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Air Travel Carbon Output Soaring

airplaneNike’s travel-related emissions soared 89 percent from 2008 to 2011, even though during that same time period Newsweek called it the greenest US consumer products company.

That shows how frustrating it’s been for companies trying to shrink their carbon footprints by targeting business travel, Bloomberg reports.

More than 1,150 companies worldwide now track and publicly report the greenhouse-gas emissions produced by their business travel, according to CDP, a non-profit group that surveys public companies about their environmental risks and analyzes the resulting disclosures, for the benefit of institutional investors.

Air travel emits a lot of heat-trapping gases relative to other forms of travel. A round-trip flight between London’s Heathrow Airport and JFK in New York produces about 1.5 metric tons of carbon emissions per passenger.

About 2 percent of global carbon pollution comes from civil aviation and aviation is also one of the fastest growing emitters. Surging air travel will cause aviation emissions to jump between 63 percent and 88 percent from 2006 to 2020, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization.

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