We are committed to reducing our adverse effect on the environment. Therefore, VOPO has created Trading Carbon. An expedition specific competition that neutralises the emissions from air, land & sea travel by supporting projects that have a positive social and environmental impact.

What is Offsetting?

Even though current forms of transport can be incredibly convenient and it allows us to visit some of the world's most remote and beautiful places, it is also responsible for releasing greenhouse gases. Proven to have negative effects on the health of humans and the natural environment.

Because of this, we have calculated the fuel emissions for each route and vessel taken during the expedition in an attempt to equalise our impact. The projects we support help empower and create positive environmental and social change in the world.

All of the carbon offsetting projects are verified. Meaning, they meet strict international standards that certify the validity of the projects. These initiatives ultimately help mitigate the negative effects from travel.

offset projects

We support these offset projects through out our Impact Adventures.



1. electric garbage

Generating sustainable energy from wastewater in Thailand

The Kornburi Wastewater Treatment Project is located at a tapioca starch processing plant in the Kornburi District of Northern Thailand. 

Biogas from wastewater is captured and burned to generate electricity and heat that powers the factory, preventing approximately 39,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases each year.



2. capture the wind

Producing clean energy from wind for rural regions in Taiwan

Even though the country has such a long and windy coastline, Taiwan is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels.Over 75% of the country's total installed electricity capacity runs on fossil fuels. 

The Changbin and Taichung Wind Farm project harnesses Taiwan's abundant wind energy along the its coastline. It generates over 300,000 MWh of clean electricity from 65 wind turbines for more than 86,300 households annually.


3. river energy

Creating dam-free hydro power in Indonesia

This micro hydro power plant makes use of the natural flow of water to generate sustainable power for the island of Sulawesi, without the need for a retaining dam. 

The project utilises the natural fall of water between the upper Moaat lake and the lower Iloloy lake to generate low impact sustainable energy. The hydro plant has an installed capacity of 3 MW only, making it heavily dependent on additional funding from carbon revenues.


The calculations

This is an example from our Negros Island Expedition.

Step 1

Mapping the routes: Once we knew our participant’s points of origin, we estimate the total travel distance for each type of transport and vessels. 

  1. Point of Origin - Manila (air)
  2. Manila - Bacalod (air)
  3. Bacalod - Bulata (land)
  4. Bulata - Danjugan Island (sea)
  5. Danjugan Island - Bulata (sea)
  6. Bulata - Dumaguete (land)
  7. Dumaguete - Manila (air)
  8. Manila to Point - Origin (air)

Step 2

Selecting the vessel types: Vessel types used on each route were selected. 

  • International flights: A320, A332 & A343 (average)
  • Domestic flights: A320, 32A, 738, 739, 772 (average)
  • Land transfer: Class I, Class II, Class III (average)
  • Sea transfer: Outrigger boat single cylinder diesel motor (local paraw)

Step 3

Calculating emissions: Once the total distance travelled is calculated and the type of vessel used selected, we then can calculate the emissions. We used different methodologies, depending on the type of travel.

Air travel

Methodology for estimation: United Nations specialized agency International Civil Aviation Organization Carbon Emissions Calculator (ICAO)

Overview: The ICAO has a methodology developed for estimating the amount of carbon emissions equivalent (CO2 e-) generated per passenger per flight, for use in carbon offsetting programmes.

The Process: The CO2 emission are calculated from the fuel burned by the aircraft serving a given route. The scheduled aircraft is identified from the scheduled flights database, then mapped into one of the 312 equivalent aircraft types existing in the aircraft fuel consumption database from the ICAO.

Using the trip distance, equivalent aircraft fuel consumption, passenger to seat load factor and passenger to freight load factor for the route group, and the number of Y-seats, the methodology calculates the CO2 associated to each passenger, as follows:

emissions per pax = 3.16 * (total fuel * pax-to-freight factor)/(number of y-seats * pax load factor)

Land travel

Methodology for estimation: European Commission Framework for CO2 emissions in light commercial vehicles (EC).

Overview: In an effort to confirm the feasibility of the 2020 target of 147 gco2/km to be the light commercial vehicle emissions standard, the EC carried out a series of assessments to understand the feasibility of such.

The Process: In the study mentioned above, the researchers measured the average CO2 emissions and vehicle footprint per vehicle segment for 2010 (and 2007) in grams of CO2 equivalent per kilometer travelled. At this point it is hard to know which type of van exactly we will use to mobilise the crew, therefore, we used the total average. The study uses 17 different kind of light vans from 17 different car manufacturers.

Every year the average the average carbon dioxide emissions intensity from new passenger and light commercial vehicles drops down. Meaning, on average vehicles are more fuel efficient as years go by. However, for the purpose of this assessment we used data from older vehicles given the remoteness of our expeditions and the potential availability of cars.

emissions per pax = (total distance travelled * average CO2 and vehicle footprint segment)/pax load factor

Sea travel

Methodology for estimation: This had to be a more rudimentary calculation. We used the average emissions from a single cylinder engine using diesel fuel. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency methodology for calculating emissions from ships was used as support

Overview: Our local contacts told us that local paraw (outrigger) boats will be used as transport. These boats run on diesel as fuel for a single cylinder engine.

The Process: We got the Emissions Factor of diesel fuel from the National Greenhouse Accounts Factors (2016). Then we calculated the total distance, the amount of fuel required to make the trip and we used the Emissions Factor of diesel to estimated the emissions. Calculations where based on the CO2 equivalent emitted per litter of diesel consumed.

emissions per pax= {[total distance * fuel intensity (l/km)]*Emissions Factor diesel (gCO2 e-/liter)}/pax load factor


Still keen to learn more?