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Cargolux : the lean and green airline

Green Planet

Publié le
mercredi 4 septembre 2019 à 04:00

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In an industry as reliant on fossil fuel as aviation, Cargolux strives to make a positive difference. As an airline that is strongly committed to corporate social responsibility, Cargolux is at the forefront of technological innovation and the introduction of lean business procedures. Efficient freighters, environmental conservation, CO2 reduction, and animal welfare are among Cargolux’s top engagements toward a cleaner, more ecologically aware operation.

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Moved by its pioneering spirit, Cargolux was one of the first all-cargo carriers to
make CSR an intrinsic part of its operation. From integrating sustainable principles in its business strategy, to engaging with its stakeholders, the airline has always defined its priorities with a strong sense of global responsibility. Accordingly, the company adopted the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to strategically contribute to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

True to its pioneering spirit, the company became the launch customer for the B747-8F freighter, which remains the most technologically advanced freighter operated today.

A cleaner operation – one step at a time

As an airline, reduction of CO2 emissions has become a primary area of focus in our effort to establish a greener, leaner operation. After adopting the 747-400 freighter in the 1990s, Cargolux played an instrumental role in the development of Boeing’s latest wide-body freighter, the 747-8F. As the launch customer for this new, more fuel efficient aircraft, Cargolux took part in discussions and worked closely with the manufacturer to ensure the 747-8 model respected stringent environmental requirements. These included optimal fuel efficiency and significant noise-reduction features for quieter movements, thus demonstrating the airline’s commitment to the communities it operates into.

In an effort to further its environmental commitment, Cargolux has established a dedicated fuel efficiency program that identifies potential savings areas. The responsible committee organises roundtables with stakeholders from across the company to encourage open discussion about how potential energy-related savings can be addressed and improved.

This careful analysis has generated a number of internal procedures to further lower our carbon footprint. Optimized flight plans, tailor-made approaches, threeengine taxiing after landing, and the use of ground power during turnarounds are a sample of initiatives that contribute to both lower fuel consumption and reduced CO2 emissions. Based on recommendations from the International Air Transport Association, these measures are part of a mid- to long-term strategy that aims toward carbon-neutral growth. Cargolux has so far managed to yield significant savings in this area, exceeding the official guidelines for fuel and carbon efficiency

Encouraging ethical business

With the unwavering support of its upper management, Cargolux has increasingly led its operation with a strong ethical stance, especially when it comes to animal welfare. An expert in the transport of live animals, the company operates these missions in full
compliance with all applicable regulations and goes one step further with the establishment of stringent internal policies to ensure that animal welfare is a top priority throughout the transportation process. Over the years, the airline has developed a growing list of animal or animal-related commodities that it refuses to carry for ethical reasons. Beyond its numerous embargoes, Cargolux actively champions a more ethical business model by raising awareness about wildlife trafficking throughout its extensive network.

Cargolux has a strong policy surrounding captive animal transport. The company has formerly banned all shipments of animals brought from the wild to restrictive environments, and it does not transport wildlife, especially primates, for pharmaceutical testing either. One of Cargolux’s major projects in 2019, a testament to its engagement toward animal welfare, is the sponsoring of a flight to relocate two beluga whales from an entertainment park in Shanghai, China, to the world’s first open-water beluga sanctuary, in Iceland.

Enhancing the legal framework for atransparent operation

With business activities spanning the globe, it is vital for Cargolux to ensure
that both national regulations and company-devised policies are complied with throughout its extensive network, which includes sensitive geographical areas. In order to harmonize procedures, the Cargolux Compliance and Ethics Program was launched in 2009, with a focus on due diligence. Six areas of expertise – anti-trust, bribery, embargoes and military shipments, fraud, personal data, and money laundering – were devised to ensure all potential threats were covered.

As an all-cargo carrier whose core business is the transport of commodities by air, Cargolux is aware of its central position in the supply chain and its responsibility toward logistics partners.

The airline is therefore intent on keeping these suppliers and service providers informed about all the latest policy or procedural updates. All staff working for the organization also undergo recurrent training to ensure a comprehensive awareness about the company’s stance toward compliance and ethics matters.

A holistic approach

Cargolux is committed to involving all its employees in CSR projects to promote and establish these principles at the heart of its business models. From paperless operations, lean and agile processes, and a business model focused on sustainability, we strive to weave this approach into our company DNA. Our workforce is our strongest asset, and only with their support and engagement can we built a better, greener airline.

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More information on Global Goals Yearbook 2019
By Jane Bretin, Cargolux /

Publié le
mercredi 4 septembre 2019


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