Italian coffee producer Lavazza to join KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Program

February 9, 2020 |

In Italy, Lavazza and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines signed an agreement which will make the coffee company the first Italian partner in KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Program. The program contributes actively to making the airline industry more sustainable by stimulating the availability of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on a large scale.

The cooperation between KLM and Lavazza fits perfectly with KLM’s Fly Responsibly initiative as KLM takes the lead in achieving a more sustainable future for civil aviation. The airline is doing this by making its products and processes even more sustainable, now and in the future. But real progress will only be possible if the entire industry works together. As part of Fly Responsibly, KLM is inviting passengers to take part in its CO2ZERO compensation programme, and asking companies to make their business trips more sustainable by participating in the Corporate BioFuel Programme.

Lavazza is the first Italian company to support KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Programme. The multinational has decided to marry a concrete collaboration with the major organizations that aim to make a system towards sustainability objectives, by signing the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and joining the United Nations Global Compact.

KLM only sources sustainable aviation fuels based on waste and residue feedstocks that significantly reduce the CO2 footprint and do not have a negative impact on food production or the environment.

Reaction from the stakeholders

Barry ter Voert, SVP Europe at Air France KLM Group said, “KLM believes that the production of sustainable aviation fuels on the medium and long term is important in achieving carbon reduction targets in the aviation sector. By partnering with companies such as Lavazza, we can achieve our aims much faster. KLM is not alone in its desire to make its operations more sustainable. Many companies in a variety of sectors think the same way. We are happy to enter into partnerships with companies to stimulate the availability of sustainable aviation fuel on a large scale as it makes the price more economically competitive with that of fossil kerosene. In this way, KLM aims to send a strong signal to all airlines to do more to promote sustainable aviation and greatly reduce our joint environmental footprint.”

Mario Cerutti, Chief Institutional Relations & Sustainability Officer at Lavazza said, “For Lavazza, the goal is to implement sustainability along the entire value chain and this agreement fits perfectly into the responsible development path that we have been pursuing for some time. Participating in the KLM BioFuel Programme shows that today it is not enough to act alone, but an organic effort is needed between all the players on the market, in a transversal way with respect to the sectors: it is up to the leading companies to take the first step.”

Lavazza’s take on sustainability

It was during a 1935 trip to South America that Luigi Lavazza expressed his disappointment at seeing the destruction of entire coffee crops that had gone unsold: an experience that affected him deeply and ultimately shaped his vision of how business should be conducted,” according to Lavazza’s website where the business discusses sustainability goals. “Since then, we have always paid careful attention to the economic, human, environmental and cultural heritage of the countries in which we work.”

Lavazza isn’t new to sustainability – they have been working with Genomatica, the bioengineering pioneer, to partner on high-performance materials from plants, as reported in The Digest in March 2019.

Lavazza joined the “CEO Carbon Neutral Challenge” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions last month, as the European Union is presenting its investment plan to become the world’s first bloc of countries to be zero climate impact by 2050.

They also just launched new biodegradable and recyclable cups for vending machines just a few weeks ago, as reported in Packaging Europe.

KLM’s biofuel program

It’s not just Lavazza in the biofuels program, but many big-name companies – companies that can really make a difference. In 2019, the program united the following companies and institutions: ABN AMRO, Accenture, Arcadis BV, Arcadis NV, Amsterdam Municipality, Loyens & Loeff, Air Traffic Control the Netherlands (LVNL), Microsoft, the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, the Royal Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR), PGGM, Schiphol Group, SHV Energy and TU Delft.

As reported in The Digest in November 2019, SHV Energy, the world’s largest LPG distributor, and provides LNG and bioLPG to people without access to the grid, joined the KLM Corporate BioFuel Program. In so doing, SHV Energy will reduce its headquarters’ CO2 emissions by 50%. Additionally, the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) has extended its participation in KCBP for a further two-year period. TU Delft first joined the program on 1 July 2017.

More on that story here.

As reported in The Digest in December 2019, KLM purchased sustainable aviation fuel for flights out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The sustainable fuel is produced by Neste from used cooking oil and will reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80 % compared to fossil kerosene. This purchase is the next step in the use of sustainable fuel as it is the first time the fuel will be supplied using the existing infrastructure at Schiphol. Furthermore, Neste is joining KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Programme. In doing so, Neste will reduce the CO2 emissions of its own business travel on KLM flights by 100%.

More on that story here.

Back in October 2019, KLM and Microsoft signed a Letter of Intent in Washington to explore cooperation focused on sustainable air travel including a commitment to purchase SAF. Building on KLM’s Corporate BioFuel Program, Microsoft will purchase an amount of SAF equivalent to all flights taken by Microsoft employees between the USA and Netherlands (and vice versa) on KLM and Delta Airlines.

More on that story here.

And as reported in The Digest in May 2019, KLM, SkyNRG and SHV Energy greenlight the world’s largest stand-alone sustainable aviation fuels project. SkyNRG will develop Europe’s first dedicated plant for the production of SAF in Delfzijl and KLM committed to a 10-year, 75,000 ton per year aviation fuels order for 10 years. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and SHV Energy (a global leader in LPG distribution) will also invest in the facility and SHV will purchase the bioLPG produced. The project, overall, will specialize in producing aviation fuels, bioLPG and naphtha, primarily using regional waste and residue streams as feedstock.

More on that story here.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is KLM is a leader in SAF and their biofuels program is making a difference by getting other big-name companies on board with biofuel (no pun intended). KLM is currently the only European airline using sustainable fuel on intercontinental flights. Heck, back in 2011, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines became the first airline in the world to operate a commercial flight, carrying 171 passengers, on aviation biofuels. So expect to see more from KLM and action being taken by their partners in the biofuel program to move the needle forward in sustainable aviation fuel.

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