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15 June 2021

Air France-KLM committed to minimizing footprint

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Air France and KLM tackle onboard waste

Air France – KLM handles many forms of waste, mostly arising from flight operations and maintenance, within a context of strict regulatory requirements. Across the entire supply chain, the Group strives to minimize waste and increase the proportion that is recycled or reprocessed.

To achieve our targets, 50% reduction in residual waste (non-recycled waste from the cabin and ground activities) by 2030 compared to 2011, Air France-KLM applies the principles of the circular economy to the different waste sources. About 70% of waste results from onboard catering and the cleaning of the cabin. The remainder results from our production at our, for example, Cargo and Engineering activities, and only a small percentage comes from the offices.

Air France and KLM base their actions to achieve the targets for each waste stream on the four principles: rethink, reduce, reuse and recycle. In addition, we actively engage with authorities and our supply chain to seek solutions and remove any barriers to handle catering waste as well as the aeronautical waste, which are both subject to strict international regulation.

Reducing waste also provides a financial opportunity: several initiatives have demonstrated considerable economic benefits.

The Group reuses and recycles the fabric of, for example, used uniforms, work clothing and blankets. Through collection of these items and collaboration with third parties, the fabric is redistributed, or reused or recycled into branded items such as bags or pouches that are avialable to our customers.

  • Since 2013, used KLM uniforms and old business class carpeting have been recycled into fibers used to manufacture carpets for the aircraft cabin.  All used carpets are recycled in collaboration with a carpet manufacturer Tarket, as part of the Take Back™ program.
  • To avoid the destruction of products and promote reuse, in January 2017 Air France signed a framework agreement with the Agence du Don en Nature (ADN). By donating new, re-modeled and recycled products like crockery and blankets respectively, Air France supports the work of the ADN association which collects and redistributes new non-food everyday products to combat exclusion in France.

Air France and KLM reduce CO2 on the ground

At the airports where we operate, the majority of gaseous emissions and particulates are emitted by aircraft movements (taxiing, takeoff and landing). The remainder is produced by ground activities, maintenance operations, logistics and road access to the airport for passengers, employees and suppliers.

We aim to reduce our local emissions to lower our local impact. To reach this goal, we focus on the following measures:

  • a modern fleet with more energy‑efficient aircraft;
  • electric or more efficient ground vehicles and runway equipment, powered by cleaner fuels;
  • optimized operational procedures for the ground operations: taxiing time, taxiing using just one engine, the use of ground power units (GPUs) to ensure the functioning of on‑board systems, replacing the Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) on kerosene‑powered aircraft.developing eco-mobility solutions for employees

We monitor our atmospheric emissions for both flight and ground operations, including low altitude emissions which impact the quality of the air around airports. The reported indicators cover emissions of CO2and NOx

Air quality is measured at Amsterdam Schiphol, Paris Airports and in other airport areas.

  • In France, the SURVOL Observatory (implemented and supported by the Airparif organization) monitors air quality in the airport surrounding areas of Ile-de-France. This monitoring has enabled evaluation of the impact of airport activities on air quality, building a database of pollutant levels for future health studies, and keeping local residents informed.
  • In 2017 the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) started a study to the health impact of ultrafine particles of air transport on the neighbouring communities. In 2019 the first interim results were published describing short term impacts. The results on long-term health impacts of exposure to ultrafine particles are expected in 2021.
  • KLM is committed to contribute to the government’s and Schiphol’s local emission reduction plans covering ultrafine particles and nitrogen.
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