While a zero-carbon-footprint business jet is likely a decade away at least, Swiss design firm Yasava has a multi-pronged plan to offset the carbon footprint of an aircraft’s interior right now. The program includes a laser focus on the supply chain, sourcing materials like leather and wool from eco-conscious producers as well as locating high-quality recycled aluminum instead of using newly mined metal, all of which has an immediate effect. “Right off, we can reduce our impact by 80 percent,” says Christopher Mbanefo, Yasava’s founder and CEO (pictured).
There’s also a clever high-tech component. Yasava incorporates high-res OLED displays, like those under the glass of the latest smartphones, into larger wall surfaces across the aircraft’s interior. These allow almost any finish or effect—wood, stone, even a jungle environment—to be rendered in lifelike detail. Plus, it can change at the push of a button, allowing a seamless transition from corporate-ready to family-friendly—think fish swimming along the walls, or a tabletop transformed into a chessboard. “We can create amazing finishes without one tree being felled,” says Mbanefo, who notes it can take up to 200 years to grow a single tree used in aircraft interiors.
And in line with the latest carbon-offset trends, Mbanefo and staff will soon launch a blockchain-linked platform, Oxï-Zen, where members can buy offsets that are tied to individual carbon sinks—say, a specific forest or body of water—and cannot be swapped or reused. It employs a new standard, developed in part by research university ETH Zürich, which calibrates the carbon-absorption capabilities of each locale, allowing for an apples-to-apples comparison. “With typical carbon offsets, it’s difficult to see how, when and where the carbon is absorbed,” Mbanefo says. “This system lets us see where the carbon is actually sequestered and allows us to meet our goals.”