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Balance 2012: Lufthansa Group reports efficiency record

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New issue of Balance sustainability report / Pioneering tests with biofuel / Perceptible progress on noise abatement / Commitment to greater diversity in management

Lufthansa published the latest issue of its Balance sustainability report in Frankfurt today. The report documents positive developments in all aspects of corporate responsibility: “Despite challenging operating conditions and burdensome effects, the Lufthansa Group can once again present a gratifying report on sustainability. And that remains our goal for the future,“ observed Dr. Christoph Franz, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG.

For example in the area of climate and environmental responsibility: In 2011, the Lufthansa Group fleet set a new eco-efficiency record by reducing specific fuel consumption to 4.18 litres per 100 passenger-kilometres – even though the seat load factor was down on the year-earlier level by two percentage points to 77.6 per cent. Greater efficiency not only makes the Group more competitive, it also reduces specific CO2 emissions. In order to realize its ambitious climate protection targets, Lufthansa will in future step up its efforts to achieve further optimization in the operational and infrastructural areas. The envisaged measures are defined in the internationally acclaimed four-pillar strategy, which Lufthansa helped to develop to enhance climate protection in the aviation industry.

A major element in that strategy is the Group’s investment in modern aircraft. Lufthansa is currently engaged in the biggest fleet renewal programme in its history: By 2018, a total of 168 fuel efficient and low-noise aircraft, valued at 17 billion euros at list price, will be flying with the fleet. The latest newcomer is the Boeing 747-8 Intercontinental, which entered into service at Lufthansa in June. The new aircraft is 15 percent more fuel-efficient than the Boeing 747-400 predecessor model and – no less important – around 30 per cent quieter.

Lufthansa has done pioneering work with long-term trials of bio-kerosene in scheduled flight operations, demonstrating that biofuel from sustainable production sources is a viable alternative in daily flight operations and additionally reduces CO2 emissions. In the period from 15 July to 27 December 2011, Lufthansa carried out 1,187 flights with a mix of biofuel and conventional kerosene between Hamburg and Frankfurt, saving around 1,500 tonnes of CO2. A highlight of the tests came when Lufthansa conducted the world’s first transatlantic commercial flight to the USA with a biosynthetic fuel mix on 12 January 2012. On that flight a Boeing 747-400 flew from Frankfurt to Washington tanked with a biofuel mix of around 40 tonnes.

Alongside the reduction of emissions, the Group’s environmental strategy is geared to continuously reducing noise. Lufthansa cooperates permanently with partners from industry, the authorities, universities and research institutions on developing measures to lower noise levels. Besides modifications of existing aircraft, these include the utilization of noise-reducing procedures in flight operations, such as the continuous descent approach currently practised in Frankfurt.

Lufthansa has cooperated with science on climate research since 1993. The fourth research project IAGOS (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System) was launched in 2011. The aim of the project is to establish an infrastructure for global observation of the earth’s atmosphere from a large fleet of in-service aircraft.

“We always ensure that foresight coupled with economic, ecological and social considerations guide our decisions, since only in that way can the Lufthansa Group grow with added value in the long term,“ emphasised Dr. Christoph Franz. Sustainability simultaneously requires business success: “Only by earning profits can a company invest in climate and environmental protection, and exercise its social responsibility as an employer,” noted Franz, pointedly referring to the rising charges levied by the state at a time of extremely intensive competition.

At year-end 2011, the Lufthansa Group was employing a total of 116,365 people from 141 countries. In view of the growing complexity of the aviation industry and increasing globalisation, the Executive Board initiated the “Management Landscape 2020“ project in 2011. The project is designed to implement more diversity at all management levels as well as among management trainees. Another target is to raise the proportion of women in management positions by around 30 per cent by 2020. That quota rose by 0.5 percentage points to 13.6 per cent in 2011.

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