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Qantas becomes first airline in the world to launch sustainable initiative for flyers

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Qantas A380

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.

Qantas 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.”

JOYCE SAID IN A STATEMENT.

How the programme will run:

From Friday November 26, members can offset their home and car emissions through the Qantas Frequent Flyer program, helping support high quality and verified carbon offset projects in Australia and around the world.

The investment from customers will see the airline, which is already one of the largest private sector buyers of Australian carbon credits, support more conservation and environmental projects.

Among those investments 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.

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.

Qantas 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.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

Ukraine Crisis

The Ukrainian boss suing Russia for $20 billion

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Ukraine’s richest man is planning to sue Russia for nearly 20 billion dollars for losses caused by the bombardment of steel plants in Mariupol.

The Illich Steel and Iron Works, also owned by Akhmetov, was also badly damaged during Russian shelling of Mariupol.

The Azovstal steelworks suffered heavy damage from Russian bombing and shelling after the sprawling plant became the last bastion of defence in the southern port city.

Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov îs suing Russia

Now billionaire Rinat Akhmetov, who owns the biggest Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest, is planning to sue the Kremlin.

“We will definitely sue Russia and demand proper compensation for all losses and lost business,” Rinat Akhmetov, who owns the biggest Ukrainian steelmaker Metinvest, told Ukrainian news portal mrpl.city.

“The replacement cost … due to Russian aggression is from $17 to $20 billion. The final amount will be determined in a lawsuit against Russia.”

Ukrainian billionaire Rinat Akhmetov

The final amount will be decided in the lawsuit.

The billionaire has already suffered years of losses due to Russia’s fighting in Ukraine’s east.

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Ukraine Crisis

Hunger fears mount over Ukraine grain blockade

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Ukraine’s grain mills are struggling to get back into full swing after suffering war damage, and that spells trouble for domestic consumers, and the global market.

Russian forces may have pulled back from Chernihiv in northern Ukraine, but the damage left behind is still there to see.

The local Mlibor granary reopened in April after Moscow withdrew from the area.

While it meets the country’s demand for corn, production is limited after Russian forces damaged the site through shelling.

Granary CEO Serhii Yarosh says the flour mill is completely out of order.

“The buildings are damaged, the workshops are damaged and the mill. Now we should be milling the flour which our country needs very much.”

Russia’s invasion – which it calls a ‘special military operation’ – has also led to a blockade of Ukrainian Black Sea ports.

That’s bad news for global food supplies as Ukraine is one of the world’s top producers of grain.

Pierre Vauthier is from the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation.

“Odesa has to be reopened and we need to have an agreement to have it reopened. This diplomatic solution has to be discussed. There are people who can solve the situation and we need to have an agreement. As our secretary general has reminded us.”

Vauthier warned even if a diplomatic solution is reached on reopening the ports, it would still take several months to establish safe export routes.

The Kremlin has rejected claims that Russia has blocked grain exports from Ukraine, saying western sanctions are to blame.

On Thursday (May 26), a senior Turkish official said Ankara was in negotiations with Moscow and Kyiv to open a corridor via Turkey for grain exports from Ukraine.

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Ukraine Crisis

Ukrainian Foreign Minister accuses Moscow of blackmail

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Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba says that Moscow is ready to end the blockade of Black Sea ports in Ukraine if the West relaxes its sanctions against Russia

The Foreign Minister has described Moscow’s latest offer as blackmail towards the international community.

This comes as the United Nations warns the block could intensify the global food crisis.

As 20 million tonnes of grain continue to be trapped in Ukrainian silos, international leaders fear that the naval blockade could lead to world grain shortages and further political instability.

Ukraine is one of the largest food suppliers in the world and is critical for the food distribution network.

Russia’s strong hold on the Black Sea ports has halted Ukrainian food export since the beginning of the war in February.

Samantha Hogan contributed to this article.

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