Sustainable air travel is not possible unless we rethink every part of travel and not just the vehicle used to transport you. In 2020 we saw a 66% decrease in flights, compared to 2019, which all means sustainable travel has now come sharply into focus. IATA has forecast that passenger air travel demand will not return to 2019 levels until 2024. Other analysts have suggested recovery might come in 2023, perhaps even 2022 with vaccine rollout speeding up and consumer confidence returning.

But can that recovery be fueled by sustainable ways of travelling?

Aviation accounts for a relatively small amount of all global emission, only 2.5%. While larger culprits, such as energy and agriculture, account for far greater emissions, they also bring benefits to billions of people. Aviation emissions, in contrast, come mostly from affluent travelers in the richest countries: business class passengers produce six times as much carbon as those in economy class, and one percent of the most frequent fliers are responsible for half of all aviation’s carbon emissions.

The Coronavirus pandemic will transform aviation, giving airlines an opportunity to address climate change. In 2020, the drop in air traffic likely reduced carbon emissions by several hundred million tons. Some are calling to make those reductions permanent by eliminating contrails, using new fuels, improving navigation, introducing electric engines, removing single use plastics, and more. With climate change reaching a point of no return as early as 2035, action will need to be taken, and quickly.

But is anyone looking at the role baggage may play in a sustainable future for travel?

If we look to reduce the overall weight of an aircraft it will in turn help to reduce emissions and save on fuel. Baggage sustainability will need to become a priority for travel companies, airlines and airports if they are to reach sustainability targets and encourage loyal passengers to keep travelling. Even slight improvements to fuel efficiency can make a significant dent in harmful carbon dioxide emissions, and save airlines – and maybe even passengers – billions of dollars.

At BagsID we are making it our mission to create no-tag bags. To make flying with baggage more reliable, convenient and efficient by empowering visual intelligence for those who travel with baggage. We believe nametags, barcode labels or RFID chip equipped tags on your baggage shouldn’t be necessary. By re-thinking the role baggage plays in aviation we can challenge the travel industry to become sustainable throughout the baggage journey.