Travel's carbon footprint is coming under increasing scrutiny, but travelers and travel managers simply don't have the information at their fingertips to make optimal decisions. Whether you're building a booking tool looking to help travelers make better decisions, or creating a reporting tool to help managers more toward a lower footprint, Lumo's CO2 estimates help put the right data in the hands of travelers and travel managers to drive better outcomes in real time.
Travelers want to do the right thing. All else being mostly equal (well, mostly price and schedule), most travelers would be happy to take a flight with a smaller carbon footprint. They might even be willing to move by flight by an hour or so to choose a more efficient flight. But the data to make that decision is often not baked into the travel experience.
Companies are also coming under increasing pressure to reduce their footprint. Other than high-level reports that quantify the overall footprint, there isn't much actionable insight to help travel managers drive better travel policies.
Lumo now includes CO2 emissions along with all of its other data feeds – flight delay predictions, travel alerts, airline waivers, security wait time estimates, health alerts, COVID stats and more – to help travelers and travel managers make decisions that drive more effective trips.
What data does Lumo provide?
Lumo calculates the total CO2 emissions in kilograms by cabin class, based on the origin, destination, aircraft type, and typical seat configurations for every flight leg anywhere in the world up to three months out.
How are emissions estimates calculated?
We use two methods for calculating the emissions.
- The first is the ICAO method, described here. The ICAO method uses the origin, destination, aircraft type, and a few other assumptions such as load factors to calculate the CO2 emissions for a typical passenger in economy. It then multiplies this number by 2 to get the emissions estimate for a "premium" passenger, typically business or first class. Given COVID, and the uncertainty in load factors and freight, Lumo's calculations assume a global average load factor of 80%; we plan to refine this number when travel is back to "normal" after the pandemic.
- ICAO with Radiative Forcing modifies the above ICAO method to account for radiative forcing. Radiative forcing is the phenomenon by which aviation's CO2 emissions have a greater impact than they would on the ground since they happen higher up in the atmosphere. While there isn't broad scientific consensus on whether radiative forcing should be included, and if so, what the factor should be, we follow the IPCC's recommendation of a factor of 2.7, i.e., we multiply the ICAO estimate by 2.7 to account for aviation's greater impact. The estimate is for three cabin classes – economy, premium economy (1.25 times the impact of economy), and business/first (3 times the impact of economy).
We do not account for airlines/flights that use biofuel, but plan to add that to the feed over time once more reliable estimates are available.
How does this integrate with other systems?
Lumo supports to types of flights API calls: a "status" call that returns the latest information about a flight at that instant, and a "subscription" API that sends updates via webhooks to allow flight tracking/monitoring. The API documentation has more information on the types of calls and the data that is returned.
If you were looking to integrate the estimates with a booking tool, a ping to our API at the time of displaying the fares/availability would return the CO2 estimates (in addition to delay predictions, travel alerts, etc.) so you can display the relevant information to your travelers.
Lumo currently works with several major travel management companies, booking tools, and mid-office systems and can typically offer multiple integration options.
If you are looking to integrate this data into your reporting tools, you can either use the status API or subscribe to alerts for all your flights which will return the emissions data for all your flights. Lumo also displays the emissions impacts on your flights in our reporting suite Lumo Spotlight.
What about trains, cars, and hotels or other calculation methodologies?
While we currently do not calculate estimates for cars, trains, and hotels, we are working with a partner to bring this data into our API. Our partner will also have other calculation methodologies available (such as Defra, EPA, etc.). If this is of interest to you, do let us know so we can fast track the integration.
Get in touch with us! We'd be happy to walk you through different integration options and our emissions product roadmap.