May 18, 2022

By SimpliFlying CEO Shashank Nigam:

For the #sustainableflightchallenge, we had the pleasure of working with Saudia to rethink the way airlines do sustainability. We questioned three assumptions. The results were astounding.

1) First assumption: Passengers will pay to fly net zero.

Result: We decided to have Saudia offset the flight for all passengers by default. Not only that, we turned the flight into a net positive, by offsetting the emissions by a factor of two, thanks to CarbonClick.

This essentially offsets the effects of radiative forcing too (a term I recently learned from my friends Dave Rouse and Michelle Noordermeer).

2) Second assumption: Passengers just need to be *told* what the airline is doing in terms of sustainability.

Result: We turned the equation around by involving passengers in the world’s first in-flight sustainability Lab!

All passengers were given post-its to share ideas for making flying greener.

These were then displayed on the bulkhead in-flight, which allowed all passengers to review each others’ ideas too! (The most popular suggestion was to remove single-use plastic onboard).

Cream on top – the day before the flight, we facilitated a lab session for the Saudia employees, putting their “Green thinking hats” on, coming up with ideas like carpooling to work and installing solar panels on the Saudia HQ building.

3) Third assumption: This is a one-time effort and we can assess the results ourselves to improve.

Result: This will be the first of many steps Saudia takes towards a sustainable future. So why not showcase all of them on a dedicated site?

We launched a microsite, which today states the learnings from this one flight with the rest of the industry and will be continuously updated with future efforts too.

How’s that for helping the entire industry grow, together? Check it out.

In true SimpliFlying fashion, all of these were executed in record time thanks to the fab team effort.

It helped that we were working with some strong leaders who took quick decisions to launch this effort.

For more details on the project, click here.

Positive story of the day

Ambitions set for first net-zero transatlantic flight in 2030 (Environment Journal)

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