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KLM is aware of the societal impact of doing business. We are increasingly integrating sustainability into our operations. This enables us to take targeted steps to reduce our environmental footprint. Through innovation and responsible choices, KLM is accepting its duty to society while making a valuable contribution to it as well.

Since 2008, KLM has had a Climate Action Plan in effect that examines the company’s impact not only in the sky but on the ground as well.

Further electrification of the ground transport at Schiphol is among the focus areas of the plan. Solar-powered passenger stairs have been introduced, for instance, and the existing lower-deck loaders are being replaced by an electric version. These lower-deck loaders are the final link in bringing freight on board. They rely on a scissor mechanism to lift pallets up to the door of the plane and then roll the cargo onto the aircraft. Nearly all other ground transport runs on ‘red diesel’, which is low in sulphur and has been mixed with biodiesel.

 

Waste and water

One aspect of sustainable operations is the responsible management of water and waste. Besides preventing unnecessary rubbish, we also do our best to reuse materials. Eighty per cent of KLM’s waste comes from on board the aircraft, while the rest is the result of aircraft maintenance, freight transport and office activities.

In order to sort by material and recycle at a company-wide level, the rubbish is collected in 14 different waste flows. Examples of flows include paper, metal, glass, plastic, wood, clothing, electrical appliances and so forth.

The remaining residual waste is reused in its entirety. The Dutch government has an active waste policy that stipulates that 100% of residual waste be burnt in order to supply energy. In other words, none of the waste ends up in a landfill.

KLM has set itself a target for 2025 of reducing its residual waste by 50% (compared to 2011); it intends to do so by producing less waste to begin with, and by increasing the portion that can be recycled.

 

Less noise

It takes noise to fly. KLM understands that those living near the airport may experience nuisance as a result. In the area surrounding Schiphol, and in consultation with local residents, progressive measures are being taken to ensure nuisance noise is kept to a minimum. In addition, KLM is contributing financially to projects involving sound insulation.

 

Environmentally-friendly maintenance

Engine maintenance is a crucial task within KLM. Clean aircraft result in lower CO2 emissions because they encounter less air resistance. Colleagues in KLM’s Engineering & Maintenance department have developed an innovative way to clean engines, the Engine Water Wash, which involves collecting the water after it is used. To wash the aircraft itself, a type of product known as 'semi-dry wash’ is used. This requires an astonishing 80 times less water per wash! In concrete terms, that means that rather than 12,000 litres of water, it now takes only 150 litres to wash a B777. This conserves eight million litres of water each year.

 

Sustainable freight transport

Energy-saving refrigeration, lighter cargo nets and pallets, support in the form of arranging freight transport to disaster-stricken areas and an effective compensation service: these are all examples of how KLM Cargo is putting its sustainability policy into practice.

Learn more at www.klmtakescare.com.

 
Publication date : 28 November 2017