Air transport connects people, countries and cultures around the world. Its economic importance is enormous, it drives employment and it ensures the fast and reliable flow of goods. At the same time, it has undesirable effects on climate and the environment. The Lufthansa Group takes its responsibility for effective climate protection seriously - with a clearly defined path toward CO2 neutrality.

Into a sustainable future with a clear strategy

The Lufthansa Group has set ambitious climate protection goals and aims to halve its net CO2 emissions by 2030 compared to 2019 and to achieve a neutral CO2 balance by 2050. To further specify these net targets, it has joined the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) to bring its CO2 reduction path in line with the United Nations Paris Climate Agreement. Based on scientific calculations, CO2 emissions will be continuously reduced with the help of fleet renewal and optimization, improved operational efficiency and the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels. The official validation will take place in 2022.

The Lufthansa Group continuously invests in a modern and particularly fuel-efficient fleet. By the end of this decade, at least 190 economical aircraft are to be delivered to the airlines of the Lufthansa Group. Latest-generation aircraft require up to 30 percent less fuel than their respective predecessors and emit correspondingly less CO2.

At the same time, efficient concepts for take-off and landing are being implemented and the digitization of approach technologies advances.

Through targeted cooperations, the Lufthansa Group is vigorously advancing key technologies for the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). The focus is on SAF based on biogenic waste materials, renewable electrical energy (Power-to-Liquid – PtL) and sunlight (Sun-to-Liquid, StL).

The Lufthansa Group secured SAF for a quarter of a billion US-Dollars in order to be able to meet the foreseeable increase in demand in the coming years.

Lufthansa has integrated the option to offset CO2 emissions of a flight directly into the booking. After flight selection on lufthansa.com, customers can choose one of three options to fly CO2-neutral with a single click. The payment is made when buying the flight ticket.

Lufthansa Cargo customers can opt for CO2-neutral transport of their freight. In addition to the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, the company also offers certified offsetting projects. The add-on service "Sustainable Choice" is available on all routes with a freighter segment, for all product groups and all customers worldwide.

The Lufthansa Group itself has been offsetting the CO2 emissions of employees’ business flights since 2019.

Like no other airline group worldwide, the Lufthansa Group focuses on linking the modes of transport. The Lufthansa Group airlines are continuously expanding their cooperations with local rail providers. For example, Lufthansa offers an alternative by rail for every German feeder flight to Frankfurt and currently brings guests from five European countries to one of its hubs by train.

Economic measures to protect the environment are vitally important as long as sustainable propulsion technologies are not in place and Sustainable Aviation Fuel is not available in sufficient quantities.

The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which was concluded with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in October 2016, has offset growth-related CO₂ emissions in international air traffic by the purchase of certificates since 2021. CORSIA is designed to offset all residual emissions from the aviation sector that exceed the carbon emissions of the base year 2019, as defined by the ICAO.

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) for air traffic has managed and limited CO₂ emissions by way of certificate trading since 2012. All flights carried out by the Lufthansa Group within the European Economic Area (EEA) are subject to this system. The emissions trading schemes of Switzerland (CH ETS, since January 2020) and the United Kingdom (UK ETS, since January 2021) for flights between the EEA and Switzerland and the United Kingdom impose additional obligations to surrender emission allowances.

In 2021, 22 fuel-saving projects were under way across the Lufthansa Group. These projects comprise activities relating to performance and procedures, weight reduction, flight route optimization and technical developments. This enabled another 30.4 thousand tonnes of CO₂ emissions to be permanently eliminated in the reporting year. The quantity of kerosene saved amounted to around 9.6 thousand tonnes – this is equivalent to approximately 113 return flights between Munich and New York with an Airbus A350-900 aircraft.

 

Specific fuel consumption 2021: 4.05 liters per 100 passenger kilometers

In 2021, the aircraft of the passenger fleets needed 4.05 liters of kerosene on average to transport one passenger over a distance of 100 kilometers (2020: 4.18 l/100 pkm). Since 1994, the Group has been able to reduce specific fuel consumption by as much as 30 percent.

1 Definitions of traffic areas:
Long-haul more than 3,000 km; Medium-haul 800 to 3,000 km; Short-haul under 800 km.

The efficiency values of the individual Group Airlines can be found in Fact Sheet Sustainability 2021.

Energy and Resource Management

Making economically and ecologically efficient use of energy and resources is of decisive importance in all business segments across the Lufthansa Group. In addition to meeting legal requirements, it is important for the Group to identify sustainable potentials for the sparing use of electricity and water, and to develop corresponding solutions. Equally important are measures to reduce and recycle waste materials. Another essential approach on the ground is to implement energy-saving and resource-conserving measures in planning, modernizing and constructing buildings.

Since 2020, the Lufthansa Group has exclusively been purchasing green electricity in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. To this end, Lufthansa has acquired green power certificates, which guarantee the production of green electricity from new power plants, thus contributing to the expansion of renewable energy. As a further measure, the Lufthansa Group aims to reach CO2-neutral mobility on the ground in its home markets by 2030.