sustainability duties as well as possible, Huurre sums up.