Virgin America, the low-cost airline known for cabin mood lighting and satellite TV access, is set to become the first U.S. airline to report carbon emissions through the Climate Registry, a nonprofit that calculates and reports greenhouse gas emissions.
The airline will report data on a yearly basis as part of its attempt to reduce emissions. It’s a clever move on the part of Virgin–Congress recently proposed legislation that requires the Environmental Protection Agency to create GHG emissions standards for aircraft. The EPA is also considering mandatory GHG reporting.
This isn’t the first environmentally-conscious move from Virgin, which operates an Airbus A320 fleet that releases 25% less CO2 than other fleets. The airline was the first commercial carrier to join the EPA’s Climate Leaders program and to work with the organization on creating an GHG emissions inventory. Virgin also uses fuel-saving techniques that other airlines are just now catching on to, such as single engine taxiing, minimizing auxiliary power use, and regulating cruise speed to reduce fuel burn.
The Virgin Group’s other airline, Virgin Atlantic, was the first airline to fly with biofuel in February of last year. Since then, airlines including Air New Zealand and Continental have followed suit, but Virgin America hasn’t tested the biofuel waters yet.