Five is a lucky number in China – not only does it stand for the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth, it is also reflected in the Chinese pentatonic scale in music, the five main organs of the body in Chinese medicine, and our five senses. All things to do with balance and health. And so it is fitting, therefore, that Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP) recently welcomed five Chinese partners to its SAF Program.
The latest participants collaborating with AFKLMP’s Sustainable Aviation Fuel Program (SAF Program) are AWOT, CTS, Jobmate, Sinotrans, and SuperTrans.
Together, they will work towards greener skies above China, Europe, and South America. “By joining our Sustainable Aviation Fuel Program, these five companies reflect China’s commitment to investing in cleaner air and reducing its carbon footprint, while supporting the aviation industry’s global commitment to minimise harmful emissions,” the press release reads.
AFKLMP launched its SAF Program on 08DEC20 – the first such program (as opposed to individual bilateral agreements) in the air cargo industry – and has been successfully encouraging forwarders and since then to participate in reducing CO₂ emissions in the aviation sector. “Our commitment to reducing CO₂ emissions is one of the cornerstones of our cargo strategy. The launch of a SAF program for airfreight is an important step in our ambitious sustainability roadmap for the coming years. I invite all our customers to join us in creating a more sustainable cargo future,” Adriaan den Heijer, EVP of Air France-KLM Cargo & Managing Director of Martinair, said at the time. Enabling CO2 emissions reductions by up to 85%, the trend is gaining traction in the aviation industry both on the cargo and the passenger side. Even end customers ordering items online are starting to be notified of items that may more negatively impact CO2 emissions in their delivery and given the option to contribute to greener logistics programs.
Jumpstarting social responsibility
The young, Guangzhou-registered, international freight forwarder and fully licensed Non-Vehicle Operated Common Carrier (NVOCC), AWOT Global Express, which has quickly made a name for itself in the field of semi-conductors, auto industry, ecommerce, operating between APAC and North America, had this to say: “Air France KLM’s SAF Program came at the right time and we had no hesitation in saying ‘Yes’ to investing in it. It gives us a jumpstart in our endeavor to be socially responsible and environmentally conscious.” Those were AWOT Global Express Managing Director, Kenny Li’s words at the contract signing, where he underlined the decision as key to providing offering AWOT’s customers a better all-round quality service.
First mover and leading by example
For Jiang Bo, the Vice President of state-owned CTS International Logistics Corporation, operating between Shanghai and Amsterdam, the reason for participation in the SAF program, was: “We want to be the first mover and set a marker for other Chinese companies to follow our sustainability driven approach. We believe that common goals and joint actions deliver the maximum results, not just in business, but also in the betterment of our industry and society at large. The money we invest in this program is just a small step, an initial investment, towards a larger cause”. A larger, cleaner, and greener cause in line with the government of the People’s Republic of China’s message.
Long live the airfreight industry!
Shanghai-based Jobmate International Logistics which has a strong Paris, France operation, stated two reasons for its decision to participate: cost optimization, and a way of ensuring “the longevity of the airfreight industry” through the use of recyclable, biodegradable waste to create cleaner fuel. Job-Mate International’s President, Paul Gu, stated: “Thanks again, Air France-KLM, for giving us the opportunity to participate in a project of such great and practical significance. We are in step with AFKLMP Cargo as a business partner, but also as a valued sponsor of a healthy, global ecosystem. We will call on more people and aspiring companies to participate extensively in creating a better and sustainable future together.”
Flying a “green route”
Beijing Airport Economic Zone-based Sinotrans Global E-commerce Logistics declared that it would be offering a “green route” between Hangzhou and Amsterdam. Zhang Liang, Vice General Manager of Sinotrans e-Commerce Logistics, explained: “The SAF Program of AFKLMP Cargo offers us a platform to promote the development of green logistics. Our Hangzhou branch is very proud that with this partnership they contribute towards reducing CO2 emissions on KLM’s Hangzhou-Amsterdam flight by over 15% for the year,” said.
“Two Mountain Theory”
The “Two Mountain Theory” was coined by then Zhejiang Party Secretary, Xi Jinping in 2005, while on a visit to Yucun village in Anji, Huzhou city. The village had chosen to close polluting mines and opt to promote ecological tourism instead, drawing advantage from its natural scenic views. At the time, Xi Jinping declared that “Lucid Water and Lush Mountains are considered to be Mountains of Gold and Silver”, and the visit prompted an important environmental ecological policy shift. Multimodal, integrated logistics provider, Xiamen Supertrans Logistics, cites this “Two Mountain Theory” as the basis for its decision. The company believes that economic development should be in harmony with environmental protection, and that AFKLMP Cargo’s SAF Program offers an opportunity to act in accordance with this theory. “In a nutshell, we would like to expand our business in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way,” Raymond Huang, General Manager at Xiamen Supertrans, explained.
Grateful for the combined effort
Rahul Pathak, AFKLMP Cargo’s Director for China, Hong Kong & Taiwan concluded the signing ceremony with words of thanks and that collaboration is key when it comes to establishing a greener future: “We deeply appreciate and thank our partners in China and Hong Kong for their investment in our Sustainable Aviation Fuel Program. It is only through a joint commitment and combined effort that, as an industry, we can lower our carbon footprint. We value Guanxi (关系) and are grateful to the relationship and trust accorded to us. We believe that, on the one hand, our strong business commitment to one another has made this engagement towards a sustainable future possible. On the other, it confirms the environmental awareness of our partners and their sense of social responsibility.”
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