Environmental Strategy 2020
Lufthansa is works resolutely with airports, air traffic control services, and policy makers as part of the Air Transport for Germany initiative to ensure sustainable mobility. In 2008, the Lufthansa Group established 15 guiding principles, based on its Strategic Environmental Programme, with a view to making further crucial progress by 2020.
1. Reduce carbon emissions
Lufthansa is expanding without harming the climate. Since 1991, the Group has provided 42.6 per cent of its additional transport services in a carbon-neutral manner – an increase in efficiency that no other mode of transport can claim. The Group has set itself further ambitious targets. By 2020, Lufthansa aims to reduce its specific CO2 emissions by 25 per cent compared to 2006 levels.
Working with other airlines, Lufthansa has developed a four-pillar strategy to protect the climate. This agenda covers the entire spectrum of feasible measures.
2. Cut nitrous oxide emissions
Lufthansa has also succeeded in reducing nitrous oxide emissions – a crucial step towards improving local air quality – by 50 per cent since 1991. By 2020, the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) plans to develop technologies in order to reduce nitrous oxide emissions by another 80 per cent relative to the year 2000. Lufthansa vigorously supports this ambitious project and is pressing aircraft manufacturers to implement low nitrous oxide technologies.
3. Modernise the fleet
Green technologies will only be implemented if airlines continually modernise their fleets. Lufthansa is currently carrying out the largest fleet-renewal programme in the company’s history. Up until the end of 2025, the Lufthansa Group will put 236 new aircraft into service and will thus make further progress in terms of eco-efficiency.
4. Promote alternative fuels
Sustainable, alternative fuels with a better CO2 footprint are a key component in avoiding emissions in the future as long as they do not compete with food production. Lufthansa plans to blend up to 10 per cent of synthetic fuel with conventional jet fuel by 2020. In order for the airline to achieve this target, alternative fuels have to be available in sufficient quantities and at an acceptable price.
As part of the burnFAIR project, a Lufthansa Airbus A321 was used to operate scheduled flights on the Hamburg-Frankfurt route. One of the aircraft’s engines was powered by a 50-50 blend of regular fuel and biosynthetic kerosene. The aim of this long-term trial was to gain experience in the use of biofuel and collect long-term data.
Lufthansa is also a member of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUGand of the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany e.V. (aireg). ). Through the Group subsidiary SWISS, the Lufthansa Group also contributes to the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB, Lausanne).
5. Increase operational efficiency
Airline operations provide numerous opportunities to optimise efficiency – better flight routes, flights with variable speeds, and ideal aircraft loading, to name just a few. Lufthansa is steadily continuing its efforts in this field.
Numerous measures to raise efficiency and optimise fuel consumption were reviewed in 2011 or are currently being implemented.
6. Improve infrastructure
Inefficient or insufficient infrastructure in the air and on the ground leads to unnecessary fuel consumption. It is therefore evident that airports must be expanded to keep up with demand and airspace must be used in an optimal manner. Here, policy makers in particular are called on to create the appropriate regulatory environment and introduce necessary measures in a timely manner.
7. Implement emissions trading on a global scale
Emissions trading can create appropriate incentives to cut carbon emissions. However, if the aviation industry is only included in the trading of carbon allowances in individual regions, the benefits to the climate will be marginal. Moreover, such a scheme threatens to create severe market distortions. Lufthansa is therefore working within international bodies to promote a global emissions trading scheme for air transport.
8. Continue offsetting carbon emissions
Since September 2007, Lufthansa, together with its partner myclimate, has offered its customers the opportunity to offset their carbon emissions by making voluntary donations. The amount is based on the actual average fuel consumption per passenger on the route in question and is channelled directly into projects to protect the climate.
You can find out more information about offsetting CO2 emissions here.
9. Develop further incentive systems
Green incentive systems, which are designed to be cost-neutral, are the right approach to ensuring sustainable mobility. Take, for example, emissions-dependent airport charges. Under this system, innovative airlines with fuel-efficient aircraft pay less, while high fuel-consuming planes pay more. Over the past three years, Lufthansa has played a decisive role in the introduction of this scheme in Germany.
10. Reduce aircraft noise
Residents living near airports must be protected from unacceptable levels of noise. Here, too, investments in new and quieter aircraft must be the method of choice in order to achieve tangible improvements. Through continual fleet modernisation and active participation in research and development, Lufthansa wants to help achieve the ACARE research goal. Under the ACARE programme, technologies that can reduce noise emissions by 50 per cent relative to the year 2000 are to be developed by 2020.
11. Improve aircraft
Even the noise caused by aircraft available today can be reduced. To accomplish this, it is necessary to conduct extensive research into noise sources. Lufthansa, along with its partners, analyses noise-generating mechanisms and on this basis develops practicable solutions.
As part of its ongoing commitment to significantly reduce aircraft noise, Lufthansa invests in state-of-the-art technology for its new aircraft and their engines and at the same time continues to optimise its existing fleet. The best example of this is the latest investment in further perceptible noise protection measures at Frankfurt Airport. By the end of 2011, the engines on the entire Boeing 737 fleet stationed at Frankfurt will be fitted with new mufflers, which will reduce noise emissions during take-off and landing by as much as 2.4 decibels. As the figures show, this engine modification is extremely effective.
12. Optimise flight procedures
Lufthansa is advancing the development of low-noise flight procedures. To this end, it extended its overflight measurements to a Boeing 747-400 in 2008. As new flight procedures must take security aspects, capacity and efficiency into account, all the system partners – airports, air traffic control services and airlines – must pull together.
13. Develop comprehensive traffic concepts
Efficient transport demands that modes of transport be linked in an optimal manner. Lufthansa supports the measures required to achieve this end wherever it makes ecological and economical sense. One such successful project is AlRail. The passenger’s journey begins at the Lufthansa check-in counter at the train stations in Cologne and Stuttgart, where boarding passes are issued and seats assigned for connecting flights from Frankfurt, thereby ensuring a smooth transfer at the airport.
14. Build green
Conservation of natural resources also remains central to Lufthansa’s planning, renovation and construction of new corporate buildings. The Lufthansa Aviation Center is exemplary in this regard. Thanks to its thermo-active ceilings, heat-sensitive automated window-shading systems and thermally insulated facade, the administrative building at Frankfurt Airport only consumes about one third of the energy used in conventional office complexes.
Other examples of green architecture are the new A-Plus Concourse at Frankfurt Airport as well as the planned satellite building at Munich Airport,which is scheduled to go into operation in 2015 to increase the capacity of Terminal 2.
15. Expand environment management
Lufthansa manages its own environmental protection efforts. Its Environmental Issues department coordinates all Group-wide goals, strategies, and measures. In addition, its 30 environmental experts across the Group regularly exchange ideas within the in-house environmental forum. Over the coming years, environmental management will be expanded at all levels and examined and evaluated by external experts.