The Dutch carrier has enlisted help from corporates and NGOs as it pushes the envelope on sustainable fuels
KLM recognised that sustainability would be an issue with biofuels from its demonstration flight in 2009, says Fokko Kroesen corporate manager for environmental strategy. The Dutch carrier set up a joint venture, SkyNRG, to source biofuels that meet strict sustainability criteria, including for food security and biodiversity. SkyNRG is building an independent sustainability index to help pick the right supply chains.
The company, which was listed number one airline in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the eleventh consecutive year, is advised by an independent board made up of WWF in the Netherlands; social justice charity Solidaridad; and Energy Academy Europe, which focuses on research and education for the transition from fossil fuels.
Since early 2016 300 KLM flights from Los Angeles have been powered with a biofuel made from used cooking oil in a 30:70 blend with conventional jet fuel. This is produced by California-based AltAir Fuels at its retrofitted refinery. Kroesen anticipates that will reach 500 flights this year.
KLM has also trialled a biofuel blend made from the oilseed plant Camelina, grown in semi-arid regions of Spain, and developed as part of an EU-funded project. This powered 83 flights between Oslo and Amsterdam...