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- Environmental protection.
- Environmental guidelines.
- ISO 14001 certification.
- Environmental data.
- Noise protection.
As an airline, we have a special responsibility towards our environment. Environmental protection is therefore one of our top corporate goals. Continuously we aim to reduce our specific CO2 emissions. In doing so, we intend to contribute to a healthy climate so that future generations can live in an unpolluted environment.
On the following pages, you can read more about our environmental management system and our commitment to the environment as well as facts and figures about our environmental targets.
Head of Environmental Management
Lufthansa Cargo AG
Lufthansa Cargo AG
Our environmental guidelines are the framework of our modern environmental management system. They include environmental values, strategic overall goals and principles of action on which we at Lufthansa Cargo align our activities.
Demonstrating environmental responsibility.
The commitment to environmental protection and conservation of resources is an expression of our corporate responsibility. Compliance with regulatory and official requirements is a matter of course. But even beyond this, we aim to constantly reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials locally and globally through new technologies and our own strict corporate guidelines.
We take the growing concerns about the impact of air traffic on the environment seriously. An open communication policy and a constructive dialogue with our employees, customers, authorities and the public are therefore among our key principles. Our environmental management system helps us create this transparency, allowing us to record and assess the impact of our business on the environment while developing solutions.
Increasing environmental efficiency.
Our environmental management system allows us to define and implement environmental targets, helping us improve operating processes and work in a manner that conserves significantly more resources.
At the same time, we do not want to limit our commitment only to our direct sphere of influence, but also take into account upstream and downstream processes and include suppliers, partners and service providers in our environmental approach.
New ideas and bold initiatives are essential to environmental protection, which is why we believe in the responsibility of our employees and encourage their commitment to the environment. We also rely on the best technology available and innovative processes, plus we promote research projects and support the development of new technologies. We actively contribute the resulting expertise to external undertakings and initiatives.
We are proud that our environmental management system has been certified worldwide according to the international standard ISO 14001. Certification began in Frankfurt in 2008 before being gradually expanded. Lufthansa Cargo has been ISO certified at all German stations since 2010 and achieved worldwide certification at the end of 2015. In the following years Jettainer and time:matters have been certified as well.
The certification demonstrates that we are striving to constantly optimize Lufthansa Cargo’s environmental and climate protection strategy. By establishing an environmental management system in accordance with internationally recognized standards, we have created tools for the systematic control and documentation of our environmental activities.
We connect people around the globe and promote the exchange of goods, ideas and cultures. But in order to transport all that, air traffic will have to depend on kerosene as its principal energy source in the decades to come.
The efficient use of kerosene is therefore a matter of course for us from an economic and ecological perspective. As a result, we invest in B777F Freighters, the freighter with the best environmental performance today.
We also still own MD-11F Freighters and use the capacities of our joint venture AeroLogic as well as the cargo capacities of the Lufthansa Group’s passenger aircraft.
We had set ourselves the goal of reducing specific CO2 emissions by 25% by 2020 on a 2005 basis. Due to the Corona pandemic, the planned retirement of the MD11F fleet was extended by a few months in order to ensure system-relevant transports. This is because a large part of the passenger aircraft is still grounded, leaving us with about 50% of cargo capacity unavailable.
So far we can show an efficiency gain of 20 % compared with 2005. We will reach the 25 % mark at the latest when we only operate our modern B777F.
Other environmental data.
As part of the environmental management system according to ISO 14001, we gather and compile additional environmentally relevant data on energy and resource consumption in a comprehensive database. It helps us analyze whether measures on the ground, ranging from investments in modern lighting systems and more efficient forklifts to optimized waste separation, are also leading to the desired results.
Since the beginning of 2020, the Lufthansa Group in Germany, Austria, Belgium and Switzerland has been purchasing exclusively green electricity* , either directly through the purchase of green electricity or through the purchase of high-quality green electricity certificates (green electricity label HKNneu 100). In 2020, more than 80,000 t of CO2 emissions were avoided in this way.
* This applies wherever Lufthansa Group companies purchase their electricity directly from the energy provider or the airport and the exact electricity supplier is known
For years, the Lufthansa Group has been committed to reducing noise emissions. The measures range from using new, quieter aircraft models and modifying aircraft in our existing fleet to investing in research for quieter flying. In June 2015, the Lufthansa Group spearheaded the Models and Data for the Development of Active Noise Protection Measures in Aviation (MODAL) project sponsored by Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. Two MD-11 Freighters equipped with modified acoustic panels were used to conduct overfly measurements at Magdeburg-Cochstedt airport. Analysis of the measurements has not yet delivered a clear result. The Lufthansa Group’s voluntary commitment to research for less noise appears to be very time-intensive and complex.
Lufthansa Cargo is also actively pursuing noise protection measures. We work closely with air traffic control to examine and adopt alternative take-off and landing procedures. Continuous Descent Approach (CDA) is an important step in this direction. Instead of approaching an airport in a stair-step fashion, throttling down and requesting permission to descend to each new altitude, CDA allows for a smooth, constant-angle descent to landing, requiring less engine thrust and reducing noise emissions.
We also use the latest technology to reduce noise. The engines of our B777F Freighters are so quiet that they meet the strictest noise protection standards in international civil aviation today.
Visit the Lufthansa Group website for more information on noise (protection).
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Lufthansa Cargo’s interactive climate protection graphic.
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Environmental protection measures.
- General environmental protection measures.
- Technological progress.
- Operational measures.
- Improved infrastructure.
- Economic tools.
Given the impending climate changes, the reduction of kerosene consumption goes hand in hand with the need to focus more on reducing worldwide CO2 emissions. In close cooperation with IATA, Lufthansa has developed a four-pillar model for climate protection that serves as a framework for continuous development. Lufthansa Cargo regards this concept as an essential tool for improving environmental performance in aviation and as an important step toward reaching its targets.
Airlines and aircraft manufacturers are working closely together to develop the most fuel-efficient aircraft. Technologies to improve aerodynamics, make aircraft lighter and develop more fuel-efficient engines have significantly helped the aviation industry reduce specific kerosene consumption and CO2 emissions by 70 percent since 1970. Purchasing five new Boeing 777Fs, the freighters with the best environmental performance at the present time, has enabled us to reduce our fleet’s specific emissions even further. This model emits roughly 17 percent less CO2 per ton than the MD-11F.
We have already been investing in the B777F since 2009 through our subsidiary AeroLogic (a joint venture between DHL Express and Lufthansa Cargo). AeroLogic now operates eight B777Fs.
We try to continuously improve the efficiency of our freighters, including the MD-11F, through additional technical measures, such as fan blade recontouring. Fan blades are subject to severe wear and tear during flight, leading to a loss of thrust and drop in performance. This procedure can restore the contour of the engine’s fan blades, reducing emissions and kerosene consumption while extending the life span of the parts.
A fleet of modern and environmentally friendly aircraft is not the only step we have taken to cut kerosene consumption and emissions. Our pilots have developed more than 50 measures as part of our “Fuel Efficiency” project.
The systematic search for shorter flying routes, known as “directs,” is one example of an option that could save up to 1,000 tons of kerosene a year. Furthermore, an additional turning point for the alternative airport Hahn was set up in cooperation with Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), reducing the amount of kerosene that aircraft need to transport with them on approach to Frankfurt and saving an additional 950 tons of kerosene a year.
Aircraft loading processes (weight and balance) and our loading equipment are also subject to constant improvement. Ultimately, uneven weight distribution in the cargo hold and transportation of unnecessary kilos increases fuel consumption. One example of our improvements in this direction is the AKH Lightweight-Container. Following a joint test phase with our subsidiary Jettainer, all standard containers were replaced with Lightweight-Containers by 2014. The plastic materials used make these containers approximately 13 kg lighter, saving 2,100 tons of kerosene and 6,800 tons of CO2 annually.
We are currently developing light versions of other standard containers and pallets, aiming to exchange all loading materials by 2020. By clearing out our MD-11 Freighters, we have also found a way to save an additional 450 tons of CO2 a year. Each aircraft now weighs 70 kg less thanks to the removal of loose objects, such as flashlights, cockpit documents and curtains.
Intelligently connecting different modes of transport is another pioneering approach. We are a link in the entire supply chain and want to achieve mobility through partnership rather than competition. For example, we are shifting Road Feeder Services from trucks to rail or sea transport.
In addition to our operational measures in the air, we are also committed to environmental sustainability on the ground, where we have been able to cut energy consumption by 50 percent by replacing all light sources in one of our cargo warehouses, or by using electric forklifts and our recycling facilities to balance our environmental performance on the ground.
We are actively working on the IATA initiative aimed at digitalizing the up to 30 different paper documents needed for an air freight shipment (eFreight). We successfully implemented the electronic air waybill (eAWB) in 2015. Today, one-third of all Lufthansa Cargo shipments are transported without a paper eAWB. Simply digitalizing one cargo document makes it possible to save around 225 tons of CO2 a year thanks to the reduction in weight on board Lufthansa Cargo’s aircraft.
Lufthsana Cargo is indirectly responsible for tasks in the field of infrastructure, which includes the more efficient use of airspace and adapting airport infrastructure to meet demands.
To enable more direct flights and more efficient air traffic control, airspace over Europe is being restructured as part of the Single European Sky (SES) project, in which the Lufthansa Group is playing a supporting and proactive role. For more information, please refer to the Lufthansa policy briefs on SES.
Adapting airport infrastructure to meet demands is the responsibility of the airport operator. Lufthansa Cargo also maintains regular dialogue with airport operators on this subject.
The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) decided in October 2013 to develop a globally valid system of climate levies. A resolution on their introduction is scheduled for October 2016. For Lufthansa Cargo, this economic incentive system is an important addition to the company’s environmental pillars mentioned earlier.
For more information, please refer to the Lufthansa policy brief.
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Downloads & Links
- Cargo Climate Care Brochure
- Cargo Climate Care Information - Emission reduction through digitalization
- Cargo Climate Care Information - Clear-out
- Cargo Climate Care Information - Optimum use: B777F exceeds expectations
- Cargo Climate Care Information - Meeting our climate target with optimum trim
- Cargo Climate Care Information - Lightweight Container
- Cargo Climate Care Information - ISO certification
- Cargo Climate Care Information - SATCO
- Efficiency graphic
- ISO 14001 certificate
- Lufthansa Sustainabilty Report 2019 (including Lufthansa Cargo)
- Calculation Method for CO2-Information per shipment & routing