KLM’s Answer to the CO2 Blues

Legroom is always a consideration when flying. But if KLM has its way, we’ll start thinking about our footprint as well. CO2 footprint that is.

The global aviation industry accounts for two percent of all CO2 emissions caused by humans… a reality that may have you thinking twice about hopping on to a plane any time soon. But to their credit, KLM is doing its part to help reverse that trend through such initiatives as their innovative C02ZERO program.

Here’s how the program works: if you’re flying from Toronto to Amsterdam return and you pay an extra $27, the money is put toward projects that effectively offset your share of the CO2 emitted by that flight. Currently, these funds are supporting a project called CO2 Tropical Mix – a reforestation initiative in Panama that’s transforming former pastures into new forests. The new forests not only absorb carbon from the atmosphere – they also serve as new habitats for animals, some of which are endangered species.

KLM has embarked on several other programs tied to reducing their carbon footprint, including the use of biofuels that can help lower CO2 emissions by up to 80 percent compared to fossil fuels; a fleet renewal program that involves purchasing new aircraft that deliver fuel savings between 35 and 40 percent; and the transitioning of ground equipment from diesel vehicles to electric alternatives used for tasks such as cargo loading.

The net effect of all of this is since 2005, the airline has reduced the average CO2 produced per passenger by 50 percent. KLM’s corporate colour is blue… but in light of what they’re up to, perhaps it’s time to switch to green?