4AIR: The industry’s first dedicated emissions reduction provider
4AIR launches today as the first emissions reduction solution provider focused solely on helping private aviation participants to offset or reduce their emissions. The company is also the first corporate flying-focused member of the Aviation Carbon Exchange (ACE) – an initiative of the International Air Transport Association and CBL.
By use of a rating system, clients, namely operators, can make new emissions reductions and increase their exisitng ones – from bronze to platinum. Unlike most emissions reductions solutions, 4AIR’s lowest accreditation is carbon neutrality.
Kennedy Ricci, 4AIR’s President, told Corporate Jet Investor: “Just as ARGUS rates aviation safety programmes, we provide independent reviews of aviation sustainability programmes. Except, we take it one step further since we also can provide an aviation stakeholder with a turnkey programme if it doesn’t have one. For most, carbon neutrality is the end goal, but for us it is just the beginning. For roughly the same cost of catering meals on a flight, you can offset its emissions and drive real support for aviation sustainability.”
Through the 4AIR Rating the firm offers benchmarks that are aligned with industry-wide goals and international standards. The framework offers four levels, each with specific, scientific goals and independently verified results:
4AIR Bronze: Carbon-Neutral – Setting the Baseline
4AIR Bronze allows participants to be carbon-neutral by offsetting all of their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions with verified carbon offset credits. 4AIR measures a client’s carbon emissions and then enables them to identify and purchase credits that fund specific, verified, real-world projects intended to offset carbon emissions.
4AIR Silver: Emissions-Neutral – Because CO2 is Just One-Third of the Problem
Two-thirds of an aircraft’s environmental impact comes from non-carbon dioxide warming pollutants such as water vapour, soot and contrails. 4AIR Silver enables participants to be fully emissions-neutral, compensating for non-CO2 impacts with verified offsets.
4AIR Gold: Emissions Reduction – From Offsetting to True Reductions
4AIR Gold allows participants to go beyond emissions neutrality to reducing emissions by at least 5% . Solutions include operational improvements, low-emitting aircraft and – most readily today – the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Although the availability of SAF is still limited, participants can support its use by purchasing Sustainable Aviation Fuel credits through 4AIR.
4AIR Platinum: Climate Champion – The Aviation Climate Fund
4AIR Platinum allows participants to support new technology in aviation with a contribution to the Aviation Climate Fund, a nonprofit aimed at supporting research and development in aviation sustainability. Direct contributions to the Aviation Climate Fund are made based on the participant’s carbon footprint.
Nancy Bsales, 4AIR’s chief operating officer, Sustainability, and a veteran of the effort to reduce carbon emissions, said: “Aviation directly represents 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions, but the true impact on climate is closer to 5% when considering all emissions and non-CO2 impacts. The industry has made sweeping commitments to sustainability by 2050, and 4AIR’s programmes can help private aviation participants do their part.”
Earning a 4AIR rating is as simple as a company or individual making a commitment to a specific level of the 4AIR framework, according the company. Also, a 4AIR rating can be applied to existing operations or as a turnkey programme.
Applied to existing operations
At the end of the year, 4AIR certifies each company or individual based upon relevant flight data, such as fuel consumption, in order to audit the previous period’s commitment. Companies that achieve or surpass the level they committed would be eligible for the coming year.
“The keystones of 4AIR’s framework are progressive steps, transparent accomplishments, industrywide collaboration and global acceptance and recognition,” said Bsales. “Through a proprietary framework with ambitious goals, rigorous evaluation and full accountability, 4AIR’s process not only has effectiveness but also credibility with industry players.”
After market research, building the scientific backbone of the framework and working with prospective launch partners over the past year, Ricci told CJI now felt like the right time to launch. Even with the pandemic, he saw an acceleration in the interest and commitments around sustainability from the sector.
“In addition, sustainability is playing a factor more than ever before as people make purchasing decisions and that includes private aviation. Given the pandemic is introducing a lot of new entrants to the private aviation marketplace, the importance of sustainability is only going to grow.”
‘We thought the time was now’
Ricci said 4AIR saw an immediate need to increase “the comparability and transparency of private aviation’s existing sustainability efforts”, while at the same time, offer a solution for those in need of a sustainability programme. “Overall, we thought the time was now to take something that can feel very daunting, and make it not only doable but more understandable industry-wide.”
4AIR’s President can also give assurances to the validity of the various carbon credit programmes the company is using. Each is verified through bodies, including the Verified Carbon Standard (VERRA), The Gold Standard, American Carbon Registry, and Climate Action Reserve. Also, 4AIR programmes are reviewed by an independent third party, Also being an ACE member provides more direct and transparent access those carbon credits for both voluntary and CORISA compliance purposes.
“4AIR’s carbon intensity aligns with International Civil Aviation Organisation [ICAO] and Greenhouse Gas Protocol corporate accounting and reporting standards and allows for tracking of metrics for ESG [environmental, social and governance] data,” added Ricci.
Ricci and Bsales will appear on February 2, 2021 at the Corporate Jet Investor London 2021 Conference, addressing the topic “Making business aviation sustainable now and in the future.”