Turning Travel Net Zero with Goodwings

Christian Møller-Holst, CEO and founder of Goodwings, joined us at X. Festival to deliver the final keynote for ‘Emerging Trends’.

He presented the audience with an innovative business model to unlock substantial changes in making the tourism and travel industry sustainable during his talk. Christian mentioned that that. There is a necessity to rethink how we travel as we are returning to travel post-pandemic. He referred to COP 26 takeaways, including the concern for the planet’s future.

Christian Møller-Holst, CEO and founder of Goodwings, joined us at X. Festival to deliver the final keynote for ‘Emerging Trends’ as an entrepreneur and sustainability expert.

He presented the audience with an innovative business model to unlock substantial changes in making the tourism and travel industry sustainable during his talk. Christian mentioned that that. There is a necessity to rethink how we travel as we are returning to travel post-pandemic. He referred to COP 26 takeaways, including the concern for the planet’s future.

Many sectors, including travel and tourism, need to address the climate changes we face today and prevent unsustainable practices. In travel and tourism, many transactions have high emission rates. For example, the CO2 emissions of aeroplanes are increasing annually and are expected to make up 25% of the global emissions. Christian mentioned that solutions need to be introduced to reduce or remove CO2 emissions for which travel and tourism activities are responsible. Short term causes such travel restrictions due to Covid-19 reduced emission rates. However, while lower emission rates are in favour of slower climate change, the travel industry suffered a lot during this period.

Christian mentioned that stopping to travel is not the solution. Instead, we need to work collaboratively with the travel and tourism industry to keep both the industry and the planet alive. Business travels specifically constitute the highest rate carbon footprint of companies. Goodwings provides a solution where individuals and businesses can subscribe to review and compensate for their CO2 emission due to travelling. Good wings services can be summarised into:

  1. Calculation of CO2 emission;
  2. Removal of carbon footprint and
  3. Documentation and reporting.

Goodwings operate as an online platform where users can plan and book journeys. The platform allows users to find hotels and transportation methods and accordingly configure the CO2 emissionfor getting from one point to another when travelling. The platform calculates emission rates for all types of transportation between locations across the US, Canada and a number of European countries from airport transfers to a selection of flights cabins.

Goodwings generates data on Carbon emission, which is later used to either compensate for or remove CO2 emission on behalf of the subscribed individuals and companies in order to practice with transparency. The income generated through subscriptions is spent on removal and compensation projects such as VCS-verified reforestation in Uruguay. They intend to remove 7.5 tons of CO2.

The company also provides subscribers with verified documentation for sustainability reports for transparency and in response to scepticism in sustainability actions.

Goodwings business growth model involves 7 major partnerships, namely:

  1. Intuit (software company),
  2. Impact hub (network of incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, and nonprofit organisations),
  3. Tech soup (a nonprofit international network of non-governmental organisations that provides technical support and technological tools ),
  4. Pleo (Finance and accounting),
  5. Green business bureau,
  6. Good jobs and
  7. We don’t have time (social networking for climate).

Christian also referred to their Moonshot goal to turn a billion trips net-zero by 2030, in other words, remove 0.8 billion tons of CO2.

To conclude, Christian also discussed their strategy for measuring the impact of their activities regarding servers and the energy required to offer their services. Goodwings is run with a small team of currently only 10 people. As a company, they have insignificant travel emissions themselves. Additionally, they encourage reducing emission rates instead of removing them later. Goodwings also generate business model annual reports to reflect on their practice. In the future, they plan to launch carbon analytics to showcase data on transportation and behaviours in relation to emission and carbon footprint. At last, Christian reiterated the value of having access to data to evaluate transactions and make changes to be more sustainable.

Key Takeaways

1. The tourism and travel industry is responsible for high emission rates. Therefore, the industry. Needs to consider sustainable strategies to reduce and remove its carbon footprint.

2. Transparency and verification are key to ensuring the violability of sustainability actions.

3. Access to data and analytical reports allows efficient evaluation processes, planning and moving towards sustainability.

Published on:
November 2021
About the contributor

Christian Møller-Holst

Christian is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for impact and has more than 20 years of experience with sustainability.