Lufthansa has a tradition of leading its industry in technology, quality, and sustainability. The airline’s first report on environmental issues dates back to 1994. Just as combining our corporate colors blue and yellow creates green, environmental care has become an integral part of our management and corporate culture.
We would like to inform you regularly and show one concrete example of Lufthansa's environmental care activities. Today:
Saving fuel and reducing emissions
Saving fuel and thus reducing emissions is one of the core targets of all Lufthansa Group Companies who are well aware of their responsibility to contribute to the global protection of climate and environment. One of the latest projects to fulfill that aim was the development of new lighter and thus more fuel-efficient transportation containers. Within the last three years Lufthansa Cargo has already completely replaced its fleet of aluminum containers with these new ultra-light containers made of extremely durable composite materials.
These new standard containers that are used to transport cargo shipments and passenger baggage in all Lufthansa aircraft are up to 15 percent lighter than their predecessors. This is a difference in weight of around 14 kilograms and by up to 500,000 movements per year, about 2,000 tons of fuel can be saved by only using these containers. That way, the environment will be relieved of around 7,000 tons of CO2. Having 5,600 units in total and thus operating the world’s largest fleet of lightweight containers, the Lufthansa Group shows strong commitment within that field of sustainability.
Besides the increased fuel efficiency due to the lower weight, the new containers have the additional advantage of being less prone to damage. Despite consisting of almost 100 percent of plastic, they are extremely robust and durable which leads to a reduction in repair costs as well. For all this effort, Lufthansa Cargo has already been awarded with the international environmental award ÖkoGlobe in 2012.
An exemplary recycling initiative
As globally operating corporation, the Lufthansa Group is well aware of its leading role in setting standards in the field of climate and environment protection. As part of this general responsibility, the Lufthansa catering subsidiary LSG Sky Chefs started an exemplary recycling initiative in the United States in February last year. The “Zero Waste to Land (ZLF)” project aims to divert 100-percent of recyclable waste from previously designated landfills at all of the 41LSG locations in the USA by 2015.
By now, 6,545 tonnes of waste has already been successfully recycled, representing a reduction in greenhouse gases of almost 21,000 tonnes – despite the fact that the new processes have only been implemented by nine LSG locations in the US yet. The amount mentioned is equivalent to the annual energy saving of 927 households or 3,813 cars not being driven for a year.
These first results of the ZLF-program which is the first of its kind in the region were achieved by on the one hand implementing new recycling methods and using new equipment and on the other by providing comprehensive training to employees and encouraging suppliers to use products made of materials that do not become waste.
LSG Sky Chefs who is the world’s largest provider of in-flight services aims to become the first airline caterer to achieve the “zero waste to landfill” in the United States. Therefore, this new system is planned to be implemented at the other US LSG Sky Chefs locations soon. The Lufthansa subsidiary whose environmental management system is based on the ISO 14001 standard produces 532 million meals a year globally and 160 million of them in the US only. In the Asia Pacific region, LSG Sky Chefs is present at 32 locations in seven countries, including nine wholly-owned facilities, 20 joint ventures and three additional cooperations.
Sustainability is a key target for the entire Lufthansa Group
Operating in the global aviation industry, sustainability is a key target for the entire Lufthansa Group. Thus, the single corporations strive not only continuously to develop tools and processes to use resources as efficiently as possible, but also support several climate research projects. For one of them, the EU-funded CARIBIC ( Civil aircraft for the Regular Investigation of the atmosphere Based on an Instrument Container) project, Lufthansa took a “flying laboratory” on board – once a month for the past ten years, flying more than 2 million km and rounding the earth 50 times in total. On the flights on the Airbus A340-600 “Leverkusen”, a purpose built measurement container recorded more than 50 gases and particulate compounds through a special inlet system mounted on the fuselage of the aircraft. These aerosols and trace gases were analyzed with the aid of 20 scientific devices that were integrated in the container.
And it was worth the effort! Among other results, the measurements collected in the flying laboratory contributed in establishing the existence of three previously undiscovered chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases that generally are regarded as the main cause of ozone depletion. Now it is the aim of the researchers to find out where these gases come from, why they are increasing and what countermeasures should be taken to reduce them. Thus, the data collected on board of the Lufthansa aircraft will not only to help to protect the ozone layer and halt the ozone depletion but also to gain a better understanding of the buffer zone between the troposphere and the stratosphere, which is of particular scientific interest and can be accurately observed by aircrafts only.
SIMBA cuts water and energy consumption
The Lufthansa Group is well known for its commitment to sustainable entrepreneurship and continuously initiates ground-breaking projects that not only target the environmental effects of its flight operations but also of its ground operations. Therefore, alongside quality and innovation, LSG Sky Chefs, a Lufthansa Group subsidiary, has made sustainability an important element of its corporate strategy. In 2010, LSG Sky Chefs launched the pilot project SIMBA.
SIMBA* is a German acronym for an innovative software solution to ensure the sustainability of the company’s dishwashing operations at its catering facilities. Since then, LSG Sky Chefs has not only lowered energy consumption by 24 percent but has also reduced the amount of water used by even 30 percent at its Frankfurt base alone. Today, SIMBA is in use at 65 LSG Sky Chefs locations worldwide. The management tool enables data to be captured and evaluated at as many as 16 points per dishwashing line and is made available in real time.If defined target values are exceeded, alarm signals are sent to the relevant service technician, which allows an immediate response to any deviations. Thanks to SIMBA, reductions in energy and water use are instantly apparent.
In August 2012, LSG Sky Chefs even received the “Fraport Energy Award” in the category “Highest Savings” for the introduction of SIMBA. A very promising follow-up project was thenlaunched in September 2012. In the process, the highest energy consumers such as air conditioning and heating systems were connected to SIMBA and monitored. This latest version of SIMBA is expected to bring out a further, five percent reduction in energy consumption in the long term. LSG Sky Chefs’ Asia/Pacific organization oversees operations in variouslocations across China, as well as India, Thailand, South Korea, and New Zealand. Next year, the company will mark 25 years of providing airlines across Asia/Pacific with high-quality in-flight catering and other related services.
*SIMBA: SpülmaschinenInformations-Management-Tool inklusiveBetriebsanalyse und Alarmierung (dishwashing information management tool including operations analysis and alarm system)
Second life for aircraft components
The Lufthansa Group is known for its high commitment to sustainability and does everything in its powerto use the resources it requires as efficiently as possible. Therefore, Lufthansa Technik launched the innovative recycling project ‘2nd life’. The project is exemplary for economic and ecological sustainability: Within the context of ‘2nd life’,valuable components from aircraft which have been taken out of service are removed and recycled, hence, they get the chance of a “second life”.With the help of Lufthansa Technik Component Services (LTCS), a subsidiary of Lufthansa Technik in Tulsa, Oklahoma, everything from the aircraft that can be recycled or is valuable is removed, including undercarriages, jet engine components, flight computers, lights, cockpit instruments, and the complete electronic systems.
After their removal, the parts undergo stringent testing in Lufthansa Technik’s workshops in the USA and Germany with respect to their functionality and, if necessary, are repaired. Subsequently, the components are recertified and returned to the Lufthansa Technik pool. This procedure has a major advantage for the environment: Not only are tons of precious materials recycled for further use, but the hollowed-out aircraft are also handed over to a recycling company, where re-usable raw materials like aluminium are recovered. LTCS first started supplying components taken from long-serving aircraft from the Lufthansa fleet in spring 2012 and up to now mostly aircraft of the Boeing 737 type underwent this procedure. Only recently, the 25th aircraft arrived in Tulsa and for the first time a Boeing 747-400 is now being dismantled and the most varied components are prepared for reutilisation.