Finnair: Awesomeness by Carbon Calculator (never say never)

Just the other day I say we wouldn’t be covering Carbon Calculators unless they ran on AMEE. Wrong. This afternoon I got a link from Joseph Simpson at MovementDesign and it got me thinking. I have no idea why a thinktank dedicated to the future of movement wouldn’t actually blog the link rather than sending it to me, but that’s the web for you. Wired has a story about Finnair. Wired gives them props for not being defensive about emissions, but that’s not what jumped out at me. What I like is the fact Finnair is showing customers the potential carbon impacts of different journeys through different hubs.

It’s a simple application, but it’s pretty cool. Just load in your departure and arrival city, and the calculator returns the total distance of your trip, the amount of fuel used per passenger, and the amount of CO2 generated by that fuel. To calculate the per passenger number, Finnair looks at typical load factors for their different flight segments (long haul flights tend to be 85% full, leisure flights 95%, etc.), and also takes into account what type of plane is being flown on each route, since fuel efficiency varies depending on model. And, with typical Scandinavian thoroughness, Finnair has designed the calendar so that you’re able to see how emissions are impacted by connections at various Finnair hub cities.

Its that last function which interests me most, in some respects. Now if we could just get Finnair to integrate with AMEE at the back end and dopplr, the travel serendipity platform, at the front end for trip-planning, then we’d be cooking with… uh… a wind-powered oven. Exciting times. I would love to know what the implications are for trips through different hubs. I am pretty sure Heathrow, with its circling, and fuel-burning on the ground is just awful. Computers and augmented intelligence are going to redefine travel in the new energy era.