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KLM BioFuel Programme Takes Biofuel Development A Step Further

Amstelveen, 19 June 2012 - Following the first commercial biofuel flight, operated by KLM in June 2011, KLM will operate the longest biofuel flight ever today. Flight KL705 departs from Amsterdam with a Boeing 777-200 and flies to the Rio+20 sustainable development conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Passengers include State Secretary of Infrastructure and the Environment, Joop Atsma. The aircraft is partly flying on sustainable fuel made from Used Cooking Oil.

With this flight, KLM is further expanding its pioneering role in the development of sustainable biofuels. KLM has been working with the World Wide Fund for Nature The Netherlands (WWF-NL) since 2007 and is the first airline to develop a biofuel programme with SkyNRG. The programme was launched this morning and will enable companies to operate some of their flights on sustainable biofuel, thereby stimulating the further development of biofuels. 

Prominent companies such as Ahold, Heineken, Accenture, DSM, Philips, Nike and Schiphol Group have all joined the KLM BioFuel programme today. In doing so they are showing leadership and encouraging other companies to follow their example.

“I am proud that we have the support of Ahold, Heineken, Accenture, Philips, DSM, Nike and Schiphol Group for our BioFuel programme. Using sustainable BioFuel is one of the most important ways to make aviation more sustainable. We can only achieve this with partners who dare to stick their necks out,” said Camiel Eurlings, managing director KLM.

“Aviation is on the threshold of a small revolution. And at times like these it is best to lead from the front, like KLM. Those who take the pressure off nature today, are the winners of tomorrow. The rapid development of alternative, reliable biofuels is vital,” says Johan van de Gronden, director of WWF-NL.

Anja Montijn-Groenewoud, Country Managing Director, Accenture Netherlands: “Accenture has the high ambition to be a sustainable company and sustainable mobility is an important part of this. We are delighted to join with other Dutch companies to take the lead and invest in a market which could have a major impact on the sustainability achievements of both aviation and Dutch businesses.”

State Secretary Joop Atsma is pleased with this milestone. “The KLM BioFuel programme enables companies to join KLM and SkyNRG to demonstrate the leading position they occupy on sustainability. I call upon Dutch businesses to join in to accelerate the development of biofuels and to stimulate a sustainable economy. I will do everything in my power to ensure that from 2013 Dutch officials on government business will travel as much as possible on biofuel flights, including the government’s own aircraft.”

Sustainable biofuel

The fuel KLM uses is supplied by SkyNRG, the company KLM founded in 2009 with North Sea Group and Spring Associates. SkyNRG is now the world’s market leader for sustainable kerosene, supplying more than 15 carriers worldwide.

KLM is open to using different kinds of raw materials for the end product, as long as they meet a range of sustainability criteria, including a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions, and minimal negative impact on biodiversity and food supply. Likewise, all biofuels used by KLM meet the same technical specifications as traditional kerosene – no adjustments need to be made to aircraft engines or the infrastructure.

For seven consecutive years, KLM together with Air France has been sector leader of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.

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