First time an environmental award goes to an airline
Airberlin is the first airline to have been awarded the ÖkoGlobe 2011. The environmental award for pioneering innovations promoting sustainable mobility was conferred on Airberlin for its corporate program for “Eco-efficient Flying”. The award was presented in Karlsruhe by the insurance group DEVK and the ÖkoGlobe Institute.
“Airberlin is very proud to be awarded the ÖkoGlobe. This underlines the numerous efforts undertaken by Germany’s second largest airline for the purpose of making flying as environmentally compatible as possible,” remarked Tim Haferl, Corporate Director Flight Operations, in Karlsruhe on Tuesday evening.
The “Eco-efficient Flying” program includes a catalogue of measures relating to the areas of technology and flight operations as well as operations and controlling that have been introduced to save costly fuel and avoid environmentally harmful emissions. The catalogue of measures is the result of inter-departmental coordination at Airberlin, which was implemented in 2008 and is now a constant feature.
Outstanding examples of emission control include the weight reduction on board Airberlin aircraft. Lighter seats, the paperless cockpit, trolleys made of reduced weight aluminum and new carpets have saved 5,000 tons of aviation fuel.
Airberlin’s air crew will continue to be trained in flying procedures designed to reduce both pollution and noise.
Constant fleet modernization and streamlining of the fleet structure represent the most significant contribution to Airberlin’s improved environmental balance sheet. In 2010 the last Boeing 737-300s, 757s and 767s were retired from the fleet. The airline had managed to increase emissions savings from 34,300 tons of carbon dioxide in the previous year to 45,700 tons, which corresponds to the pollution emitted by an Airbus A330 on more than 300 flights from Düsseldorf to New York.
In recognition of these improvements Airberlin was awarded the ÖkoGlobe for the category “Vehicle innovations in public transport”. It was the fifth year that this award was presented and the first time it went to an airline, which now stands alongside companies such as Deutsche Bahn and car manufacturers Daimler and Toyota.
The decision of the panel of six judges, chaired by Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, is based on a points system. All the projects submitted were assessed in terms of their sustainability and their combination of ecological, economic and social factors. Feasibility and implementation, sustainability and the price-performance ratio were aspects that determined the number of points awarded.
In recent years Airberlin has considerably reduced the age of its fleet in preparation for future eco-political challenges. The company believes that these efforts are considerably thwarted by the aviation tax. This year alone the aviation tax is costing Airberlin 180 million euros, even though the airline, at 3.6 liters per 100 revenue passenger kilometers, has the lowest fuel consumption among European scheduled carriers.