Goodwings, a Copenhagen-based travel provider dedicated to helping consumers reduce emissions from travel, announced today that it will introduce a biofuel option for its suite of climate solutions. Here’s how it works: When a customer books a hotel on the platform, Goodwings uses the revenue from their bookings (which, for companies like Bookings.com, goes into advertising) for green jet fuel (biofuel) and nature-based Funding for the Clearance Offset Project. Provide transparent travel emissions data for sustainability reporting on their behalf.
This move not only puts them at the forefront of businesses investing in the space, but also has a key differentiator compared to other providers – they offer services at prices that business travelers can afford. The new product will mean Goodwings customers will be able to reduce flight emissions by 25-100% on domestic travel, 10-50% on regional travel and 1-10% on long-haul travel, all at a significantly lower cost than buying it directly through the airline.
Goodwings’ announcement comes as the airline industry rushes to invest in green solutions to achieve net zero while still meeting growing travel demand. Until now, biofuels, which relied heavily on subsidies or private investment, remained out of reach for most businesses. Goodwings’ innovative business model (revenue from hotel bookings is used directly to fund biofuel use and removal compensation) makes it possible to accelerate the transition to a fossil-free future.
To learn more about this new product, I spoke with Christian Møller-Holst, CEO and founder of Goodwings, about the impact and how businesses are finally becoming aware of climate change.
Christopher Marquis: What was the idea behind adding biofuels to Goodwings products?
Christian Mueller-Holst: We have been investing in proven carbon removal projects for some time, [which are a hugely effective way of using nature to neutralize emissions], but we always knew we wanted to go a step further in our impact strategy and keep pace with the innovations that are reshaping the aviation industry. For now, biofuels are still not a viable alternative to fossil fuels – they are prohibitively expensive and produced in quantities that cannot be scaled across the industry. So we knew we had to position it in a way that businesses seemed to be able to get on board with little effort.
Marquis: How does adding biofuels complement your existing climate projects? Does this mean that biofuels are better than clearance compensation?
Moeller-Holst: For us, the point is impact. How can we have the greatest impact on the climate solutions we invest in? If we look at the targets set in the Paris Agreement, the approach is twofold – we need to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and replace them with renewable alternatives, but we also need to invest heavily in nature to absorb the huge amounts of carbon dioxide we emit of. With the addition of biofuels and our existing clearance offsets, we are addressing both needs.
Marquis: How do you make biofuels work economically?
Moeller-Holst: This is a good question. If you read anything about biofuels, it was written almost for the first time, so for many of our clients, it was almost “too good to be true.” But we’ve made it happen through our business model, where booking revenue goes directly to fund biofuels and nature-based projects, and subscription fees help keep the lights on at Goodwings headquarters.
Let me give you an example: If you fly from New York to Boston, your total round-trip emissions will be around 150kg. For this trip, a 3-night hotel stay booked on Goodwings.com will generate a hotel booking commission of approximately $60, which means we have the ability to use biofuels to reduce your round-trip emissions by 50% and pay the remainder with verification Remove offset. But the important thing to remember is that the longer you stay, the more commission you will get for buying biofuels, which is ultimately what we want to achieve. The good news is that this is a trend we are already seeing, and a direct byproduct of the post-COVID era, where business travelers travel less frequently but stay longer, thus reducing their carbon footprint.
Marquis: Are you seeing a lot of demand for biofuels from customers?
Moeller-Holst: Absolutely. Our current client portfolio is very satisfied with our proven nature-based projects, but the addition of ESG legislation means the bar will continue to rise. Fortunately, we are one step ahead in biofuels. But in general, I believe businesses of all sizes are finally starting to become aware of climate change. Not only are companies witnessing the impact on supply chains and revenue streams, but decision makers are also noticing the impact on their personal lives, which has driven many positive actions at the top, such as Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), Bird & Bird, Manyone and Designit recognized the need for Goodwings. I hope many others will follow their lead and start introducing sustainable travel policies and reduction targets. The reality is that no single business can solve this problem alone – we all need to be part of it.
Marquis: How does it work in practice – do you put biofuel on my plane?
Moeller-Holst: It could be yours, of course! Unfortunately, Goodwings doesn’t have staff at the airport with green fuel tanks, so we rely on our biofuel supplier, which supplies more than 20 airlines around the world. What we do is calculate your travel emissions using a DEFRA conversion factor, then buy the corresponding amount of biofuel and put it to use on a plane somewhere in the world. Everything is audited by TÜV and we pass the purchase certificate to our customers so they can use the emission reductions in their accounting. As we do with our nature-based projects, we make sure everything is third-party audited, so our clients feel like they can trust what we say is happening, and it’s actually happening!