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Thursday, October 16, 2008

How do environmentally friendly Airport Managers get on with their customers?

email to the directors of Gloucestershire Airport, after another slick environmental presentation:

Dear Mark and Darren,

Congratulations on the all the effort that you have made on your green policy. Your business is becoming a leader in minimising its waste and using data analysis to assist in environmental management. Your efforts could be used as a model for other companies in this area. It is genuinely exciting to hear of a company that discusses climate change at every board meeting.

But (and this is a big but), as you are aware most of the emissions that your business produce will be in the air and include large amounts of Nitrous oxides, which are 300 times more powerful as a green house gas than CO2. So I am trying to imagine the scenario and how the conversation would go with George Davis, as he readies his plane for weekend skiing break. I think it would go something like this:

Mark: “Hello George, what a lovely car. You know, our entire staff car share and cycle now. Would you like to keep your emissions down by car sharing when you come to the airport.”

George: “Sorry Mark, I really don’t give a damn.”

Mark: “George, come into my office and I will explain to you about climate change, and why it is such an issue. Please don’t trip over anything as the lights are off because we are keeping our emissions down.”

During an excellent and slick presentation (which has now been practised many times), and which lays bare the inevitability of runaway climate change, Darren attempts to dissuade George from flying,

Darren: “Well George it is like this, we have calculated the distance that you are going to fly on Google Earth and applied a 10% uplift, and multiplied by some other figures that DEFRA have given us. We estimate that your flight will produce about 10 tonnes of greenhouse gases, but we have assumed radiative forcing impacts are zero because nobody can agree where between 2 and 5 the actual figure will lie.

George, let me level with you, the problem is that your weekend skiing trip will wipe out all the savings that we have made over the year and completely trash our aims of becoming an environmentally friendly airport, and even though you say your jet is a business jet, the only thing that we have loaded for you are skies.”

George, “Sorry Darren, I really don’t give a damn. Is my plane ready?”

Darren: “Well yes, it is actually, enjoy your flight and keep coming because we have a £3.5 million pound investment to pay off and if people like you stop coming because of our green policy, it will take over 25 years to pay off.”

However, on the assumption that the airport does not expand, and does close down, as you keep threatening, you at least now have the experience to set up as Environmental Consultants. You have clearly achieved more in reducing your waste than many other companies have done. You never know, if I do not get the air traffic controllers job at the airport, I may end up working for you!!

Regards,
Kevin Lister
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