Tui Travel’s airlines have increased their carbon reduction target after achieving their initial target two years early.

Tui said the target to reduce carbon by 6% was achieved through operational efficiencies, fuel conservation activities, capacity amendments and airline enhancements. The original target was set to be achieved between 2008 and 2014.

The group today launched its latest Sustainable Holidays Report as it announced plans to raise its carbon reduction target to 9%, meaning it has two years to save an additional 3%. 

The report is part of the Sustainable Holidays Plan which was created last year and comprises 20 challenges and measurable commitments, with four over-arching goals to achieve.

The goals set were for Tui to operate Europe’s most fuel-efficient airlines and to reduce carbon on the ground by 20,000 tonnes, to take 10 million customers on greener holidays and to be considered a leader in sustainable holidays by colleagues and customers.

The report highlights that Tui Travel saved £16 million during the 2012 financial year through environmental efficiencies. During 2013, Tui made significant investments to help it reach its green targets, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which is forecast to emit 20% less CO2 per passenger than comparable aircraft.

The group has also committed to buying 60 Being 737 MAX aircraft. Set for delivery in 2018, the fleet with offer improved fuel-efficiency. The investment in the new Split Scimitar Winglets will also help reduce fuel burn by an additional 2%.

Peter Long, chief executive of Tui Travel, said: “As a market leader, it is incumbent on us to pioneer sustainability change in the travel sector. Our objective is to deliver special travel experiences designed for our customers’ ever changing needs.

“Customers trust us to live up to our sustainability vision of minimising environmental impact, respecting culture and people, and bringing economic benefit to communities. In doing so, we improve the quality of their holidays, and help preserve the destinations we all love to visit.”

The new report also revealed that 89% of aircraft were fitted with fuel-saving winglets last year and that two million customers stayed at hotels with sustainability certifications, an increase of 800,000 in the last year.

Tui said since launching the plan, the group has organised more than 20 sustainability supplier workshops attended by 600 hoteliers and other stakeholders and had helped contributed more than €5m to charities and environmental projects.

Jane Ashton, director of group sustainable development, said: “Travel and tourism accounts for 9% of the world’s GDP and 6% of its exports.

“Tourism also accounts for 1 in 11 jobs globally and is the main source of foreign exchange in one-third of developing countries. The leisure travel industry can have both positive and negative impacts on communities and the natural environment – the challenge is how to manage these impacts for the greater good.
“In this report we outline Tui Travel’s first year of progress against the 2012-14 Sustainable Holidays Plan. Many of our targets are on track, but some are proving challenging, and in those instances we will re-double our efforts to make further progress by 2015.
“Meanwhile the global sustainability challenges remain as pressing as ever – for example, the impacts of eco-system degradation and climate change on the environment and communities in our holiday destinations, and on the holiday experience.”

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of Abta, said: “Tui Travel has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to sustainability in recent years.

“They understand that by improving the sustainability of their product they will be creating better holidays for their customers and helping to maintain the quality of the destinations visited.

“The company has shown how sustainability can be designed into the day to day management and operation of their businesses, and has been an early adopter of many new sustainability tools, such as Travelife and the Abta Global Animal Welfare guidelines.”