0 kg CO21

0 jumps

1 Based on data by Skydive Flanders for a Supervan. Other aircraft use considerably more:

PAC: 0 kg CO2
Beech 99: 0 kg CO2
Dornier: 0 kg CO2
Pilatus: 0 kg CO2
C206 Soloy: 0 kg CO2
Twin Otter: 0 kg CO2
Skyvan: 0 kg CO2
MI-8 Heli: 0 kg CO2

The Data

The graph above depicts your skydiving emissions2, 3, 4 in relation to driving for 30.000km5 and a transatlantic return flight.6, 7, 8

Please note that data for the graphs is based on emissions from a highly efficiently operated Supervan with short taxis and fast loading. If your home dropzone uses a different aircraft, those figures are considerably higher. Have a look at the comparison sheet here to see emissions for your aircraft. For reference, the following graph compares the Supervan (lowest emissions) to the MI-8 Helicopter (highest emissions):

Next up: What about all that time flying in the windtunnel?9, 10, 11

Let's also have a look at how we compare to the average EU citizen:12

As a quick resume, here are the graphs above in numbers:

  • Driving your car for 30.000km equals 404 skydives
  • One transatlantic flight (AMS-ORD) equals 269 skydives
  • A skydiver with 250 jumps and 5h of tunnel yearly emits 46.6% more CO2 than the average European citizen

Skydiving is a very entertaining but also highly polluting activity. It is important to be aware of the impact our sport has on the environment. Also, to be able to have an informed discussion, it is generally more favorable to talk about facts and figures instead of using words such as less and more. Of course this data may vary greatly depending on the source. For the calculations above, real world fuel burn data was gathered from Skydive Flanders. Only official or peer-reviewed publications were used for statistical data about CO2 emissions in different sectors. However, if something still seems off to you, please get in touch so we can figure out together whether some data on this website needs to be adjusted.

What Can I Do?

Let's face it, the most efficient way to reduce your skydiving footprint would be to skydive less. 100 jumps from a Supervan equal 893kg of CO2 emissions.4 Maybe don't go for every possible funjump and spend some of your good weather days going for a swim or a hike instead.

Subsequently, it matters which aircraft you are flying with. Skydiving from a single engine aircraft can reduce your emissions by up to 67% in comparison to the MI-8 Helicopter. Flying back and forth between continents for your skydiving activity increases your footprint considerably. If you don't want to quit skydiving just yet and none of the following options are enticing to you, but you want to reduce your footprint, you could still choose to only go to events happening close to you, at dropzones operating single engine airplanes.

Furthermore, there is the option of offsetting the carbon emissions of your jumps. The price to offset emissions for 100 jumps is 5€.13 Bear in mind that tracking the actual effect of offsetting is a complicated matter and that offsetting might not be the ethical choice.14

Lastly, ask yourself if every single roadtrip is really worth it. Your car is likely one of the major contributors to your overall carbon footprint. Switch to public transport or start cycling instead. This might also be beneficial to your health.15

As an event organiser you could also choose a local dropzone for your event. This might not entail the same weather guarantee, but would heavily reduce your participants' travel emissions. Additionally, you could include a nature day during your event. This would be a good weather day on which the entire camp doesn't jump and pursues an alternative activity.

As a dropzone (and most likely you are doing this already) you could try to operate your plane as efficiently as possible: short taxi, fast loading and no long holds for that one skydiver who still needs to finish up packing. You might also want to consider to switch to a single engine aircraft as this will not only cut your CO2 emissions considerably, but might also reduce your operating costs and generate a higher profit margin.

References:

  1. Government of Canada, Volume correction factors—Jet A, Jet-A1, jet kerosene, turbine fuel, link
  2. Verifavia, How are aircraft CO2 emissions calculated?, link
  3. Aircraft fuel burn information provided by Skydive Flanders based on a Supervan with an average of 16.08 skydivers per load. Their Supervan burns 57l of Jet A1 fuel per load to 4000m. Other aircrafts use considerably more fuel. See this table for informations about emissions of other commonly used aircraft
  4. European Comission, Reducing CO2 emissions from passenger cars, link
    Calculation based on the average emissions level of a car sold in 2018
  5. KLM, CO2 emission and compensation price per destination, link
    Return flight from Amsterdam to Chicago used as reference
  6. Kollmuss, Anja & Crimmins, Allison, Carbon Offsetting & Air Travel Part 2: Non-CO 2 Emissions Calculations (2009) 10.13140/2.1.1614.5280., link
  7. The KLM data has been multiplied with a conservative Radiative Forcing Index (RFI) of 2 based on the recommendation of the article referenced under 7
  8. European Environment Agency, Overview of electricity production and use in Europe, link
  9. Indoor Skydiving Germany Group, High performance wind tunnels, link
  10. Data based on the average energy consumption of a 14.2ft ISG windtunnel and the EU average CO2 emissions by kWh as well as data provided by Airspace Indoor Skydiving. The energy consumption used as reference is 500kW for pro flyers. Please note that for pro flyers the average consumption of a 14.2ft ISG windtunnel can be considerably higher (up to 1MW for top speed). Also note that other tunnels might consume considerably more energy (especially true for air-conditioned systems and tunnels bigger than 14.2ft)
  11. The World Bank, CO2 emissions (metric tons per capita), link
  12. Based on data by trees.org and IPCC guidelines
  13. Hyams, K. and Fawcett, T., The ethics of carbon offsetting. (2013) WIREs Clim Change, 4: 91-98. https://doi.org/10.1002/wcc.207
  14. Pucher J, Buehler R, Bassett DR, Dannenberg AL., Walking and cycling to health: a comparative analysis of city, state, and international data. Am J Public Health. (2010) 100(10):1986-92. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2009.189324