KLM achieves CO2-neutral growth

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and the Dutch wing of the World Wildlife Fund (Wereld Natuur Fonds - WNF) today signed an agreement on the far-reaching reduction and compensation of CO2 emissions by KLM. Both organizations share the opinion that CO2 emissions must be addressed rigorously because global warming poses a serious threat to people and animals.

The agreement serves to reaffirm that KLM intends to achieve CO2-neutral growth in comparison with 2007. In so doing, KLM will therefore based on current production planes compensate a total of approximately 4 million tons of CO2 within a four-year period. This will be achieved on the basis of emission reduction and compensation.

The cooperative agreement signed today in Amsterdam by KLM and WNF represents the first contract of this nature in the airline industry. Progress will be checked formally once a year in relation to the agreements reached. The good example KLM has set for many years in terms of energy aware flight operations will now be given extra stimulation, not only internally but in relation to other airlines too.

By adopting this approach, KLM shows that things can and will change. Accelerating the pace of the fleet modernization and reducing fuel consumption, KLM will succeed in reducing emissions per passenger by 3% in 2012, ultimately raising this figure to 17% in 2020.

KLM is already the most energy-efficient major airline in the world. In reaching agreement on further reductions, KLM is opting to up the pace in relation to 2012, the year in which airlines will be expected to commence statutory emission rights trading.

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“Two parties wishing to more strongly express having adopted a responsible attitude towards climate conservation have joined forces. Independent studies have shown that KLM is performing as the ‘best in class’ in terms of adopting measures to reduce CO2 emissions in comparison with other airlines. Our ambitions certainly are optimistic, and KLM has its sights set on staying ahead of the pack. We are convinced that our customers will react with enthusiasm” said KLM President & CEO Peter Hartman.

Johan van de Gronden, Managing Director WNF: “Climate change is one of the biggest threats to people and animals in our time. On the basis of concrete agreements with large-scale companies, WNF tries to find ways to limit the effects of climate change as far as possible. This agreement with KLM will therefore benefit nature directly.”

Clear agreements have also been reached in relation to CO2 compensation. WNF has for many years opted for compensation through Gold Standard projects, investing in sustainable energy projects - without CO2 emissions - organized largely in development countries.

Only compensation through Gold Standard projects such as these guarantee results in reality. The agreement with KLM therefore specifies that compensation by KLM will take place through Gold Standard projects.

Over the next four-year period, KLM and WNF will jointly inform the public about the impact of climate change on our natural resources and will come up with ideas for solutions in combination with launching their own campaigns.

Worldwide, the airline industry is accountable for between 2% and 3% of the total volume of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. Each year, KLM transports around 23 million passengers to more than 250 destinations worldwide.

With as many as 920,000 contributors, WNF is the biggest green goal in the Netherlands. Amongst its strategies directed at saving our planet’s natural resources, WNF looks for opportunities to work with companies to achieve results together.
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