Royal Dutch Airlines KLM
 has just launched a new global campaign that appeals to everybody—from travelers to other airlines—for coming and joining its initiative to “Fly Responsibly.” The airline is stepping up to ask its competitors to join the initiative and do something good for the environment. The goal? To design a more sustainable future for aviation. In an open letter signed by CEO Pieter Elbers himself—published in famous media outlets such as Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph, Guardian Weekend, and other UK & international newspapers—KLM is calling for global action towards sustainable travel.

The letter is accompanied by a short video, courtesy of DDB Unlimited, which addresses a series of questions such as: “Do you always have to meet face-to-face?”, “Could you take the train instead?”, or “Could you contribute by compensating your CO2 emissions or packing lightly?” The almost-soothing video is part of an online platform where, under the tagline “Fly Responsibly,” the company commits to achieving maximum progress. It also asks fellow travelers to reconsider their options before traveling by plane.

Pieter Elbers, President & CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, asks others to join the efforts of the oldest airline in the world and offers their know-how for free: “Sustainable development in aviation is not a ‘one-airline-topic’ and actual progress will only be made when we work together as an industry. That’s why with the launch of the ‘Fly Responsibly’ initiative, we invite others to use our CO2Zero-programme for carbon compensation free of charge and free of brand, and partner in our corporate BIO-fuel programme.”

According to ICAO’s Environmental Report from 2016, the airline industry is responsible for 2-3% of the global man-made CO2 emissions. Keeping in mind that air travel is supposed to rise in the future, so will this number. But KLM has made progress in becoming more sustainable in weight reductions, recycling, and carbon offsetting. And so should other airlines…

At the moment, KLM is the first airline in the world to use sustainable aviation fuel at such a large scale by investing in the first sustainable fuel plant in Europe. At the same time, the company is willing to share its ideas—such as sustainability learnings, best practices, and tools—with its competitors. Something that would be unheard of before. The brand wants not only to offer its knowledge in the field and share its CO2 compensation programme ‘CO2ZERO’ free of charge but also free of KLM branding – to other airlines that are ready to change their behavior to get eco-friendlier.

Ed van Bennekom, Creative Director DDB Unlimited offers his take on the intruiging campaign: “When we first created the line ‘Fly Responsibly’ the whole team instantly had the feeling that this could be big. And it grew bigger and bigger. Fly Responsibly is much more than an awareness logo. It’s a movement inviting the entire aviation industry and air travelers, to join forces. We hope other airlines will follow soon and embrace this initiative.”

How kind of you, KLM, to share your knowledge with others. We are ready to change our traveling behavior. But will our readers do the same? Let us know if you will pack lighter when traveling to your next destination!


Client: KLM

Agency: DDB Unlimited