Ons werk aan de SDG's


Enabling passengers to offset their carbon footprint

Air travel is responsible for 2% to 3% of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions caused by man. Since 2005, KLM has had an active strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from its entire operations. To do so, we are investing in new, more fuel-efficient aircrafts and improving our operational efficiency by, for instance, reducing weight on board. We are also stimulating the market for sustainable biofuel. Nevertheless, to reach our current goals we still need to offset our remaining CO2 emissions. KLM does this through its share in the EU-ETS (a European carbon offset scheme) and its voluntary offsetting service for passengers called CO2ZERO.

KLM initiated the CO2ZERO service in 2008. This voluntary option enables passengers to compensate for their flight-related carbon emissions, thereby neutralising their carbon footprint resulting from their flight. KLM and its partner airlines calculate the actual CO2 emissions for their flights. The calculation for each flight is based upon the type of aircraft, the distance flown, and the historical load factor.

As successor of the cooking stoves project in Ghana, KLM has selected a reforestation project in Panama for CO2ZERO. Since October 2017, the contribution for compensating via CO2ZERO is invested in CO2OL Tropical Mix. This project is committed to planting new trees, maintaining existing forests and supporting the local community in Panama for CO2ZERO. KLM chooses projects that carry the Gold Standard for the Global Goals certificate. The Gold Standard for the Global Goals certificate ensures that projects do more to responsibly manage natural resources and bring life-changing benefits to local communities. The investments are financed by the purchase of so-called carbon credits from the project. A carbon credit can be seen as a form of permission to emit greenhouse gases, which are then reduced or removed from the atmosphere through an emissions-reducing project. A reforestation project works as follows: newly planted trees absorb and store (sequester) carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from the atmosphere in their roots, stem and crown.

The CO2OL Tropical Mix project combines the protection of biodiversity and ecosystem restoration with sustainable timber production and small-scale sustainable cacao plantations. Besides the numerous environmental benefits, the project’s activities integrate capacity building and create long-term employment with a sustainable source of income for the local population.

"My goal was to find a new CO2ZERO project for KLM that would fit the goals of the service and hold a Gold Standard certificate. This means that a project has to have a positive influence on the environment, but also make a positive contribution to the local community. There are not that many reforestation projects in the world with a Gold Standard certification but this project in Panama did.… In total, I visited 12 different locations, and in every single place the people were positive about their role and the change the project had made in their lives.” (Remona van der Zon).


Until now, at least 3.5 million trees have been planted on different fincas (farms). The newly planted forests not only absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they also serve as bridges for animals seeking new habitats. Fifteen endangered animal species from the Red List, such as the ocelot, have already been observed. Reforestation also fulfils important ecosystem functions by protecting water levels and controlling erosion. Besides the positive effects on biodiversity and the environment, the project has created fair and long-term employment for the local population. Until now, 150 people have found a job in the project in Panama.


Meer informatie over het project ›
Lead Organisation

The Netherlands

Lead business line
CSR & Environmental Strategy


Totaal budget

Strategic Partners
Not applicable

Impact on primary SDG

Impact on other SDGs

Start date
oktober 2017

Targeted Beneficiaries
Point of contact
Remona van der Zon
Sustainability and Reporting Manager