The growth of the worldwide middle class and the facilities to travel, including the relative reduction of the costs of air tickets, increases the number of trips carried out, and consequently, the carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Apart from an urgent environmental concern, becoming increasingly sustainable is in the economic interest of major airlines like KLM.
By Edward Lenzi
In the activation session Dilemma’s in the air, led by KLM’s Inka Pieter, four major dilemmas of the airline were presented regarding its sustainability goals until 2020 for its three levels of influence: employees, operations and the consumer.
The attendants were divided into groups and invited to imagine the planes of the future, suggest ways of engaging the public in KLM’s offset program CO2ZERO, find ways to integrate sustainability into product design, and finally think of how to serve 40 million meals a year more consciously.
Among the ideas, it was suggested to use lighter materials in the airplanes and customized configurations of seats on rails for each trip, bringing more comfort and optimizing weight and fuel use. In addition, the entertainment system, which is responsible for a lot of weight on the aircraft, could evolve into options with WiFi, connected to cell phones and tablets.
To engage the public, in addition to communication actions, KLM’s website could graphically show the carbon emission on each trip according to the tickets sold so far and offer discounts on mileage or other benefits to passengers who make more conscious choices, such as vegetarian meals with lower environmental impact.
Green roofs in hangars, renewable energy for baggage displacement and taxiing of airplanes, use of passengers’ kinetic energy during journeys, edible utensils in meals served, use of waste and other actions were some of the suggestions to contribute to the goal of reduction of resources by half by 2040.
Top image: Presentation of concept / photo José de Holanda