SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — For the first time in 20 years the Rainforest Alliance honors an airline at its annual Sustainable Innovator Awards. Costa Rica based Nature Air, the world’s first carbon neutral airline, has been recognized in the Corporate Sustainable Standard-Setters category. The award is given to companies that have worked with the Rainforest Alliance and exhibited outstanding leadership in efforts to promote sustainability.
Nature Air voluntarily compensates 100% of its carbon emissions, through its preservation of tropical forests. The company offsets over 6000 tons of carbon dioxide annually and uses carbon credits to help conserve Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, one of the region’s most biologically diverse rainforests. Since 2004, Nature Air has helped protect more than 200 hectares in the Osa Peninsula. In addition, Nature Air keeps their carbon output down by improvements made in their operations, scheduling and flight plans.
“This award from Rainforest alliance is a great honor to us. When Nature Air became carbon neutral four years ago we saw an ability to ensure that the air transportation is also sustainable. We hope this award will help bring to light that its possible for an airline to be sustainable and maybe others will follow,” says Nature Air Founder and CEO, Alex Khajavi.
Rainforest Alliance a non-profit conservation organization awarded Nature Air and its other 2008 honourees, at its annual gala event, May 15, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The gala celebrates individuals and companies that have made sustainable strides in conservation efforts and supply chain decisions.
Since its inception in 2000, Nature Air has grown from flying 18,000 passengers annually to more than 150,000 in 2007. The company got its start with one plane and 17 employees. Now it has a fleet of eight planes and more than 150 employees. It’s the only twin-engine airline in Costa Rica with both scheduled and chartered flights, and offers 74 daily flights to 17 destinations in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. For pricing, and a complete list of flight schedules visit: www.natureair.com or call 800-235-9272