EasyJet annual overall CO2 emissions rise, but the spin just focuses on CO2 per passenger kilometre

EasyJet has had a moderately difficult year and its profits have not grown as fast as it would have liked. So logically it is pushing for the highest load factors it can, to save costs and increase profits. Getting the planes fuller is great – as it does make a small reduction in the amount of carbon emitted per passenger.  EasyJet is proud to be announcing that its CO2 emissions for the year ending September 2016 were 79.98g/passenger km. That was down by 1.3% on the previous year and 31% lower than in 2000. But in 2000 the number of passenger kilometres flown by EasyJet was only about 2.5% of the number now. With the massive annual growth in passenger kilometres that EasyJet anticipates (and does everything it can to achieve) of over 6% per year, the small improvement on each is far, far out-weighted. It is like someone one a diet saying they will eat biscuits that are 1% smaller, but eat 6% more of them. The net effect is massively more – biscuit eaten in this case – carbon emissions overall.  It is merely greenwash, for PR purposes and to confuse the unwary, to crow about tiny improvements in carbon intensity per unit of a product, while increasing the quantity of the product.  All industries do this – even countries. EasyJet’s overall carbon emissions are rising, and as long as it grows fast, will continue to rise. Most gains in load factor improvements have already been achieved – the “low hanging fruit”. 


EasyJet Corporate Responsibility page

easyJet’s CO2 emissions in the 2015 financial year were 6.1 million tonnes, compared to 5.9 million tonnes for the 2014 financial year, an increase of 3.4%.  [The improvement in CO2 per passenger kilometre, by contrast, was 1.2%] 

The increase in overall emissions has been due to the continued expansion of easyJet’s operations, as this year easyJet’s passenger numbers increased by 6% compared to 2014.

easyJet’s new target is to reduce its carbon emissions per passenger kilometre by 8% by 2020 compared to 2013. [While growing the airline’s capacity by 6% per year].

*Chart – Carbon emissions per passenger kilometre

  • 2015 – 81.05g
  • 2014 – 82.03g
  • 2013 – 83.76g
  • 2012 – 85.48g
  • 2011 – 84.6g
  • 2010 – 84.4g



Some quotes below from a note on easyJet’s corporate website 

15 November 2016

easyJet plc

Results for the year ending 30 September 2016

“easyJet delivers a resilient performance in a challenging environment”


Capacity increased by 6.5%,

Record number of passengers at 73.1 million, increasing by 4.5 million (6.6%) during the year.


The total European short-haul market grew by 6% year-on-year in the year ending 30 September 2016 and by 8% in easyJet’s markets, driven primarily by a continued low fuel price. easyJet grew capacity by 7% during the period, with growth of 8% in the first half and of 6% in the second half.

We remain confident in our ability to deliver long term growth and returns for shareholders as we continue to execute our strategy. For the six months to 31 March 2017 capacity is expected to increase by 9% as we invest in markets and routes that will build on our resilient network, enhance our customer proposition and underpin returns for the long-term. For the year to 30 September 2017 we currently plan to increase capacity by up to 9%.


Passenger transport volume of Easyjet from 2000 to 2014 (in million revenue passenger-kilometers)

About 3,926 million passenger kilometres in 2000

Around 91,477 million passenger kilometres in 2014 (2,330 % rise)



EasyJet cuts emissions to lowest rate in response to pressure on airlines

EasyJet’s carbon emissions reduction is down to measures including lighter seats and using only one engine while taxiing, the airline said


EasyJet has cut the carbon emissions of its flights to the lowest-ever rate, according to the airline.

The Luton-based carrier said it achieved the reduction through measures such as lighter seats, using only one engine while taxiing and giving pilots tablets instead of laptops and printed navigational charts.

Its emissions for the year ending September last year were 79.98g/passenger km, down by 1.3% on the previous year and 31% lower than in 2000.

Pressure has been growing on the aviation industry to take action on greenhouse emissions from flights to curb temperature rises.

Latest figures for other airlines’ carbon emissions include British Airways’ parent company IAG with 93.7g/passenger km, Air France KLM with 85g and Lufthansa with 96.9g.

EasyJet’s head of carbon efficiency, Chris Foster, said: “W e want to make sure we take our passengers where they want to go with the lowest carbon emissions. Through our efficiency programme, we continually look for ways to reduce fuel usage and emissions.

“We are very pleased to have delivered emissions below 80 grams for each passenger kilometre for the first time and look forward to reaching our target of 77 grams by 2020.

“By using modern aircraft and flying them efficiently, we will have successfully reduced the carbon impact of our flights by a third in 20 years, delivering a step change in the environmental impact of our flights.”

An international deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from air travel was agreed in October last year.

The agreement, secured at International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) talks in Montreal, Canada, will come into effect from 2021 with 65 countries. including all European Union nations, signing up to “offset” emissions from international flights.

The scheme aims to cap aviation emissions at the level reached in three years, and there is a review mechanism to strengthen its ambition.

Airlines will have to buy permits that deliver reductions in pollution elsewhere to cover emissions above 2020 volumes.

EasyJet has set a target of reducing emissions to around 70g/passenger km by that time.

It is developing a hybrid plane that would use a hydrogen fuel cell stowed in the aircraft’s hold.

The concept would enable e nergy to be captured as the brakes are deployed on landing, which would power the jet when it is on the ground, similar to the kinetic energy recovery system used in Formula One.

The airline is also working with Wright Electric on designs for a commercial plane powered by electric batteries.

James Beard, from c onservation charity WWF, said: ” All efforts to cut carbon emissions are welcome, so it’s pleasing to see easyJet flying more efficiently.

“However, aviation remains the most carbon-intensive way to travel and one of the fastest growing sources of carbon emissions in the world.

“We need much more action than just airlines tinkering around the edges.”

Mr Beard called for investment in “cleaner ways to keep connected” such as international rail links and video conferencing, and urged UK ministers to come up with a “credible plan for dealing with aviation emissions” before new runways are built, such as the expansion of Heathrow Airport