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Sustainability at Lufthansa Cargo

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LCAGCP - env report - together for sustainability

We are active all over the world – and at home. That’s why global responsibility and sustainable, forward-looking practices are part of our DNA.

We are committed to the United Nations’ climate targets and to creating a sustainable infrastructure on the ground and in the air. We want to make a difference, ensure our business is both, more climate-friendly and environmentally sustainable, and advance our society.

For a better tomorrow for all of us.

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Lufthansa CargoWe make a difference.

Our goal for 2050:

100% CO2-neutrality

and by 2030 on the ground!

Our goal for 2030:

50% less CO2

than in 2019

AeroSHARK technology
and lightweight loading equipment:

5,493 t

of kerosene saved per year

Fleet modernization
in the past 25 years:

52% reduction

per TKT in CO2 emissions

Cargo Human Care:

6 institutions

for humanitarian aid in Kenya

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Systematic climate targets

Lufthansa Cargo is pursuing a clear strategy for a sustainable future and, together with the Lufthansa Group, has set itself ambitious climate protection targets: We are aiming for a neutral CO2 balance by 2050 and already by 2030 we want to halve our net CO2 emissions compared with 2019 through reduction and compensation measures.

  • We are working to be the most efficient cargo airline in the world.
  • Together with the Lufthansa Group, we have joined the Science-based Targets initiative. It has validated the reduction roadmap to 2030, which is thus in line with the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
  • We have our corporate carbon footprint scientifically verified by independent consultants.

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Specific climate action

by Lufthansa Cargo

More sustainable operations in the air and on the ground: As we are an airline, nearly 99% of our carbon footprint is caused by flying. That means our greatest CO2-saving potential lies in the air. Although our activities on the ground account for only about 1% of our CO2 emissions, we are working hard to achieve the target of CO2-neutrality in all our ground processes by 2030. In addition, we are constantly looking for new ways to avoid waste and plastic.


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Our climate action encompasses these areas:
1. Fleet modernization
2. Fuel efficiency
3. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF)
4. Offsetting
5. Ground processes

LCAGCP - env report - icon headline Flottenmodernisierung

Specific climate action

1. Fleet modernization

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We continuously invest in modernizing our fleet and operate the newest and most fuel-efficient cargo aircraft on the market. Since October 2021, we have switched our longhaul fleet completely to the Boeing 777F – today’s most modern freighter with the best environmental performance. We have already placed orders for its even more efficient successor, the Boeing 777-8F, which we will start flying in 2027. The current average age of our fleet is only 6.2 years.


LCAGCP - env report - icon headline Kraftstoffeffizienz

Specific climate action

2. Fuel efficiency

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AeroSHARK technology

A special coating reduces the frictional resistance of an aircraft by about 1%. From 2023, this technology will be rolled out across our fleet of eleven Boeing 777F freighters, saving around 3,700 tonnes of kerosene or about 13,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Less weight on board

Since 2020, Lufthansa Cargo has exclusively used lightweight containers on its flights. This has led to a weight reduction of 14 kg per container and fuel savings totaling 2,160 tonnes per year.

Lightweight containers

  • more than 14 kg less weight per container
  • CO2 emissions reduced by 6,800 t per year
  • standard containers have been replaced and additional loading equipment is being developed


  • made from 100% recycled paper and 80% lighter than wood
  • 60 kg saving on pallet stacks cuts CO2 emissions by around 240 t per year (Group-wide: 450 t).


  • 100% eAWBs in 2022
  • Lufthansa Cargo saves the industry around 50 t of paper
  • 20 t less CO2 emitted due to reduced weight on board

Flight optimization

In cooperation with Germany’s air traffic control service (Deutsche Flugsicherung), we use optimized flight procedures based on the efficient flight profile (EFP) concept. In addition, pilots and air traffic controllers are in constant contact in order to save fuel.


  • EFP improves continuous descent rates and optimizes descent times and flight paths
  • The EMAS project serves to optimize approach sequences and target landing times with the aim of enabling quieter and more efficient approaches to Frankfurt Airport at peak times
  • According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), creating a single European airspace could reduce CO2 emissions by 5–10%
  • Up-to-date weather information makes it easier to manage fuel and to plan optimum flight procedures, variable speeds, and altitudes
  • Various restrictions such as air traffic regulations mean that it is not always possible to plan the shortest routes. Pilots ask air traffic controllers whether any shortcuts are currently available in the course of flights
  • State-of-the-art data analysis tools such as OMEGA allow the fuel requirement per flight and the fuel reserve to be tailored to the actual circumstances
  • Digitalization has reached the cockpit as well: The 25-kg case containing manuals and navigational charts has been replaced by the Electronic Flight Bag, leading to a weight reduction


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Specific climate action

3. Sustainable aviation fuels

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Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are already enabling more sustainable flying. Compared with fossil fuels, SAF reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80%, while the remaining emissions are offset by certified environmental projects.

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Power-to-liquid: SAF of the future

In October 2021, Lufthansa Cargo became a pilot customer of the world’s first production plant for power-to-liquid fuels in Emsland in northwest Germany. Together with the operator, NGO atmosfair, we are promoting the ongoing development and market launch of industrially produced, CO2-neutral PtL fuel.

Biofuel: today’s SAF

Lufthansa Cargo is one of the pioneers in the use of SAF:

  • More than 1% of fuel used by Lufthansa Cargo aircraft in 2021 was SAF
  • Nearly 2.1% of fuel used by Lufthansa Cargo aircraft in 2022 was SAF
  • We currently operate the world’s only regular full charter freight connection that is 100% SAF-powered
  • Together with our partner DB Schenker, we save around 174 tonnes of conventional kerosene per week

LCAGCP - env report - icon headline Kompensation

Specific climate action

4. Offsetting

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Our target is a 50% reduction in CO2 by 2030. Bottlenecks in technology that is still in the development stage, a limited supply of sustainable fuels as well a slow changes in environmental policy mean that this is only possible through offsetting – which is why we use offsetting projects to avoid or remove CO2 in other sectors. This works because the climate benefits wherever greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

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Giving our customers a sustainable choice

We already offer our customers more sustainable options for their air freight thanks to sustainable aviation fuel and offsetting through environmental projects.

They can choose from three options:

Add-on service

Standardized offering for individual AWB shipments

More sustainable flights

Customized charter or scheduled flights

High-volume booking

Long-term purchase agreement including book-and-claim option

Our CO2 calculator

A CO2 calculator is available in our booking system, the calculations of which are based on the average annual kerosene consumption. This results from the actual load factors and flight routes of the respective previous year. The transports on the freighter Boeing 777F and the transports on the passenger aircraft are shown separately. The latter are clustered according to short-, medium- and long-haul flights.

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Getting there together

Our goal is to transport goods more sustainably around the world. But we can only achieve this by working with our partners and customers, as well as with producers and consumers. Come and join us on this exciting journey. Together, we can change the world.


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Specific climate action

5. Ground processes

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worldwide certified in accordance with ISO 14001


green power in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland as the basis for 100% CO2-neutral mobility by 2030


sustainable procurement criteria

We are working towards 100% sustainability


eAWBs instead of paper in the logistics chain


of all waste at our hubs is already recycled or used for power generation


dedication to upcycling products

Strategy for plastic reduction

Our resource and waste management systems work hand in hand to ensure a closed loop. By 2025, we will implement many more sustainable solutions for plastic film in our handling operations – including life cycle extension through reuse, reduction of new plastic, and worldwide recycling solutions.

Reduce and reuse

  • 15-μm thin, ultra-light film
  • Multiple use of film whenever possible


  • Recycling of used materials at our hubs

Bioplastic film

  • Use of biodegradable film
  • Locally sourced
  • Interim solutions to reduce risk

Partly recyclate-based film

  • Closed loop
  • Used film is returned to the manufacturer

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Status July 2022

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