NetJets Europe is building carbon-offsetting costs into its fractional ownership prices in a bid to become a carbon-neutral operation by 2012. Beginning October 1, all new clients and existing clients who renew their contracts will purchase carbon credits that cancel out the carbon produced when they take flights. Current customers will be asked to sign up for the program voluntarily as part of their existing contracts.
NetJets is also backing the group’s Carbon Initiative in the U.S., but customer participation will be entirely voluntary. In Europe, customers will see their flight-hour charges increase by about 0.5 percent and, on average, this will mean around $5,200 in additional costs over the course of a year.
Money raised from the offset program will fund research at Princeton University and the University of California into the development of an ultra-low-emission jet fuel that could be burned in current turbofans. As part of the wider Carbon Initiative, NetJets is supporting efforts to identify the best ways to develop and commercialize green aviation fuel, combining existing research into biofuels and alternative jet fuels with a focus on business jet applications.
At the same time, NetJets Europe is in the process of recruiting environmental management directors in Europe and the U.S. It has also appointed environmental advisory boards on both sides of the Atlantic, consisting of experts in the field and business leaders (some of whom are customers).