Which are the most sustainable airlines?
We all know flying is not sustainable. That’s a fact. Airplanes are responsible for the highest carbon emissions and therefore, the highest threat to the planet. It not only contributes to pollution but also to climate change and freshwater shrinkage. When possible, the best solution is to take a different means of transport (trains are said to be the most sustainable transport), but, obviously that’s not always possible; distance, timing, schedules… don’t always make it possible. So, yes. We do sometimes have to fly. Is flying green? No. We have established that; but it’s worth noting that some airlines are really trying to make it as green as they possibly can while others can’t even bother to try. So, do we have a choice at flying? Probably not but we do have a choice about who we fly with.
KLM seems to be getting it right!
KLM has been awarded top sustainable airline for 12 years in a row, and only went down to second place 2 years ago dethroned by ANA, the Japanese Airline. Here are some of the actions KLM is taking:
- KLM Co2ZERO program intends to reduce all jet’s emissions. It involves several factors, one of them being newer and more efficient planes. Some of these, like the Greenliner, uses 40% less fuel than older planes.
- Developing biofuel. This is a promise for the whole industry, but KLM has actively invested in its development and partnered with other companies that are also focused on this. They have already started swapping to biofuel in some routes, especially from JFK and LAX to Amsterdam and vice versa.
- They have a carbon offset program where passengers donate to conservation programs to compensate for the harm they do when flying.
On top of this, they recycle and reuse everything they can on their flights (including the meal tray) as well as have a responsible inflight catering program (anything that you don’t eat is composted!)
So you see? There is a frequent flyer eco-friendly program, not all hope is lost! We are also leaving some tips to fly greener below ( you can also check out the article on sustainable travelling with tips here!)
- Purchase carbon offsets if you can and contribute to helping the environment.
- Fly with an eco conscious airline. We have mentioned KLM and ANA here, but Qatar, Emirates and Alaska airlines are really good choices with good sustainability policies, too.