Qantas CEO Alan Joyce and Virgin CEO Paul Scurrah have told the National Press Club that part of the role of their businesses is to back social issues. Puhlease.
Have shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of Joyce deploying their funds to sponsor woke causes? No one is stopping Joyce from pushing whatever virtue signaling he likes in his own time, but he probably might reflect that most of his customers haven’t requested to be lectured on board. Scurrah is the newbie, so he seems to want to score some media attention.
The latest excuse to push this corporate social nonsense is the unfounded research that kids of today require their corporates to have these woke causes embedded in the culture for them to join. What happened to “employer of choice” based on the business model? Will budding pilots want to pick the airline with the best conditions and business survivability or that which has the best carbon offset programme? Truth be told, what young ecomentalist university graduate wants to join an evil carbon dioxide producing airline anyway?
Having said that, employee retention will not favour wokeness when pay and conditions remain crimped by misguided company policy vs more attractive opportunities at firms that focus less on this. Harvey Norman is exhibit A on that measure. It is crushing the competition.
Qantas only needs to look internally at its own carbon offset program and how dismal it is. While it might be the world’s largest, truth is around 2% elect to pay for the sin of flying.
Back in May 2018, CM noted, while waiting in the lounge,
“So to offset my flight to Haneda, CM would pay $11.21 AUD. CM can put it to ‘local action’ (fund activism?), ‘developing communities’ or ‘global renewables’. In its 2017 Annual Report, Qantas boasted,
“We have the world’s largest airline offset program and have now been carbon offsetting for over 10 years. In 2016/17, we reached three million tonnes offset.”
Carbon calculators tend to work on the assumption of 0.158kg CO2/passenger kilometre.
In the last 10 years Qantas has flown around 1 trillion revenue passenger kilometres. While the literature in the annual report denotes one passenger offsets every 53 seconds, the mathematical reality is simple – 2% of miles are carbon offset. So that means that 98% of people couldn’t care less.
Perhaps more embarrassing is that The Guardian noted in Jan 2018 that,
Kind of a massive load of hot air when you do the maths!
Mr Joyce might earn $24m p.a. CM would reckon shareholders would be glad to hike that if he ditched the social justice nonsense.
Qantas service is rarely anything to rave about so more effort applied in that area could well serve the company’s (and shareholder’s) interests far better than answering question hardly anyone is asking.