Thomson and First Choice call for emissions transparency at ABTA conference

Thomson and First Choice, part of the UK's biggest holiday company, today encouraged the travel industry to be more open about its carbon emissions.

Call for transparency: Thomson and First Choice

Speaking at the travel industry's biggest annual event - ABTA's Travel Convention, in Barcelona - Thomson's director of communications, Christian Cull, said his company was ‘taking climate change seriously' and encouraged other travel firms to be more transparent about emissions.

Cull revealed that Thomson's parent group TUI travel had been commended by the Carbon Disclosure Project and been included in the Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index for being within the  top-scoring 10 per cent of FTSE350 companies, for the second year running.

Thomson, which owns dozens of aircraft and cruise ships, is calling for the rest of the travel industry to immediately adopt full and transparent carbon reporting.

Its parent group has set a carbon reduction target of six per cent by 2013/14 and has set 70 targets to achieve this year.

Dermot Blastland, managing director of Thomson and First Choice, said: ‘It is rare within our industry to set carbon targets that stretch a business and which they have to report against clearly, in order for stakeholders and customers to understand.  Outside pressure is known to improve performance.  If companies do not set objectives that they are accountable for then they are not going to work as hard to achieve them.'

Blastland added:'If the climate change challenge is not tackled now, we may not have an industry by 2050.  Travel companies need to put the right objectives in place, measure their impact on the environment and set targets that they want to achieve and be judged against.'

Thomson is also calling on the UK Government to incentivise and reward good performance when setting environmental taxes - something the current Air Passenger Duty fails to do.

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