ICAO and Google collaborate to improve the methodology for calculating flight carbon emissions


Last month we announced our new collaboration with Google that is focused on sharing expertise around methodologies for calculating carbon emissions and the broader decarbonization of the aviation industry. Under the scope of the new agreement, we are working with Google to identify opportunities for collaboration and improvement on the respective methodologies. This  empowers the general public, industry stakeholders, and regulators to make informed, environmentally sustainable and science-based choices related to air transport.

“Currently, a wide range of independently produced aviation carbon calculators provide very diverse emissions estimate results for a given aircraft and flight,” emphasized ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar. “This is largely due to different sets of data being employed, simplifications in the related methodologies, and scientific uncertainty. ICAO’s new partnership with Google should result in much more reliable results for passengers and shippers everywhere.”

We both have emission assessment tools.

The ICAO Carbon Emissions Calculator is the only calculator of its type to be approved by aviation regulators, and is presently used extensively by consumers, business, governments, international organizations, non-profit organizations, and UN system organizations.

Google’s Travel Impact Model is a publicly accessible methodology for estimating flight emissions at the individual passenger level. Today, the Travel Impact Model helps people choose lower emitting flights by providing the carbon emission estimates on Google Flights and other online travel platforms, through Google’s collaboration with Travalyst.

“We want to help everyone make more sustainable choices when they travel,” said Sebnem Erzan, Head of Travel Sustainability & Transport Partnerships, Google. “Together with ICAO, we can continue to improve the Travel Impact Model for flight emissions and increase transparency for travelers around the world.”

“We’re very confident that ICAO and Google’s collaboration will provide greater integrity and consistency in reported greenhouse gasses inventories, and more accurate carbon footprint estimations.”