Environment 95 Stories

A Platform for Change

Published

27th May, 2015

KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Programme helps many companies to achieve environmental goals and accelerates the growth of sustainable aviation. Since 2009, KLM has been leading the way in pioneering the use of sustainable biofuels. This is part of the airline’s ambition to reduce its CO2 emission by 20% in 2020 by means of fleet renewal, the use of sustainable biofuels and flight efficiency measures. It is KLM’s ambition to stimulate a market for sustainable biofuel. If used on a large scale, biofuels can reduce all CO2 emissions by up to 80%.

Partners in sustainability

Companies can now ensure a lower carbon footprint for their corporate travel thanks to the KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme: participants pay a surcharge which is used to purchase sustainable biofuel. Two sustainability heads from participating companies, Fokko Wientjes (DSM) and Joost Brinkman (Accenture Netherlands), explain why the Biofuel Programme is such a great initiative:

Why did you join the KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme?
Fokko Wientjes (FW): DSM is committed to finding energy solutions to the threat posed by climate change. It’s important to support KLM’s biofuel initiative, since the development of alternatives in all industries is vital. KLM’s biofuel is special because it is fabricated by upgrading a waste product, rather than using food or valuable raw materials.
Joost Brinkman (JB): At Accenture, we supported KLM to fully develop its sustainability strategy a few years ago. Since biofuels could have a major impact in making air travel sustainable, we fully support KLM’s ambition to become a low-carbon airline.

The programme is important to develop the whole bio-kerosene supply chain. And for Accenture to help us meet our own sustainability ambitions.

How does it fit in with your own sustainability initiatives?
JB: At Accenture, we aim to reduce our carbon footprint with 50% by 2020 (from 2014 figures). We do a lot of travelling: 20% of our carbon footprint consists of flights. KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Programme is addressing that directly. FW: As a life and materials science company, DSM promotes energy solutions that are able to neutralize the climate threat. We look at all possible interventions, from wind and solar energy to the advanced biofuels.

There is no silver bullet solution – we really need a mix of alternatives. Sustainable biofuels are an important part of the mix.

What other benefits does the programme offer?
JB: We meet twice a year with all of our partners, so we get to interact with other professionals who work on sustainability. We then share knowledge and ideas. Now there are about 15 companies involved. FW: By working with other forward thinking companies, we make a change in a way that is simply not possible if we work alone.

Does the growth of the KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme cause environmental optimism?
JB: Very much so. If you consider it was founded only four years ago, KLM’s biofuel initiative has grown and achieved a lot. That’s important, since it’s more than our own carbon footprint that’s at stake here. We are supporting a platform for overall change.
FW: When I look at the available scientific solutions, I’m extremely optimistic. The two biggest issues are speed and scale. We do need to act with more urgency. At the Climate Conference in Paris later this year, I hope we will see more commitment to making the energy transformation, with more support for a carbon price, for example.

Does that optimism also extend to business goals?
JB: Absolutely, when you look at what we have achieved in just four years. The price of biofuel has already decreased due to big efficiency and scale gains. There is no reason why alternatives can’t be profitable. FW: Indeed – DSM’s own Eco Plus solutions are currently growing faster and are more profitable than our other products. The economy will not suffer just because we have a transformation away from fossil energy, any more than it suffered when we left steam power behind. I definitely expect much more new wealth to be created.

Join the KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme

KLM is the first airline in the world to have a platform like this. Its members already include: Friesland Campina, Schiphol Group, Nike, Philips, PGGM, Loyens & Loeff, Heineken, DSM, Accenture, Perfetti van Melle, FMO, CBRE and Gemeente Amsterdam.
KLM is pleased that these businesses share our vision. In so doing, they confirm their leadership and actively contribute to making air transport more sustainable. We hope that other organisations will follow their example.

For further information about the KLM Corporate Biofuel Programme, please contact Stijn van de Laar, Sales Manager – Business Market, KLM Netherlands. Email: Stijn-van-de.Laar@KLM.com.

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