Qatar Airways Cargo, in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), will become the first cargo carrier to join the IATA CO2NNECT platform.
The platform will enable Qatar to offer a customised environmental solution for its clients. Kuehne+Nagel, one of the world’s leading freight forwarders, will be the launch customer for the platform.
To mark this partnership, Qatar Airways Cargo operated the first carbon-neutral air freight shipments from Doha to Frankfurt, Zaragoza, Liège and Paris on 1 November 2021.
This new chapter of the voluntary carbon offsetting program, built under an IATA umbrella, establishes an industry milestone to accelerate the decarbonisation of aviation. And it enables air cargo shipments to become carbon neutral by offering an integrated carbon calculation and offset solution between Qatar Airways, shippers, and freight forwarders such as Kuehne+Nagel.
IATA says it will provide Qatar Cargo’s customers “assurance that the credits bought to offset these emissions are from projects delivering independently verified carbon reductions, as well as wider environmental and social benefits.”
The pilot project was launched on four routes, with plans to extend to the rest of its cargo network of over 60 freighter destinations and more than 140 passenger destinations worldwide.
The pilot uses an IATA industry best practice for calculating CO2 emissions per freight kg. With this programme, cargo customers can easily offset the emissions associated with the air freight shipments, as a step towards achieving their environmental sustainability commitments.
Only verified, high quality and ICAO CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) eligible offsets will be used.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker, said: “As Qatar Airways first launched its carbon offset programme for passengers in 2020, we are pleased to now offer them the option of transporting the air cargo in a CO2 neutral way in the future.
“Qatar Airways Cargo has always been at the forefront of industry initiatives. I am proud of our efforts to support aviation industry in achieving the ambitious carbon emission reduction targets.”
Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general, said: “The industry target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 applies to both passengers and cargo. It also needs all stakeholders in the industry to work together and embrace innovative solutions. Congratulations to Qatar Airways Cargo for being the first to implement CO2NNECT, and to Kuehne+Nagel for being a launch customer.
“As the world gathers for the COP26 meeting to strengthen global carbon-reduction plans, the launch of this offsetting solution shows our industry-wide commitment to sustainable air cargo.”