Voluntary Carbon Offsetting and Air Travellers

Christiane Lyng Vinding Rosenkjær

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis investigates why only 1% of air travellers buy voluntary carbon offsetting when flying, by examining with whom the responsibility for this low percentage of purchasing lye. This is done by; - Evaluating the air travel industry and six airlines representative of this, to define what the industry does to promote this product. - Reviewing of the theory behind: Consumer Behaviour, Green Consumerism, Marketing of Green Products, Sustainability and finally Stakeholder and Shareholder theory. Thus providing the thesis with a theoretical foundation for discussing the managerial as well as psychological aspects of the product and problem. - Conducting three interviews with experts on the subject, offering knowledge and information on the consumers as well as the industry and allowing them to deliver their inputs into the discussion. As well as conducting a survey exploring the Danish consumers knowledge and views regarding VCO and green consumption, to gain information on how customers think, feel and act in relation to VCO. - Reviewing international studies on the subject to see how respondents from different parts of the world view this issue, and if there are any general consumer tendencies to be found. After having collected knowledge, information and understanding from the methods above, it is then possible to analyse and discuss these, to attain an understanding of the variables that affect this problem. Based on the investigations above it is possible to conclude that the customers have little knowledge of the possibility to purchase VCO, which, for some part, removes the responsibility of the low degree of purchase from them. Furthermore it shows that the degree of environmental responsibility in a society is closely linked to the general level of development, thus suggesting that the cultures researched in this thesis is not yet developed enough to be environmentally interested to the point were customers would demand the option of offsetting the CO2 emissions from flying. The study of the companies and the theory concerning them show that they have problems addressing the issue of CO2 emissions to their customers with out hurting their core product, the airfares, and their competitive advantage at the same time. The thesis finally concludes that the more responsibility an airline takes for offering VCO by promoting it more than they do now, the higher the potential becomes for the consumers to take and demand responsibility as well.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages101