Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways has vowed to ‘adopt’ a mangrove tree for each Economy Space booking – which has more legroom than Economy Class – in a bid to ensure each seat is carbon neutral.
The move is part of the company’s Etihad Forest programme which eventually wants to establish carbon absorbing forests in every continent in which the airline operates.
Each mangrove planted will absorb up to 250kg of CO2 in its lifetime – the same amount produced by an eight-hour flight.
The project was launched in Abu Dhabi in February this year and is aiming to plant 182,000 mangroves trees in the emirate by the first quarter of 2023. The next phase will plant new forests in international destinations.
Mangrove trees are one of the best plants for absorbing and cleansing carbon emissions, removing up to four times more carbon dioxide from the air than other tropical forests. They help to fight the effects of climate change, as well as support biodiversity, as an important habitat for fish, birds and other wildlife.
Every passenger who books an Economy Space seat will receive confirmation of their gifted mangrove in the Etihad Forest within 10 days of flying. From this link, it will be possible to track, virtually visit, see photos and details of their tree, as well as confirming the carbon offset for their recent travel.
Mariam Al Qubaisi, Head of Sustainability, Etihad Aviation Group, said: ‘In addition to our own sustainability ambitions, we made a commitment to helping our guests and partners to travel more sustainably and empower them to make conscious choices.
‘With the latest evolution of our sustainability programme to plant a mangrove on behalf of every guest who books an Economy Space seat, we’re simplifying the process so anyone can travel sustainably.
‘The Etihad Mangrove Forest is a key initiative in our sustainability journey to ensure our responsibility to remove carbon from the atmosphere is progressing. The intent is to create forests on all continents we fly to, and to provide our guests with an engaging opportunity to take part in the solution.’
Mangroves are one of Abu Dhabi’s most important ecological assets, protected by the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD).
Close to the city itself, the Mangroves National Park is a popular tourist destination. Making up about 75 per cent of the total mangrove forest area in the UAE it is a biodiversity hotspot that includes salt marshes, mudflats, and algae.
Its indigenous trees protect against tidal surges, and purify the surrounding water as well as removing CO2 from the atmosphere. There is an also abundance of life among the trees and water. Crabs, turtles, herons, flamingos and fish live alongside larger creatures like foxes, dugongs and even dolphins.
Click here to learn more and on how to get involved.