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Finnair A350 (photo: Finnair)

Finnair climate marketing “misleading”

The Finnish carrier admits that its carbon offset website gives data that contradicts other information from the company.

Finnair’s impact on the environment has grown in recent years, and yet the company will not target cuts in total emissions until 2050, the Finnish broadcaster Yle reports.

The airline has provided information about emissions reduction targets as part of a Push for Change campaign site, which asks passengers to calculate their climate impact and buy offsets for the carbon produced by their flights.

But although the carrier’s campaign page suggests that the carrier aims to cut overall emissions by 2020, the company has admitted this is not actually the case.

The company is now Finland’s fourth-biggest producer of greenhouse gases, Yle says, and it plans to keep expanding, which will in turn push up its emissions. Of these top emitters, Finnair has broadened its carbon footprint the most over the last five years.

Carbon mega-tonnes
The airline now produces around 1.1 mega-tonnes of carbon from flights within Europe in 2018, the broadcaster says. The company made profits of €150 million in 2018.

“Last year we increased our capacity quite a bit, so traffic has grown but then also the total emissions have also grown,” said Päivyt Tallqvist, Finnair’s director of communications.

She added that Finnair plans to cut the amount of carbon emitted per passenger kilometre and is on track to do this through fuel efficiency measures.

Due to its continued expansion, Finnair has said it has no targets to reduce its absolute emission reductions due until 2050. But its Push for Change page says there is a target of cutting CO2 emissions “by 17% by 2020 compared with the 2013 baseline”.

Yle points out that given Finnair’s rapid growth since then, this target would mean a 50% cut on 2018 levels, which is not a target mentioned by the company in its most recent sustainability report.

When asked about the contradictory figures, Tallqvist said via email, “I apologise for the misleading formulation on the website, we will fix that!” But at the time of writing ten days later, the target was still on the Push for Change page, Yle says.

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