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CarbonChoice carbon offset program

Our Eco-Skies CarbonChoice program provides customers with the opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint associated with their air travel through the purchase of carbon offsets. Our corporate customers can take advantage of a similar program, with the option to purchase carbon offsets for both cargo shipments and business travel. Available through our partnership with Sustainable Travel International (STI), the carbon offsets allow participants to support projects designed to help reduce greenhouse gases and provide social and economic benefits to communities United serves. Learn more about calculating your carbon offsets.

How the program works

After you calculate the carbon footprint of your travel using our carbon calculator, you will have the option to donate to one of STI’s carbon reduction projects using money or miles. STI will invest your contribution in the selected project through the purchase of carbon offsets, which represent a certain amount of reduction in greenhouse gases.

CarbonChoice for businesses

CarbonChoice gives our corporate customers the ability to track and offset the emissions associated with their business travel and freight shipments on United. This program provides customized emissions reports and gives customers the option to easily offset these emissions. If you are interested in this service, please contact your local sales manager directly or contact us via email.

CarbonChoice for cargo

Cargo customers can also calculate the impact for a specific shipment with our CarbonChoice single-shipment calculator and see different options for offsetting the applicable amount of carbon emissions. Or create a customized program for all cargo shipments. If you are interested in this service, please contact your local sales manager directly or contact us via email.

Sustainable Travel Internation logo

Our carbon reduction projects include:

Community-based forest conservation in Peru:

Your support for Conservation International's Alto Mayo Forest Carbon Project in northern Peru helps to protect a critical watershed for more than 240,000 people and many threatened species found nowhere else on Earth. The project also provides jobs for local families and incentivizes new approaches to farming that support rather than undermine native forests. This project is an independently verified REDD+ carbon offset project registered under the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS).

Forest conservation in California:

Your support of the Garcia River Forest Project helps to conserve forestland, restore wildlife habitat and protect local forestry jobs in the heart of California’s Redwood region. Preservation of this forest land allows for the prevention of 77,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and is an independently verified carbon offset project registered with the Climate Action Reserve.

Renewable energy in Texas:

Your support of the Capricorn Ridge Wind project helps to displace fossil fuel-based energy production with clean, renewable wind power. This project produces enough wind-based electricity to power approximately 220,000 homes annually and is an independently verified carbon offset project registered with the Verified Carbon Standard.

Carbon offset program FAQs

What is carbon offsetting and how can I offset my emissions?

Carbon offsetting is a process designed to alleviate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions that result from the use of fossil fuels by reducing emissions from another source. Through this process, United customers now have the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions resulting from their travel by making tax-deductible charitable contributions to a variety of independently reviewed and certified environmental projects focused on forest conservation, renewable energy and avoided deforestation.

After you book your flight, you will be given the option to calculate your emissions and offset your carbon, or you can simply visit our carbon offset website and enter either your itinerary information or a dollar amount that you’d like to contribute.

How do you calculate the CO2 emissions?

The calculations we use are based on actual fuel consumption of the United Airlines fleet. Calculations are based on a comprehensive carbon footprint of our flight operations, specific to routes, planes utilized, load factors, assumed passenger weight and actual fuel use. The carbon calculator only assigns the emissions associated with individual passenger travel and does not include other emissions generated by cargo transport, crew travel, etc.

Calculations represent the CO2 emitted during fuel combustion and do not account for upstream CO2 emissions from fuel production, refinement and transportation by oil companies. While upstream emissions are difficult to measure precisely, some estimates suggest that they account for approximately 16% of a fuel’s total life cycle CO2 emissions.

What is a metric ton(ne)?
A tonne (t) or metric ton (M/T), also referred to as a metric tonne, is a measurement of mass equal to 1,000 kilograms. 1 tonne = 1.102 U.S. tons, or 2,204 pounds.
Why did United choose to work with Sustainable Travel International?
We reviewed a wide range of carbon offset providers. Sustainable Travel International was the standout because of its international focus, excellence of mission and high standards, which make the organization a good fit for United and our customers. We also value Sustainable Travel International's policy of only selecting carbon offset projects that have obtained independent third-party verification and are registered with long-standing and well-respected carbon quantification protocols. Learn more about Sustainable Travel International