Victor chairman Clive Jackson says private jet charter customers need to embrace carbon offsets to answer industry critics
Outspoken private jet charter boss Clive Jackson is telling both the industry and consumers to get serious about embracing carbon mitigation and offset programs and sustainability. The move comes as he announced Victor offset payments are now audited by a third-party accounting firm. He calls it an “obligation” and wants other providers to follow suit.
Jackson says unless competitors and passengers move faster to embrace offsetting their carbon emissions, a growing number of critics will move to ban private jets.
He believes the anti-private jet movement is gaining support and power. “I’m seriously worried…We need to address it, and our customers need to address it. We need to get those people sitting in the back of the plane to understand the importance (of being proactive about offsets) and their role.”
Victor has included double carbon offsets in its on-demand charter pricing since July 2019. He says all Victor non-flight business activities are also being offset. “You can’t just say it’s the planes, then drive a Hummer to work,” he says.
Jackson is also adamant private jet users need to step up. “This is a privilege…freedom of choice to fly in a private aircraft. That comes with a responsibility,” he tells Private Jet Card Comparisons.
An audit conducted by Cooper Parry Group Limited affirmed in 2020, Victor purchased and retired 45,084 credits to offset 1.8 million gallons of fuel burned from 2,770 flights Victor booked. That protects forests covering an area four times the size of Manhattan and 116 times Monaco’s size.
Answering private jet critics
During a telephone interview, he acknowledged that aviation only accounts for 2% of worldwide carbon emissions, and private jets are just 2% of that 2%. He also acknowledges sustainable aviation fuel can reduce carbon emissions by as much as 80%. Despite that, he says the industry is a target and needs to be more proactive.
He points out Covid-19 travel restrictions led to a 56.9% reduction in CO2 emissions from flights across Europe.
With private jets leading the travel recovery and SAF still hard-to-find and expensive, he says if customers and providers don’t shut down critics by aggressively embracing offsets, the industry could find itself legislated out of existence.
Jackson applauds the growing number of companies offering offset programs. He believes they should be mandatory, although he isn’t calling for government action.
However, he is launching a five-point plan. It calls for “raising awareness with consumers, supply chain, and future generations of the impact of their carbon footprint and how they can reduce or mitigate it.”
It also calls for transparency of current offset initiatives. He says the audit of Victor’s offset payments cost under $20,000. Third-party audits, he believes, may satisfy critics of the industry.
The amount of offsets needed is based on fuel burn, which can vary based on weather conditions and aircraft type. Last year, NetJets published a rate card so its customers can purchase offsets. Carbon offsets for an Embraer Phenom 300 are $25.58 per hour, ranging up to $68.72 per hour for a Bombarder Global 6000.
Jackson says he’s unsure if Victor has lost any clients because it includes offsets as mandatory, although he claims it comes out of the bottom line instead of a mark-up. Either way, he says, “It’s the right thing to do.”