Qantas Frequent Flyers who make sustainable choices at home and when they travel will be rewarded under a new Green membership tier to roll out early next year.
The Green tier will sit alongside existing flying tiers, and is designed to educate, encourage and reward the airline’s 13 million frequent flyers for everything from offsetting their flights, staying in eco-hotels, walking to work and installing solar panels at home.
Qantas will be the first airline in the world to reward frequent flyers for being more sustainable in the air and on the ground.
Members will need to complete at least five sustainable activities across six areas – flying, travel, lifestyle, sustainable purchases, reducing impact and giving back – each year to achieve Green tier status. Once achieved, members will be rewarded with benefits like bonus Qantas Points or status credits. These benefits will be in addition to the rewards they get under their existing flying status or as part of Points Club.
The initiative has been driven by feedback from frequent flyers, with research showing almost two-thirds want to be more aware of their impact on the environment and would like support in their efforts to be more sustainable.
While the program will not officially start until early next year, from today frequent flyers who offset their flights, home and car, install solar panels or make a contribution towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef will see these actions go towards meeting their sustainability target as part of attaining Green tier status.
Other environmentally friendly behaviours, like walking to work and contributing to the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel, which significantly reduces the emissions from flying, will also be rewarded after the program launches officially next year.
Offset your life
From today, members can offset their home and car emissions through the Frequent Flyer program, helping support high quality and verified carbon offset projects in Australia and around the world.
The investment from customers will see Qantas, which is already one of the largest private sector buyers of Australian carbon credits, support more conservation and environmental projects. This includes restoring local inland ecosystems, reforestation projects, Indigenous fire management projects in Arnhem Land and the development of wind farms in developing countries.
In practical terms, members can use a simple calculator on the Frequent Flyer website to estimate direct emissions from their home and car and choose to offset them for a year at a time.
Members earn 10 Qantas Points per $1 spent when they offset their home or car. The average annual cost to offset home energy for a family of four with two cars would be approximately $200 or 26,000 Qantas Points.
If just 100,000 frequent flyers offset their home and car emissions for a year, the initiative could see a reduction of more than 1 million tonnes of carbon – the same amount that would be saved from installing 170,000 rooftop solar panels.
This initiative complements Qantas’ existing Fly Carbon Neutral, which is the world’s leading offset program, with 11 per cent of customers on qantas.com offsetting their carbon emissions. Qantas matches customer contributions dollar for dollar.
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said sustainability was set to become a core part of the Frequent Flyer program and of the national carrier’s approach more broadly.
“Our customers are concerned about climate change and so are we. There’s a lot of action we’re taking as an airline to reduce our emissions and that means we have the framework to help our customers offset and take other steps to reduce their own footprint.
“This new Green tier is a way of encouraging and recognising those who want to do their part by offering Qantas Points or status credits, which we know helps shape customer choices.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve used points to reward members for taking positive action in their own lives. We’ve seen it work when we’ve provided points for walking through our wellbeing app, while the vaccination reward has been taken up by more than 600,000 members already.
“Offsetting is one of the main ways Australia can reduce its net emissions in the short to medium term until new low emission technology becomes available.
“As an airline, we’re looking at structural changes to reduce our greenhouse gases, including investment in more efficient aircraft that can cut emissions by 15 per cent and using sustainable aviation fuel that typically cuts it by up to 80 per cent.
“In Europe and the United States, there’s a growing sustainable aviation fuel sector that proves the potential for Australia to create one of its own. We’re having conversations with the rest of the industry and governments on how we kickstart that. In the meantime, we are finalising our first significant purchase of sustainable aviation fuel.”
Qantas Group action on climate change
These new initiatives for frequent flyers are an extension of the Qantas Group’s commitment to taking action on climate change and achieving net zero emissions from its own operations by 2050. Qantas was only the second airline in the world to commit to net zero emissions, back in 2019.
The Group has four pillars that support its net zero target:
- Working with governments and bioenergy providers on the development of sustainable aviation fuel production in Australia, which the Qantas Group has committed $50 million towards.
- Investing in next generation and low emission aircraft, which reduce fuel burn.
- Offsetting emissions by investing in high quality and verified projects.
- Ongoing work to reduce fuel burn as part of day to day operations, including through smarter flight planning.
The Group is currently developing a pathway towards interim 2030 targets and will provide a significant update early next year.