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.
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.
Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests break out in Russia
Zelensky addresses the U.N. as protests over Putin’s mobilisation plan break out in Russia
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Zelensky says his nation just wants peace and believes Russia should be punished and ostracised for its actions.
“A crime has been committed against Ukraine and we demand just punishment. The crime was committed against our state borders. The crime was committed against the lives of our people,” Zelensky said. “Ukraine demands punishment for trying to steal our territory”.
In the powerful speech, the Ukrainian President also called for Russia to lose its U.N. veto power. Russia is currently one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.
He is also seeking more military aid, pleading for more weapons to help liberate his country’s land.
Protests engulf major Russia cities
In Russia, police have arrested hundreds of protestors who are rallying against Vladimir Putin’s military mobilisation.
Human rights group OVD Info estimates more than 1,000 people have been taken into custody so far. The largest number of arrests were made in St Petersburg and Moscow.
As the Kremlin announced its intention to call up thousands of extra troops to fight the warn in Ukraine, flights departing Russia sold out almost immediately.
The mobilisation will likely see at least 300,000 military reservists drafted to bolster Russia’s forces.
In Moscow, the prosecutor’s office is warning that calls on the internet to join protests, or participation in these protests, could result in up to 15 years in jail time.
Russia’s disinformation laws about the war have made public demonstrations rare.
In his first national televised address since the war began, Putin said he will use “all available means” to protect Russian territory.
In theory, this could include nuclear weapons.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says the alliance remains vigilant.
“We will make sure that there is no misunderstanding in Moscow about exactly how we will react. Of course it depends upon what kind of situation or what kind or weapons they may use. The most important thing is to prevent that from happening and that is why we have been so clear in our communications with Russia about the unprecedented consequences,” Stoltenberg said.
Meanwhile, Putin’s mobilisation follows weeks of heavy losses for Russia in Ukraine, with Kyiv recapturing a huge area just east of Kharkiv.
U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future
U.S. to provide Ukraine with tanks in the future, but there is a catch
The U.S. will provide tanks to Ukraine in the future, but issues with maintenance and training may delay the rollout.
Ukraine has received billions of dollars worth of weapons and military equipment, allowing the war-torn nation to defend itself against Putin’s regime.
Russian forces are continuing to “conduct airstrikes that are impacting civilian infrastructure”, most recently striking a “dam near Kryvyi Rih”, according to a top U.S. official.
“This disturbing pattern which includes strikes that hit power stations last week continues to show Russian forces’ disregard for civilian life,” the official added.
When it comes to further military aid, the offical confirmed tanks are “absolutely on the table”, but are not an option for the immediate battle.
Once training, maintenance and sustainment issues are addressed, the roll out is more likely.
This follows verified reports Ukraine has successfully shot down 55 Russian
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed there would be no let-up in fighting to regain
territory lost to Russia.
Mass burial site discovered in Ukraine
A mass grave with over 400 bodies has been found in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region
The price of war is beginning to reveal itself in Ukraine as a mass grave, with over 400 bodies has been discovered in the recently liberated Kharkiv region.
The burial site was found in the city of Izyum, an area captured by Russian forces at the beginning of the war, and a victim to ultimate brutality.
Over recent days, Ukrainian forces have recaptured the area. So far, they have discovered over 1000 bodies in the city, with this number rising every day.
The mass grave site shows the extent of Russia’s atrocities, although Russia denies responsibility.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is launching an investigation and says “Russia leaves death everywhere and it must be held accountable for that.”
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