The impact of air transportation on biodiversity is linked to the effects of climate change induced by the CO2 emissions it generates. We support a number of projects and initiatives aimed at protecting biodiversity around our hubs and destinations.
SUPPORTING PROJECTS THROUGH CUSTOMER OFFSETTING
Alongside the French Civil Aviation Authority (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile – DGAC), Air France is a founder member of the A Tree For You association which brings together, in complete transparency, donors and tree-planting projects everywhere in the world.
The Trip And Tree by Air France program became an integral part of the online ticket sales process in 2019. On purchase of a flight ticket, customers have the opportunity to make a donation in the amount of their choice to reduce their environmental footprint and contribute to a reforestation project in France and across the world. Having been selected by a committee of recognized and independent experts, these projects also comprise a citizenship dimension with the creation of jobs in these countries.
At the end of 2019, almost 25,000 donors had contributed to the comprehensive financing of ten projects across four continents, i.e. more than 160,000 trees planted since the launch of the project in 2018.
Since 2008, KLM has contributed to Gold Standard certified CO2 compensation projects that in addition to capturing CO2 also have benefits for local ecosystems and biodiversity.
In 2017, KLM started investing customer’s contribution in reforestation in Panama. The Gold Standard for the Global Goals-certified project, CO2OL Tropical Mix, turns formerly degraded pasture land into mixed forestry by planting a blend of mainly native tree and some exotic species.
In addition to the numerous environmental benefits such as biodiversity protection and ecosystem restoration, the project’s activities integrate capacity building and create long-term employment with a sustainable source of income for the local population, helping them to improve their living conditions.
Since the start of supporting this project, our customers helped to restore more than 1,000 hectares of tropical forest.
At the end of 2019, Transavia joined the CO2ZERO program
SUPPORTING PROJECTS VIA THE OFFSETTING OF DOMESTIC FLIGHTS
Since January 1, 2020, Air France customers have been able to undertake carbon-neutral travel in mainland France thanks to a proactive scheme to compensate 100% of the CO2 emissions on the airline’s domestic flights. In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this offsetting scheme takes the form of a contribution to reforestation, forest preservation and biodiversity projects, and those dedicated to the development of renewable energies, while guaranteeing the protection of the most vulnerable populations.
The first eight projects across four continents (France, Brazil, Peru, Cambodia, India and Kenya) were selected and launched with EcoAct, a pioneer in carbon offsetting in France.
For the ninth project, Air France offered its customers the opportunity to vote online for their preferred project. Three projects were proposed (a forestry preservation project in Brazil, a photovoltaic program in Senegal and a bio-gas from waste production program in Vietnam). The forestry preservation program received the largest number of the 27,000 votes cast and is now among Air France’s carbon offsetting project portfolio.
All the projects selected have received the highest certification standards on the voluntary carbon offset market, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Gold Standard, VERRA’s VCS and CCBA’s additional CCB standard.
AN ASSOCIATION TO PROMOTE THE PRESERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY IN THE AREAS AROUND AIRPORTS
In June 2019, to extend the scope of its initiative launched in 2013 to promote biodiversity around airports, the Hop! Biodiversité association was renamed Aero Biodiversity. With preserved green areas averaging 73% (representing 350 km² at national level), aviation can play a role in the preservation of grasslands, Western Europe’s natural habitat that is now most under threat.
Protected from urban development and from human activities, these airport grasslands which are generally not sprayed or tilled, favor the reproduction of flora and fauna often little known to the public. These semi-natural spaces are present in every French region and it is important to optimize their management to be able to protect the species living there.
The association’s assiduous efforts take place within a methodological framework scientifically approved by the French Natural History Museum, a founder member of the association. They involve a diverse local HR resource calling on the participatory sciences. Two hundred and fifty-two bird species have been numbered on the land of partners and more than 2,800 plant and animal species recorded. The data amassed supplements the national databases of knowledge on biodiversity.
While affirming its priority of ensuring aeronautical safety, the French Civil Aviation Authority (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile) is also an active founding member of the association. It is possible to enrich the biodiversity of the relevant spaces by, for example, practicing the appropriate strategies in terms of mowing and by eliminating crop protection products.
At the end of 2019, the association brought together four airline members (Air France, HOP!, Air Corsica, Air Saint-Pierre) and 18 French airports. All have included this project in their sustainable development policies and, since 2016, the in-field engagement has been recognized by the French Minister for Sustainable Development in respect of the National Biodiversity Strategy (Stratégie Nationale pour la Biodiversité – SNB).
As an active and founding partner, Air France contributes to raising awareness of the association’s initiatives among its staff through:
- Awareness-raising forums: 720 participants in the Environment forum in September 2019
- Citizenship Days proposed to all employees and biodiversity observations aimed at staff whose area of professional activity involves the environment and biodiversity: in 2019, more than 50 employees participated, most often on a full-day basis, at Paris-CDG.
CONTRIBUTING TO COMBATING THE TRAFFIC IN PROTECTED SPECIES
Air France and KLM are signatories of the Buckingham Palace Declaration which formalizes their resolute commitment to combatting illegal trading in protected species.
For many years, the Group has been committed to combating this illegal trade. For example, its Cargo division has already carried out a number of initiatives, notably employee training and awareness raising for customers, and participates in working groups with international bodies and associations (World Organization for Animal Health – OIE, IATA, United for Wildlife).
In 2019, Air France pursued its awareness-raising program for frontline ground staff to help them spot and report suspicious behavior or baggage to the relevant authorities. Air France provides information for its customers, particularly on its commercial website under Prohibited and Regulated Goods and also on board its long-haul flights through an awareness-raising video on illegal trafficking.
Air France is behind a working Group set up at the end of 2017, bringing together Paris Aéroport, the Customs authorities, Chronopost and WWF, to plan joint, coordinated initiatives at the Paris-CDG hub. In 2019, the Europe Handling Group joined this working group.