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:
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.
Lufthansa mobile boarding pass
The world’s over all paper consumption is still increasing,. Being aware of this issue and being known for its high commitment to sustainability, Lufthansa introduced mobile boarding passes in spring 2008 already. A mobile boarding pass is an individual secure bar code that can be received via e-mail, text-message or downloaded directly on smart phones and allows passengers to check in fully paperlessly.
By using this eco-friendly procedure Lufthansa customers have helped to save paper equivalent to 2.5 million printout boarding passes during the period of December 2012 to end of January 2013 alone. The saved paper will now be donated to schoolchildren in need worldwide: "Help Alliance", a charity founded by volunteers of the Lufthansa staff in 1999, will hand out 50,000 school exercise books, 30,000 of which will be distributed via Help Alliance projects in Asia/Pacific, for example in Bandarawella, Sri Lanka, Pondicherry and New Delhi, India as well as Pattaya, Thailand. In order to reduce the CO2 emission and to support the local economies all exercise books will be bought locally.
Lufthansa customers can use fully paperless mobile check-in procedures at more than 130 airports worldwide already. In Asia, paperless check-in is available at airports in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Nagoya, Osaka and Tokyo Narita.
Global climate change is one of the biggest challenges for humankind. Thus, reliable forecasts on the development of the future climate and the constant improvement of climate models are of fundamental importance. Climate research has a long tradition at Lufthansa, and the company supports scientific projects together with renowned research institutes to meet its high aims in protecting the environment. The current research project, called IAGOS (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System) places its focus on developing a global measurement infrastructure to monitor the Earth’s atmosphere. Therefore, Lufthansa is closely working together with the Jülich Research Centre (FZJ) using scheduled Lufthansa services with aircraft that are converted for climate research purposes. The specially developed measurement devices on board the Lufthansa Airbus A340-300 “Viersen” record atmospheric trace substances, aerosols and cloud particles. Commercial aircraft are particularly suited for data collection, because they fly worldwide and thus can observe the Earth’s atmosphere as a whole. Furthermore, scheduled flights provide a high level of continuity in that long-term observations can be made which would not be possible with satellites or with individual flights conducted by special research aircraft.
Lufthansa has cooperated with science institutes on climate research since 1993. During the last years of Lufthansa’s engagement in climate research, 50 different trace elements, greenhouse gases like CO2 and the concentration of aerosols in the atmosphere have been measured on international routes from Frankfurt. In addition to the onboard measurements, 80 air samples are taken each time for further analysis in European laboratories.
IAGOS is already the fourth climate project being supported by Lufthansa. For nearly two decades, Lufthansa has been the only airline worldwide involved in climate research and air quality, providing a unique data base for scientists and thus making a vital contribution to the validation and improvement of climate models.