After the authority informed the low-cost carrier that its website might present misleading sustainability claims, Ryanair has implemented these adjustments across Europe. ACM has notified other European consumer authorities about the action.
“Businesses must be honest and clear about the sustainability claims they make,” said Edwin van Houten, Director of ACM’s Consumer Department. “Even with CO2-compensation schemes, flying remains a highly polluting way of traveling.” While carriers can offer carbon compensation schemes, they cannot create the impression that CO2 compensation makes flying sustainable, he also said, adding that ACM finds it important that Ryanair has introduced changes to its website that clarify what CO2 compensation entails.
ACM aims to enforce correct, clear, and complete CO2 compensation claims and ensures that customers understand how much carbon is compensated, how the offset is calculated, and whether it is independently certified.
After an investigation into Ryanair’s compensation claims, ACM discovered that the airline uses claims like “fly greener to […],” which, according to the authority, might create misleading sustainability claims.
The carrier cooperated with ACM and introduced three changes to the carbon compensation option on the online sales process for airline tickets on their website.
Ryanair added a clear message that carbon compensation does not make flying itself more sustainable, and changed messages such as “fly greener to […]” to factual ones like “compensate your estimated CO2 emissions.”
The company removed icons such as green leaves and displayed the calculation and amount of compensated carbon dioxide. The airline also provided additional clarity on the projects on which the compensation is spent, and highlighted the projects’ independent certification.