How do you best calculate emissions from a flight journey?
In short: The myclimate/Kilroy model calculates the full impact on the climate of the flight activity whereas other models and also providers often focus only on CO2 emissions.
The more detailed explanation: We use the myclimate Flight Emission Calculator, which has been developed by myclimate.
The emission calculation takes into account a wide range of factors influencing the carbon footprint, and includes, but is not limited, to:
- Flight distance
- Fuel consumption during taxi, takeoff, holding and landing
- Type of aircraft
- Average passenger load-factor
- Travel Class (Economy/Business/First)
- Emissions coming from the production and transportation of jet fuel, and not just the consumption of it.
Will the calculation result always match the exact emissions from my flights?
No – but it will be a very good approximation.
When making a formula like this, it is necessary to make certain assumptions based on averages over time. For instance, using the average number of passengers for the typical flight journey, and not the number of passengers on the exact flights you are taking.
Also, certain assumptions have to be made regarding average fuel-consumption for different groups of aircraft, because the formula cannot take into account all the various aircraft and engine types that are out there. However, the emission calculation will give a very good approximation of the actual emissions from your specific flights.
Does the calculation take into account if a flight is flown using Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs), e.g. biofuel?
No, it doesn’t – not down to the specific flight.
However, as the airline and aircraft industry evolves, and aircraft become more fuel-efficient, and as SAF’s and electrical aircraft start to gain scale, the formula will start to reflect the accompanying reduction in the use of traditional jet fuel per kilometer. This means, that as the airline industry gradually becomes greener it will also be reflected in the formula applied for all flights – however, not on the individual flight level.