27

Feb
2012

A Question of Taking Action

For fifty years now, the World Wide Fund for Nature in the Netherlands (WWF-NL) has succeeded in preserving the earth’s riches. Yes, we have had success, but there is still no cause for celebration. Man’s impact on the earth is increasing at alarming proportions. Climate change is one of the greatest threats to our existence. To preserve our wealth of plant and animal life, we must make a dramatic reduction in our carbon dioxide emissions — and we must do it now.

The WWF can’t do it alone. We must work together if we are to reduce CO2 emissions significantly. We’re not willing to join forces with just any business in this effort. We choose partners who show their willingness and ability to take the lead — companies capable of serving as an example and pushing their sectors forward. KLM, together with Air France, has been at the top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in its sector for the last seven years. That’s the kind of company we’re looking for. Together, we are working to create more sustainable civil aviation. How? By developing biofuels from renewable sources.

The cooperative effort between KLM and WWF-NL is unique and falls perfectly in line with our approach. Civil aviation is an inextricable aspect of modern life, and that makes it all the more important to increase its sustainability. Flying on solar or wind energy is not yet a possibility — our technology hasn’t come that far, yet. For this reason, alternatives to fossil jet fuels include biofuels produced from renewable sources, which ultimately result in fewer carbon dioxide emissions.* This particular development is still in its infancy, but it illustrates the need to simply take action. KLM is doing its part with a new series of biofuel flights from Amsterdam to Paris.

The fact that KLM is a co-initiator of SkyNRG, a consortium dedicated to developing a market for sustainable biofuel, is very much a part of this practical approach. WWF-NL advises SkyNRG in its selection of sustainable biofuels. Our recommendation resulted in KLM’s ability to make the world’s first commercial flight on biofuel developed from used cooking oil. That’s something to be proud of. We’re on the right course but we have a long way to go, yet. That’s why we have renewed our partnership with KLM for another four years. We have made agreements regarding the protection of plant and animal life — and for the preservation of an earth on which we can continue to live. That is what the WWF has been doing for the past fifty years.

Johan van de Gronden, CEO of the World Wildlife Funds in the Netherlands

*A biofuel is considered sustainable if its cultivation does not result in the depletion of the food supply or valuable nature, and does not require excessive use of drinking water or pesticides. A number of social criteria also apply.