Eurowings and Cologne/Bonn Airport join forces to plant 6,000 trees in the Königsforst nature reserve in Cologne

  • First such cooperation between a German airline and a German airport
  • Initiative supports local reforestation in Cologne nature reserve
  • Eurowings and Cologne/Bonn Airport demonstrate environmental protection at their doorstep

The airline Eurowings and Cologne/Bonn Airport are leading the way in terms of sustainability and are jointly launching an ambitious project that will contribute to the protection of ecosystems and forests in the Rhineland: the two companies have started planting 6,000 trees in the Königsforst nature reserve in the immediate vicinity of their home port of Cologne/Bonn – more trees than the employees of Germany’s largest leisure airline Eurowings and Cologne/Bonn airport combined. The initiative is the first of its kind in which a German airline and a national airport work hand in hand.

Together with the entire Lufthansa Group, we also want to be at the forefront of the competition when it comes to sustainability. To that end, we are investing billions in the world’s most efficient aircraft and have now implemented more than 50 onboard and ground projects at Eurowings alone that help conserve resources as much as possible.says Jens Bischof, CEO of Eurowings. However, many topics in aviation, such as carbon savings through new engines, are very technical and complex and therefore difficult to communicate. Bishof: “That is why we want to make climate and environmental protection visible and tangible on our doorstep as well. The Königsforst initiative in Cologne is another important step on this path.”

Eurowings and Cologne/Bonn Airport jointly launched the project and are also involved as partners. Thilo Schmid, CEO of Cologne/Bonn Airport: “Climate protection and sustainability have been firmly anchored in our corporate strategy for many years. As an airport, we naturally assume ecological, social and societal responsibility. The Königsforst project in Cologne is another building block of our many sustainability-oriented activities. Precisely because of its regional importance in the immediate vicinity of the airport and in one of the most popular local recreation areas for the inhabitants of Cologne, it has a special meaning for us as a company rooted in the Rhineland.

Environmental protection at the gates of Cologne/Bonn airport

The Königsforst is a 2,519 hectare forest area east of Cologne that is part of the larger Bergische Heideterrasse area. The popular nature reserve serves as a recreation area for locals and is also a habitat for many birds and other animals. In order to maintain this, vacant areas caused by the drought of recent years and bark beetle infestation are currently being extensively reforested. This is exactly what Eurowings and Cologne/Bonn Airport are doing by planting new mixed forests through the Cologne-based start-up “Planted”. Where there are still small seedlings now, various tree species will begin to grow upwards in years to come. They not only bind carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but also serve as air and water filters.

Sustainability at Eurowings

Eurowings takes its responsibility for effective climate protection seriously and, as a member of the Lufthansa Group, has a clear goal: by 2030, the company’s net carbon emissions must be halved compared to 2019, and by 2050, the Lufthansa Group as a whole aims to achieve carbon neutrality. In particular, Eurowings is focusing on modernizing its fleet with investments in 13 A320neo family aircraft, the most modern and efficient medium-haul jets in the world. Eurowings is also the first airline in Germany to offer its customers a simple carbon offset for their flights; thanks to climate protection projects in Germany. Eurowings provides information on all other sustainability measures on its website: https://www.eurowings.com/en/information/about-us/sustainability.html

Sustainability at Cologne Bonn Airport

Assuming responsibility for climate protection as well as environmental and noise protection is the top priority of Cologne Bonn Airport. The topic of sustainability has been an integral part of the company’s activities for years. The airport aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 65% ​​by 2030 and plans to be carbon neutral by 2045 at the latest. From 2035, access to the apron must be limited to zero-emission propulsion vehicles and equipment.

The airport relies on a wide range of measures and projects: among others, the use of smart building technology to reduce carbon emissions in terminals and cargo halls, the expansion of an infrastructure sustainable energy, a combined heat and power plant to provide cooling and heating, photovoltaic systems on freight halls and ongoing conversion to LED lighting inside and out.

About planted

The impact start-up Planted, based in Cologne, offers companies the simplest and most effective solution to take action against the climate crisis. The subscription model combines the local planting of climate-stable mixed forests in Germany with global climate protection projects. In this way, trees are planted sustainably every month with the organization’s own forester and the companies, together with their employees, are made climate neutral through offset projects. In addition, companies can plant company forests in Germany with Planted or have a TÜV-certified eco-balance of their company carried out. In this way, Planted not only ensures maximum climate protection through CO2 reduction and supports forests here in Germany that have been severely damaged by climate change, but also raises awareness for more sustainable economic development. The start-up, founded in early 2021, has already been able to save more than 100,000 trees with its customers.

COLOGNE/BONN, March 31, 2022

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