By David Pflieger
Virgin America, an offshoot of Virgin Atlantic, is the first airline in the United States to offer passengers the opportunity to offset the environmental impact of their travels. Through carbonfund.org, individuals and businesses can donate to projects that have been verified as reducing the carbon footprint of human activity through expansion of alternative energy sources, reforestation, and other efforts.
“Carbon Offsets” is an industry term that describes an exchange unit for carbon-dioxide emissions. While many manufacturing and transportation companies are assigned a limit to the amount of greenhouse gases they may emit, participating in and funding certain environmental projects can help them earn credits for emissions they produce over their maximum value. This ensures compliance by offsetting their overall impact. Many companies now purchase these credits as part of their normal operating costs.
Carbonfund.org, however, retires carbon offset credits purchased by donors. This retirement ensures that the credits will not be used to increase the volume of industrial-waste output. For passengers of Virgin America, connecting with carbonfund.org allows the environmentally conscious to work towards an overall goal of carbon neutrality by buying carbon offsets and balancing their personal pollution responsibilities.
About the Author: David Pflieger is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Air Pacific and its subsidiary, Pacific Sun. With Air Pacific, David Pflieger continues to implement the green initiatives he helped found as part of Virgin America.