Green initiatives | SkyTeam - Member Airlines Corporate Social Responsibility

SkyTeam Cargo Green Initiatives

SkyTeam Cargo’s commitment to excellence means commitment to protection of the environment as well. Each SkyTeam Cargo member airline is taking several steps to reduce adverse environmental impact and will continue to do so in the future.

A big step towards emission reduction is the modernization of our fleet. Each of our member airline favours new generation aircraft with lower noise level and air emissions. Fleet renewal is the fundamental key for noise reduction and flying as clean as possible.

For example, Air France-KLM is investing in the most environmentally friendly commercial airplanes ever built. Their recently acquired Boeing 777F produces consumption and CO2 emission figures that are 18% lower than the Boeing 747-400, making it the most fuel-efficient freighter in the world. Alitalia is flying the new Airbus A330 and A320s of Alitalia. These aircraft, featuring the green “Environmentally Friendly” company logo, meet the most advanced international standards and are equipped with the latest technology and the most efficient engines, reducing noise and improving fuel consumption. Korean Air continues is expanding its freighter fleet with B747-8Fs and B777Fs, both highly efficient and eco-friendly aircraft. Their fleets will also include A380s. With 40% higher maximum takeoff weight than the B747 and B787, the A380 is also the first private aircraft to employ a light carbon complex over the entire fuselage. Delta operates one of the youngest fleets in the world. Their 2009 fleet is on average 35% more fuel-efficient than its fleet was in 2000. Czech Airlines has reconfigured its fleet in recent years, replacing old types of aircraft with new ones that are certified under international standards for lower noise categories. China Southern Airlines, the newest member of SkyTeam Cargo, has been advocating Green Flying by undertaking eco-friendly initiatives, renewing its fleet, optimising flight paths and cutting greenhouse gas emissions. China Southern has eliminated more than 20 aged and high-fuel consumption MD 82 aircraft and introduced highly efficient aircraft such as the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737-800.

All SkyTeam Cargo members are committed to a variety of ground and flight activities and projects to protect the environment.

Water-saving and protection - in particular for aircraft and engine maintenance

Energy savings by installing solar powers (i.e. Delta partnered with the Port of Portland and its customer Nike to install them to power Nike’s retail store at the Portland Airport) or by conserving energy by upgrading electronic equipment and turning off equipment when not in use.

Air protection by minimizing the atmospheric emissions from activities in technical areas and airports (‘taxi/idle phases’) or by installing winglets on fleet (as for the entire B737 fleet of Aeromexico and for many of Delta’s 737s, 757s and 767s), helping to considerably reduce carbon monoxide emissions. Delta has deployed more than 1,200 electric ground service vehicles – all with zero emissions – to reduce pollution and lower the overall carbon footprint. China Southern has developed a Takeoff Performance Real-time Analysis, the first of its kind in China, which has been put into operation on some Boeing 777-200 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Use of recycled materials such as wood, plastic and carbon fibres (batteries for envirotainers are also re-used wherever possible).

Participation to IATA’s e-freight program; paperless air freight that will reduce waste and CO2 emissions.

Aircraft weight reduction initiatives, such as the use of ultra Kevlar containers and other light fibre that leads to less weight and less kerosene used on the flight, resulting in less CO2 emission. Additionally, China Southern has conducted whole airplane paint stripping to some B737CL, B757, B777 and A320 series, which not only lightens the weight of the aircraft but also helps to reduce friction, which reduces fuel consumption and discharge.

Research and development of ‘alternative fuels’ that lessen the impact on the environment.

A concrete example of this green approach comes from the CO2 compensation service offered by Air France-KLM Cargo to its customers, allowing both freight forwarders and shippers to gain detailed insight into the CO2 emission of their shipments and the possibility to compensate for this emission. The compensation contribution is invested fully in projects that create wind, water or solar energy with a Gold Standard certificate - guaranteeing premium projects in the carbon market which are audited by external parties.

Moreover, all members strive to create personal awareness of sustainability topics among the entire staff by constantly communicating environmental sensitivity and culture. Delta for example encourages its employees to become environmentally conscious both at work as well as in their private life through various initiatives such as commuting alternatives and volunteerism programs. China Southern has built an oil control management system and encouraged employees to actively communicate their tips in saving oil on the internal oil control website, SMS platform and oil control seminars. China Airlines' efforts extend beyond in-flight fuel-savings. In 2012, China Airlines partnered with Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute to conduct a feasibility study on the use of electric vehicles at airports. The operational data will be used to introduce electric vehicles into airport operations in the future.

Each SkyTeam Cargo member aims to continuously implement and improve environmental management policies and systems. The focus of these policies and systems is to achieve a permanent reduction of both direct and indirect impacts on the planet caused by air transport activities. China Airlines, for example, began introduction of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System in 2012 to synchronize its environmental protection model with international standards.

All of our member airlines are taking on this challenge together, setting an example in the global airline industry. We are committed to continuing a transportation service which combines reliability, safety and respect for the environment.