We always look forward to trips, whether they are business or tourist trips, but in moments of relaxation or warming up for an important meeting, few will think about the carbon footprint of their means of transportation.
Carried away by my daily duties, I often forget how much fossil fuel vehicles pollute the environment, until the black smoke of the car in front of me catches my eye. However, as staying in a beautiful destination can make stress and fatigue disappear, but not climate change, our conscience tells us to combine the beautiful and the useful – travel and ecology.
Finding an ecological alternative to conventional vehicles is not always an easy task. For short destinations there is a train, but if you want to visit Paris or Amsterdam, traveling by rail, which can take several days, is not a particularly attractive option.
And what now? We live fast and are in constant motion, and we are forced to use air transport as one of the fastest and safest forms of transport. However, there is a difference in which airline you travel with because, while some do not deviate from traditional fuels, others can boast a high index of sustainable development. One such group is Air France – KLM, which works tirelessly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Although they form a group, each of these companies has its own programs that they have launched to preserve the environment and reduce their ecological footprint. KLM, as the oldest company in the world that still flies under its original name, has launched programs related to environmental protection.
Within the framework of the “Fly Responsibly” (travel responsibly) initiative, which reduces, replaces or compensates for the impact on the environment, there are the “CO2ZERO” program (naturalization of the carbon footprint and pollution caused by KLM flights) and the “SAF Programme” (SAF – Sustainable Aviation Fuel). which includes work on the development of sustainable aviation fuel and its use in aviation, which sets them apart from other companies in this industry. Flying with KLM is no longer a pleasure solely because of comfort, reliability and speed, but also because of the knowledge that, by traveling with this airline, I have made my contribution to environmental protection, which, although it must not be the only one, is by no means negligible. My recent trip to Amsterdam only confirmed this thesis.
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Ecology at a high level
Watching the sea of clouds as I flew from Belgrade to Amsterdam, I remembered what it used to be like to travel with all the renowned airlines that today have become almost low-budget, but not KLM. That’s why I’m not surprised that they are the winners of the APEX award in December last year, as the airline with the best service in the world according to passenger ratings. In addition to health protection, service, comfort, in-flight service, as well as the professionalism of employees during the flight were evaluated. And everything is just like that, at a high level, as it used to be. Even those for whom environmental protection is the “last hole in the pipe” will undoubtedly enjoy the top service on the plane, free internet exclusively for sending messages via Viber and WhatsApp applications, as well as food and drink included in the ticket price.
If you are not one of those who doze off on the plane, free internet will allow you to pass the time quickly in correspondence with dear people, and for the person who is impatiently waiting for you, your access to the internet will also be significant, because you also shorten the boring time spent at the airport. On top of all that, KLM offers you important information at every moment, so you can see at what altitude and speed you are flying and what kind of weather awaits you at your final destination.
It was interesting for me to follow all this data, which was particularly useful for me since I was greeted by rain in the city of tulips, but also because of the fact that I did not have that opportunity on flights of other airlines. Delighted with the flight itself and the service, I started exchanging impressions with people who fly often and researching in what other ways, apart from the programs mentioned above, which are really important, this company contributes to the protection of nature. I was completely taken aback and decided to put my impressions on paper.
An airline that encourages you not to fly
At the very beginning of the text, I mentioned that the railway imposes itself as a means of transport with the least impact on nature, and KLM knows this as well. Putting conscience and concern for the environment ahead of profit, KLM is doing something unthinkable for an airline – encouraging passengers not to fly, but to replace short-haul flights with rail. In cooperation with the Dutch government, KLM supports a long-term plan to replace flights over distances of up to 700 kilometers with high-speed international trains, such as destinations to Brussels, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf and Berlin. Fortunately, this is not a movie about superheroes, but an example of responsible and sustainable business that guarantees us the comfort and lifestyle we are used to while respecting all environmental standards. According to the Dow Jones report for 2019, the Air France – KLM group is the airline with the highest index of sustainable development and the leader of sustainable business in the aviation industry. Everything they have done in the field of sustainability exceeds the capacity of this text, so I will mention only the most important ones that made me no longer have a dilemma about which company to fly with.
Namely, in 2019, the group reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 31 percent per passenger per kilometer compared to 2005, while the inevitable carbon footprint was significantly compensated. Flights with the Air France – KLM group are now accompanied by 31 percent less non-recyclable waste and 43 percent less pollution. Of course, all this with the use of bio-fuel. The planet earth is surrounded by an ocean of clean air (oxygen), and each jet plane when flying over the ocean consumes up to 120 tons of atmospheric oxygen, which would be about 0.004 percent of the total amount of that air per capita on the planet. If this calculation is complicated for you, we can do it this way: the aviation industry is currently responsible for two to three percent of the total CO2 emissions. And that’s because it uses fossil fuels.
That is why the primary goal of the KLM company is focused on the sustainable future of the aviation industry and the reduction of CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030 compared to 2005. Although paper suffers from everything, I left some more interesting initiatives for the next issue, and I hope that this small part was enough for you so that the next time you choose which flight to take, you will still think and decide on Air France – KLM because you are so sure that you yourself are contributing to reducing the pollution of our planet!
Prepared by: Nevena Đukić
You can read the text in its entirety in the Magazine of the Energy Portal RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES.
Source: Energy Portal of Serbia by www.energetskiportal.rs.
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