Major European air cargo carriers launch SAF initiatives for shippers and forwarders to offset their emissions
Lufthansa Cargo's first SAF CO2-neutral flight in partnership with DB Schenker
Thu 17 Dec 2020 – Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has launched what it claims is the world’s first sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programme for the airfreight industry that will enable freight forwarders and shippers to participate in reducing aviation CO2 emissions. Based on a ‘book and claim’ system, forwarders and shippers contribute to offsetting emissions from flights through the use of SAF. Customers determine their own level of engagement with the programme and their entire investment is used for sourcing SAF. Lufthansa Cargo has launched a similar initiative in which customers can have the CO2 emissions of their shipments calculated during the booking process, which they can then offset through Lufthansa Group’s Compensaid platform and the funds used to purchase SAF. As a result of a collaboration with DB Schenker, the first flights to be covered by the use of SAF took place in late November on a return Lufthansa Cargo flight between Frankfurt and Shanghai.
With a fleet of six freighter aircraft and 172 long-haul passenger aircraft and hubs at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo flies around 1.2 million tons of cargo a year. Customers will not only help pioneer the use of SAF in the aviation industry but will also scale up the SAF market by investing in the Cargo SAF Programme, says the group. When contributing, customers receive a third-party audited report, justifying the purchased volume of SAF in relation to traffic and indicating the reduction in CO2 emissions achieved.
“Our commitment to reducing CO2 emissions is one of the cornerstones of our cargo strategy,” said Adriaan den Heijer, EVP of Air France-KLM Cargo and Managing Director of Martinair. “The launch of a SAF programme for airfreight is an important step in our ambitious sustainability roadmap for the coming years. I invite all our customers to join us in creating a more sustainable cargo future.”
KLM already operates the Corporate BioFuel Programme that enables businesses with a corporate contract with the airline to offset the CO2 emissions from business passenger travel using SAF. Partners in the programme pay a surcharge that covers the difference in cost between biofuel and traditional fossil-based kerosene.
Lufthansa’s ‘Miles & More’ passenger customers can now compensate for their CO2 emissions as the app has integrated the Group’s Compensaid compensation platform, which was launched in 2019. Customers can see the CO2 emissions of their flight in the Miles & More app and offset them directly using their airmiles or with a charge in euros. The customer can decide whether to offset through the use by the airline of SAF or through certified reforestation projects of the myclimate foundation. The enabling application is called ‘mindfulflyer’ and was developed jointly by Miles & More and the Lufthansa Innovation Hub. With the mindfulflyer function, participants can be reminded regularly to compensate their flights.
Similarly, Lufthansa Cargo customers from next summer’s flight schedule are to be offered CO2-neutral airfreight on a regular basis by offsetting emissions through either myclimate’s reforestation projects or SAF. If SAF is used, Compensaid ensures the sustainable fuel is purchased to compensate for the resulting emissions, which is undertaken in conjunction with Lufthansa Group Fuel Management and SAF manufacturers. Compensaid’s digital technology makes the process from calculation to fuelling both transparent and efficient, reports Lufthansa, which guarantees purchased SAF is put into circulation within six months.
“CO2 compensation in the business customer sector is an important and effective step towards CO2-neutral aviation,” said Gleb Tritus, Managing Director, Lufthansa Innovation Hub. “Through the larger B2B volumes, we are increasing demand and thus promoting awareness, availability and cost-effectiveness of alternative fuels.”
Lufthansa Cargo has aligned its corporate responsibility commitment with five of the 17 UN sustainability development goals (SDGs) and has committed itself to anchoring the selected sustainability goals in its corporate activities and to making a substantial contribution to achieving them by 2030.
“Lufthansa Cargo supplies people and markets with urgent goods and raw materials. We are part and driver of globalisation, which stands for economic progress and opens up new opportunities for every individual. And that does not exclude sustainability,” said Peter Gerber, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo. “We will focus more strongly on it, both in an economic and social sense. In addition to investments in a modern freighter fleet, our commitment to alternative fuels also contributes to the UN’s ‘Climate Action’ sustainability goal. Through the possibility of using SAF, we are actively driving forward research in this area and can thus relieve the environment in the long term.”