Wipro’s Air Travel Emissions

- Posted by Milkesh on July 3

cBalance has been engaging with Wipro, an Indian Information Technology Services Corporation, to estimate their GHG emissions from air travel since 2015.
The objective of the project has been to estimate GHG emissions from air travel, analyze Wipro’s flying patterns, estimate possible reductions in GHG emissions and recommend strategies to reduce GHG emissions.

The analysis was adhered to GHG Protocol’s Corporate Standard, accompanied by IPCC Guidelines 2006 to calculate airline specific emission factors (insert footnote)

Following the equation:

GHG Emissions = Activity Data  x  Emission Factor

Here, the Activity Data was the distance between Airport A to Airport B, calculated using great circle equation.
Emission factor was given in terms of kg CO2e / pax-km for each airline, distinguished based on whether the flight was International or Domestic and whether the flight was short, medium or long haul (this was determined based on the distance).

View detailed methodology here.

FY 2014-2015 & FY 2015-2016

For FY 2014-2015 estimated GHG emissions were 170.1 thousand tonnes CO2e, with 1,269.8 million pax-km traveled across 5.0 lac flights
For FY 2015-2016 estimated GHG emissions were 152.9 thousand tonnes CO2e, with 1,134.4 million pax-km traveled across 4.7 lac flights

During these two cycle of analysis, other than estimating the GHG emissions from air travel, the major emphasis was on quantifying reduction potential and study reduction strategies. This was achieved by modeling two scenarios :
Best-In-Class Switch :
The goal of this scenario was to determine, for a given flight, the best airline in terms of emission factor ranking for its specified route. This helped us and Wipro quantify reduction potential just by switching over to a more efficient airline.
The estimated GHG emissions reduction from Best-In-Class switch for FY 2014-2015 were 59.9 thousand tonnes CO2e and for FY 2015-2016 were 36.9 thousand tonnes CO2e
Multi-stop to Non-stop Switch :
The goal of this scenario was to determine possible reductions in GHG emissions switching from a multi-stop flight to a non-stop flight.
The estimated GHG emissions reduction from Multi-stop to Non-stop switch for FY 2014-2015 were 19.4 thousand tonnes CO2e and for FY 2015-2016 were 11.7 thousand tonnes CO2e

In total, 79.3 thousand tonnes CO2e and 48.6 thousand tonnes CO2e reductions were estimated respectively for FY 2014-2015 and FY 2015-2016

View emission comparison report between FY 2014-2015 & FY 2015-2016 here.

A white paper titled Reducing Air Travel Emissions can be read here, where we have ranked airlines based on their GHG Emission Factor.

FY 2016-2017 & FY 2017-2018

For FY 2016-2017 estimated GHG emissions were 130.2 thousand tonnes CO2e, with 923.7 million pax-km traveled across 2.1 lac flights
For FY 2017-2018 estimated GHG emissions were 116.5 thousand tonnes CO2e, with 836.8 million pax-km traveled across 1.9 lac flights

Since the recommendations of flying the best-in-class airline, flying non-stop over multi-stop and choosing to travel via railways and/or use video calling services were already implemented, during these cycle only emission estimation was conducted on the business unit level.
For future development, the goal is to implement emissions and a financial budgeting system with respect to flying on a business unit level with the idea that it would create responsible air travel amongst employees.

Details on the Business Units wise emissions for FY 2016-2017 can be viewed here.

Furthermore, click here to view a comparison between Economy vs Business Class emissions between FY 2016-2017 and FY 2017-2018

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