KLM Royal Dutch Airlines presented their fifth annual environmental report today, in which the airline’s Board of Managing Directors sets out corporate environmental policy, and reports on the environmental impact of business activities and the measures taken to counteract that impact.
These measures primarily focus on reducing hazardous emissions and noise impact. Fuel consumption, measured per passenger or per ton cargo carried, continues to decline, thanks to the company’s fleet and engine investment program.
During the past fiscal year ended March 31, 2001, KLM burned an average of 2.85 kilograms (approx. 3.5 liters) of kerosene for each 100 kilograms carried for 100 kilometers. This ranks KLM among the leanest performing airlines for fuel consumption in the world. The annual environmental report compares travel by airplane, automobile, and train, revealing that flying, even on relatively short-haul routes, consumes energy at a level equivalent to travel by automobile.
KLM is currently engaged in implementing various measures to further reduce emissions of hazardous substances. KLM and Shell Aviation are jointly conducting trials of a fuel additive to this end. Various measures are being introduced to the airline’s ground operations, including the use of electrically powered vehicles and of low-phosphor diesel fuel. Further, KLM is implementing a program to reduce energy consumption in the company’s buildings. This resulted in a two percent improvement in energy-efficiency in the past fiscal year.
KLM intends to continue its efforts to reduce the company’s contribution to the greenhouse effect. In this context, KLM advocates the institution of a system of emission rights which can be freely traded between airlines in the international industry
At the airline’s home base, Amsterdam Schiphol, KLM is equally aware of the tension between meeting the public’s demand for greater ease of travel and the need to control environmental impact.
The environmental report provides an overview of the measures taken by the company in this area, including the ongoing renewal of its aircraft fleet, fine-tuning of flight procedures, and substitution of rail for air travel wherever this provides a viable alternative.
Further in the report, KLM details why, in the long term, a proactive environmental policy is insufficient in itself to meet society’s demands. Sustainable development requires more than just action in the specific area of the environment. It also requires the achievement of an even balance between economic prosperity, social equality and environmental quality.
During this current fiscal year, KLM will examine which values the company intends to pursue in these three areas, and how a correct balance could be struck between them.