Editor’s Note: This post is part of a new series highlighting cause marketing campaigns from around the world called ‘Global Voices’ and brought to you by Your Public Interest Registry. We hope our team of international contributors will shed insights into cause marketing in their home country and inspire you to expand your own purpose-driven horizons.
Amidst the global financial downturn over the last decade, India is among the few countries growing rapidly. One of the indicators of this economic growth is a steady increase in the country’s air traffic. India registers an annual passenger air traffic of over 70 million and is growing steadily.
While this growth is good for the aviation industry it isn’t good for the ever-deteriorating environment. India is among the world’s biggest contributors to fossil fuel emissions. India’s Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions are increasing at a rate of over 7% each year.
Increase in fuel consumption and release of CO2 in the air directly results in global warming and climate change. For every 1200-1500 kms of air distance travelled approximately 225 kgs of CO2 is emitted.
This growing aviation industry has led to a thriving service sector to support retail consumer demand. A major chunk of this demand is met online by a number of online ticketing companies. MakeMyTrip.com is one such company founded in the year 2000 and now is a leader in its segment.
To help reduce the carbon footprint of its customers MakeMyTrip.com launched an initiative in November 2009 to help its customers offset their carbon footprint. Under this initiative MakeMyTrip.com encourages its customers to add a donation to plant saplings when booking their air tickets. This campaign is run in partnership with GiveIndia, a leading online donation platform. Proceeds from this campaign goes to Seva Mandir an NGO working in the field of afforestation in Rajasthan. Every tree planted as part of this campaign will absorb more than 20 kgs of CO2 yearly.
The campaign has collected over 6 million rupees (US$ 110,000) through almost 73,000 donors and has helped in planting 384,181 trees. Seva Mandir works in areas which are primarily inhabited by tribals and disadvantaged communities which depend upon agriculture and livestock for their livelihoods.
This is by far the most transparent online donation campaign I have come across. Regular updates and progress is published on campaign microsite. The campaign is a perfect strategic fit with the company and connects very well with its customers. An option at checkout stage which calculates the cost of offsetting carbon emission per trip and gives multiple donation options is very smart!