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Air travel creates jobs worldwide and stimulates the economy. Unfortunately, it is also responsible for 2 to 3% of CO2 emissions worldwide. That is why KLM actively works towards reducing these emissions. A few of the steps KLM takes are fleet renewal, the use of lightweight material on board, fuel-efficient operations and investment in biofuel. The use of sustainable biofuel can lead up to an 80% reduction of CO2 emission when used on a large scale. The next best thing to preventing CO2 emissions – by, for example, using biofuel – is to compensate them.
Passengers can also contribute to reducing CO2 emissions of their flight by way of the KLM CO2ZERO programme. This is a voluntary CO2 compensation service, which enables passengers to compensate their flight-related carbon emissions. In this way their flight can be carbon neutral. The CO2 emission can be calculated and compensated for all the flights on KLM and partner airlines when making a KLM on line booking. Per flight, the calculation is based upon the type of aircraft, the distance flown and the historical load factor of that specific flight. Since 2008, this programme has enabled passengers to calculate and compensate for CO2 emissions from their flight on KLM and partner airlines. In so doing, they support renewable energy projects that have earned the Gold Standard certification.
The Gold Standard Foundation is a standard and certification body that works to ensure every dollar of climate and development funding goes as far as it can. To do this, they design the strongest processes that maximize the impact of efforts to deliver clean energy and water, responsibly manage land and forests, and transform the lives of the world’s poor. Established in 2003 by WWF and other international NGOs, Gold Standard was set up to ensure that projects delivered genuine emission reductions and long-term sustainable development. The Foundation is now endorsed by 80+ NGOs and with more than 1,100+ projects in 70 countries undergoing certification. The Gold Standard has become the global benchmark for the highest integrity and greatest impact in climate and development initiatives.
The passenger’s investment to compensate through CO2ZERO is used by KLM to cover the costs of purchasing Gold Standard emission credits and some handling costs.
Besides the reduction of CO2, Gold Standard looks at developing clean, renewable energy sources as well as providing benefits to the local population and their environment. One of the projects KLM recently selected is the one to provide improved household charcoal stoves in Ghana.