Staying in an eco-hotel, offsetting your flights and buying wine from an eco vineyard are just a few ways Qantas frequent flyers can reach Green tier, a new status announced by the airline last week. Joining existing tiers Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One, Green tier is designed to educate, encourage and reward the airline’s frequent flyers who make sustainable choices at home and when they travel.
Members will need to complete at least five sustainable activities across six areas — flying, travel, lifestyle, sustainable purchases, reducing impact and giving back — each year to achieve Green tier status. Once achieved, they’ll be rewarded with benefits like bonus Qantas points or status credits, which will be in addition to the rewards they’ll get under their existing flying status or as part of Points Club.
While the programme doesn’t official start until early next year, from now, frequent flyers who offset their flights, home and car; install solar panels; help support verified carbon offset projects in Australia and around the world; or make a contribution towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef will see these actions go towards meeting their sustainability target for Green tier status.
Other environmentally-friendly behaviours like walking to work and contributing to the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel, which significantly reduces the emissions from flying, will also be rewarded after the programme officially launches next year.
The initiative was driven by feedback from frequent flyers, with research showing almost two-thirds want to be more aware of their impact on the environment and would like support in their efforts to be more sustainable.
“Our customers are concerned about climate change and so are we,” says Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce. “There’s a lot of action we’re taking as an airline to reduce our emissions and that means we have the framework to help our customers offset and take other steps to reduce their own footprint.”
“This new Green tier is a way of encouraging and recognising those who want to do their part by offering Qantas Points or status credits, which we know helps shape customer choices.”
Joyce says the use of points to reward members for taking positive action in their lives has worked well for the airline in the past – they provide points for walking through its wellbeing app and the vaccination reward was taken up by more than 600,000 members already.
“Offsetting is one of the main ways Australia can reduce its net emissions in the short to medium term until new low emission technology becomes available,” he says. “As an airline, we’re looking at structural changes to reduce our greenhouse gases, including investment in more efficient aircraft that can cut emissions by 15% and using sustainable aviation fuel that typically cuts it by up to 80%.”
The airline has committed to taking action on climate change and hopes to achieve net-zero emissions from its own operations by 2050.
For more info on how to Green tier status, head here.