We aim to minimize our impact on the environment, and have set the target to further reduce CO2 emissions by 50% per passenger kilometer by 2030. To achieve this ambition, we focus on fleet renewal, improving operational efficiency, promoting and using sustainable aviation fuels, and carbon offsetting

L’investissement dans d’autres projets sur la connaissance et la conservation de la biodiversité contribue également à comprendre le dilemme associé aux services écosystémiques comme à la production des biocarburants durables. Si certains types de biocarburants destinés au transport routier peuvent avoir un impact négatif sur la biodiversité, le groupe Air France - KLM veut garantir l’utilisation de carburants aéronautiques durables qui ont l’impact le plus faible sur l’approvisionnement en nourriture, la biodiversité et un impact positif sur le développement local.

GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

We report on 100% of our scope 1 and 2 COemissions, and the scope 3 emissions resulting from the upstream phase of kerosene production (according to the assessment made by the Group, these emissions represent approximately half of the total scope 3 emissions).

Direct emissions (scope 1)

Most of the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are generated by Air France – KLM’s direct activities (scope 1), and mainly by the flight operations which represent 99.7% of the Group’s total direct emissions  The ground operations (hangars, ground support equipment, engine test cell etc.) represent 0.3%.

Indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 2)

The ground operations, like aircraft maintenance and offices, , also generate indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 2), through electricity consumption.  The Group implements measures to reduce electricity consumption.

Emissions in supply chain (scope 3)

The indirect Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions mostly come from the upstream phase (extraction, production, distribution, etc.) in aviation kerosene production. The other scope 3 components are the purchasing of goods and services, passenger road travel to and from airports, and employee commuting. Air France and KLM implement measures to reduce scope 3 emissions.

FUEL SAVING MEASURES

All possible avenues of fuel‑savings are identified and, when feasible, implemented, subject to strict respect of the rules on Flight Safety. All the airlines within Air France – KLM are involved in the Fuel Plan, to improve the Group’s efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. We operate with more fuel-efficient aircraft, implement weight reduction measures on board, optimize flight routes and improve flight operations.

Fleet modernization

The most impactful way to reduce the carbon footprint is to invest in a more fuel‑efficient fleet. The Group focuses on simplification and rationalization to make the fleet more competitive while its transformation is being pursued with the arrival of more modern, high‑performance aircraft with a significantly‑lower environmental impact. The Covid‑19 public health crisis has accelerated the phase‑out of the most‑polluting aircraft which are the least adapted to the environmental route map; A340 and A380 for Air France and B747 for KLM. In 2020, the average age of the aircraft in the Group’s fleet was 12.1 years.

For more information on the Group’s fleet see Universal Registration Document 2020 Section 1.4.

Radical innovation in aircraft propulsion and design

We are mobilizing the industry and are committed to research and development into innovative solutions, in both design, aeronautical and engines maintenance and navigation tools.

In December 2019, Air France announced the signature of a partnership with the Solar Impulse Foundation, to promote the identification and rapid implementation of economically and ecologically-viable solutions for aviation. Air France and the Solar Impulse Foundation is calling for clean, efficient and profitable solutions to accelerate the ecological transition of the aviation sector.

The PROGNOS solution, deployed by Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, has already obtained the Solar Impulse Label.

  • This predictive analysis program is based on harnessing big data technologies to offer an effective and innovative aeronautics maintenance service.
  • The environmental benefits of PROGNOS stem from reducing flight cancellations leading to extra flights to recover grounded passengers, as well as reducing the number of Quick Return Flights (return of the aircraft to its departure airport) on technical alerts, which require fuel tanks to be emptied prior to landing.
  • It also optimizes overall aircraft fuel consumption by monitoring the status of equipment more precisely.

In 2019, KLM announced to be part of the Flying-V project, together with TU Delft. In August 2020 the first flight of the scale model Flying V took place. This is a design for a very  fuel-efficient long-haul aircraft. The passenger cabin, cargo holds and fuel tanks are all located in the wings. This improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight can account for a reduction of fuel consumption with 20%, compared to todays most advanced aircraft.

 

Operational measures

We identify and implement every possible fuel saving measures, subject to strict rules for flight safety. In each airline of the Group, all the departments are involved in the Fuel Plan, so that the Group can improve its energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint.

By analysing flight performance, the Fuel Plan aims to reduce fuel use through various projects, focusing on: fuel policies, fuel standards, accurate planning information, route optimization, and weight reduction. Even though 2020 has been an exceptional year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, measures have been implemented. Since 2012, in total, more than 270 000 tons of CO2 have been avoided thanks to operational measures took by the Group’s Airlines

Weight reduction

The lighter an aircraft is, the less fuel it consumes. All Air France-KLM departments are continuously working to reduce weight onboard. The onboard products are chosen and adjusted according to their cost, their resistance and their weight, in order to reduce fuel consumption. Some examples:

  • Onboard materials: optimisation of meal trays and crockery, new trolleys. For example, Air France chose to replace the china dishware by lighter melamine dishware for business and La Première Class on longer flights (long and medium haul).
  • Drinking water carried on board: adaptation of daily prescriptions depending on the type of aircraft, the load factor and the duration of the flight. Twice a year, flights to new destinations are analyzed in order to optimize the quantity of water onboard. The need is calculated on the basis of an average hourly consumption per passenger.

Route optimization

Improvements in fuel efficiency are made through the optimization of routes and flight paths, the reduction of aircraft waiting times and optimized altitudes. Air France-KLM is proactively involved in the SESAR program, which contributes to the targets of the Single European Sky (SES) directed at better management of air traffic. SESAR aims to contribute to the SES 10% CO2 reduction target. In 2020,Air France and KLM’s efforts to optimize the routes and overflight charges of Asia have been the most important in route optimization.

Optimizing flight operations

Pilots of the Group are trained to apply the most fuel-efficient procedures possible: flight plan precision, speed adjustments and optimized procedures, landing configurations, and, on the ground, taxiing with one engine. New efficient tools based on artificial intelligence are being implemented, in partnership with innovative startups. For example, the Group is partnering OpenAirlines, a start‑up having been awarded the Solar Impulse Efficient Solution label by Bertrand Piccard’s Solar Impulse Foundation. The SkyBreathe tool enables the highly‑precise tracking of the application of fuel‑efficiency practices for each flight. Transavia was the first airline to deploy this solution in France and is pursuing its efforts on eco‑flying. The airline has thus announced a new partnership with OpenAirlines for the roll‑out of SkyBreathe OnBoard, a real‑time, eco‑flying solution. Lastly, with the deployment of the Optidirect tool, which proposes alternative flight routes enabling a reduction in fuel consumption, the Air France – KLM Group airline benefits from high‑performance and innovative tools enabling a reduction in its inflight CO2 emissions.

Optimizing aircraft performance

At the platforms and hangars, multiple initiatives support the optimal performance of the aircraft during flight.

  • Innovations in all areas of maintenance to improve aircraft performance. This includes the engine water wash and the washing of the aircraft exterior to optimize aerodynamics, and the engine removal cycles.
  • Better use of ground-based engine replacement equipment for air-conditioning and aircraft power, and greater investment in environmentally friendly equipment.
  • In 2019, KLM introduced a mobile solution to execute the engine water wash at the platform in addition to washing at the hangar.  In 2020, this mobile solution contributed to more than half of all operational fuel savings.
  • In May,  KLM started testing a Taxibot; a hybrid towing vehicle which is licensed to tow the full aircraft to near the start of the runway, without the aircraft having to start its engines. The expected fuel reduction during taxiing is 50% to 85%.

SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL (SAF)

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is key to reduce CO2 emissions in aviation, because it can be used in current generation aircraft and replaces the use of fossil kerosene Therefore, it is one of the most important pillars in Air France-KLM’s strategy to reduce CO2 emissions. Currently, there is far from enough supply to operate fully on sustainable aviation fuels. Consequently, both Air France and KLM have policies in place that stimulate the development and use of those.

For more information about SAF, see the sub-chapter Sustainable Aviation Fuel.

CARBON OFFSETTING

Mandatory CO2 compensation

Since 2012, all intra-European flights have been subject to the application of the European Union Emission Trading Scheme for greenhouse gas emission quotas (EU-ETS) (for the 2020 figures, see Universal Registration Document 4.3.6)).

The global market‑based mechanism established by the ICAO, known as CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation), aims to limit the CO2 emissions from international aviation by targeting carbon neutral growth relative to the 2020 baseline. In 2020, due to the impact of the public health crisis on aviation, the baseline was changed to 2019.

For the implementation of CORSIA, the Air France – KLM Group contributed to the calculation of the CO2 emission baseline data as of January 1, 2019. The implementation of CORSIA offsetting will begin with a first phase from 2021 to 2026, based on the States volunteering to contribute: i.e. currently 88 countries, representing around 77% of international aviation activity.

The European Union will implement the ICAO’s CORSIA scheme within the framework of the current EU-ETS regulation for the scope of international flights. In this context, Air France – KLM considers that the same CO2 emissions should not be subject to both the EU-ETS and CORSIA. Assuming a change to the provisions of the EU-ETS, the Group is calling for a detailed impact study to be conducted on the envisaged amendments and is drawing attention to the need for the prior design of a carbon adjustment mechanism at the borders of the European Union, to protect the European airlines from “carbon leakage”.

Voluntary carbon offsetting and support for environmental programs

Air France, KLM and Transavia offer their individual and corporate customers the opportunity to offset their CO2 emissions on a voluntary basis, by making CO2 emission calculators available to customers on their websites. These calculators are directly linked to an emission evaluation system, enabling passengers to offset the carbon emissions associated with their travel, should they so wish.

With the Trip and Tree program, Air France is partnering the A Tree for You association which brings together, in complete transparency, donors and tree-planting projects from all over the world. When purchasing a flight ticket, customers can help the planet by making a donation, with an amount of choice, to finance one of the tree-planting projects supported by the Trip and Tree program.

KLM’s compensation service CO2ZERO also enables passengers to offset their carbon emissions.Customer contributions are invested directly in a carbon-offsetting project in Panama certified by the Gold Standard for the Global Goals label that focuses on planting new trees, preserving existing forests and supporting the local community.

  • In 2020, the number of journeys booked including a CO2 compensation request declined owing to the reduction in activity and represented the purchase of 44,000 tons of carbon credits.

Transavia also offers its customers the opportunity to offset their CO2 emissions on a voluntary basis when booking thanks to the CO2ZERO program. Every month, between 5% and 8% of customers thus offset their emissions. This figure has remained stable despite the Covid‑19 public health crisis.

Since January 1, 2020, Air France has been proactively offsetting 100% of the CO2 emissions generated by its domestic flights.This represents a daily average of more than 450 flights and over 57,000 customers.In cooperation with its partner EcoAct, this compensation takes the form of participation in projects certified by the highest international standards, and selected for their effective contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their significant benefits for the local population, to support reforestation, preserve forests and biodiversity, and develop renewable energies.Air France is one of the first airlines in the world to offset the emissions generated by its domestic flights.Lastly, corporate customers can also opt for voluntary compensation of up to 100% of the emissions generated on their short, medium and long-haul flights via a dedicated offer.

For more information on these programs see Page Biodiversity.

GROUND ENERGY CONSUMPTION

Energy consumption in the ground operations, such as the fuel used by ground support equipment, gas for heating purposes and electricity for aircraft maintenance and tertiary activities, generates direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions (scope 1 and scope 2).

Air France and KLM had been targeting a 20% improvement in ground operation energy efficiency by 2020 (relative to the 2011 level), by optimizing energy consumption and increasing the use of renewable energies. Air France reached this target in 2017 and has pursued its initiatives to maintain and build on these results, despite the fluctuations in consumption linked to climate events.

In 2019, Air France and KLM set themselves a target of carbon‑neutral ground operations by 2030. In 2020, the Group reduced its CO2 emissions by 17% compared to their 2019 level.

In 2020, a plan to rationalize the Group’s floor area and different buildings also enabled an increase in the per m² utilization ratio and thus a reduction in the associated energy footprint. For example, the Air France – KLM sales teams for the French market moved to more suitable premises in central Montreuil. In November 2020, it was the turn of the Air France – KLM delegation in Dubai to move into its new LEED OR (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) ecological‑excellence‑certified permises.

Other initiatives are based on the increased use of renewable energies. For example, at Toulouse and Valbonne in the south of France, where the bulk of the IT servers are located, 100% of the heating needs of the tertiary buildings are met by recycling the heat generated by the air conditioning system. Photovoltaic energy projects will be deployed in the Group’s facilities at the Roissy-CDG head office.

In 2020, KLM reduced its CO2 emissions from ground operations by 21% compared to 2019. Part of this reduction is due to the impact of Covid-19 that disrupted operation and reduced production. KLM however, continued to electrify the ground support equipment and concluded the final year of a multi-year energy efficiency agreement with the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, aimed at increasing energy efficiency by at least 2% a year. To comply with the energy efficiency directive that replaces this agreement from January 1, 2021, KLM has begun the process to obtain ISO5001 certification for its energy management system.    To reduce fuel consumption, all the ramp equipment transporting baggage has been replaced by electrically-powered alternatives, thereby increasing the proportion of electrically-powered ground assistance equipment to 64%. KLM has trialed electrical alternatives to the ground propulsion units, and push back and towing equipment. All this equipment is responsible for 72% of the CO2 emissions from ground equipment, meaning that pursuing these trials in 2021 offers a promising path towards reducing the direct emissions at the airport.

© AIR FRANCE KLM