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Vodafone, Microsoft, Other Companies Save $33m in Flight Costs Under WWF Program

Microsoft, BSkyB, BT, Vodafone UK and other organizations saved £21 million ($33 million) in flight costs over the past two years under a carbon reduction program run by the World Wildlife Fund.

The One in Five Challenge program, which recently released its second annual report, aims to help businesses and government cut 20 percent of their business flights within five years. Member companies have been able to reduce travel expenditures and their carbon footprint by replacing flights with rail travel and increasing the use of audio- and video-conferencing.

Cumulatively, member companies have cut 73,848 flights, flown 92 million fewer kilometers and have reduced their emissions by 26,455 tons of carbon emissions in the past two years, from a 2009 baseline.

The program, which launched in 2009, has 12 member organizations including Capgemini, Marks & Spencer, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, the Scottish government, Skanska, WWF-UK, Balfour Beatty and Llyods TSB. The latter two joined the challenge this year.

Lloyds TSB, the program’s newest member, has already achieved the challenge’s goal, cutting 26 percent of its business flights in a single year.

Five organizations, which weren’t identified in the report, spent £28 million on flights in their baseline year. After two years of the program, these companies reduced expenses by £12 million, a decrease of 43 percent. That’s an average of £2.4 million saved by each company.

After two years, these same five companies have reduced emissions by 18,000 tons, or 38 percent, to 29,000 tons. The report found these five companies also:

  • Reported a total of 141,000 flights in the baseline year. In year three, they had decreased flights by 58,000, or 41 percent, to 83,000 flights. That’s an average decrease of 11,600 flights each;
  • Flew 184 million kilometers in the baseline year. In year three, they had reduced the distance flown by 70 million kilometers, or 38 percent, to 114 million kilometers.

The WWF also runs the Climate Savers program. Members of that program, which include Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Sony and Volvo, cut their CO2 emissions by more than 100 million tons over the period 1999 to 2011, according to an independent review of the program released in May.

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