KLM’s carbon neutral claim is misleading, says advertising watchdog
KLM cannot truthfully say its flights are carbon neutral, according to Dutch advertising watchdog Stichting Reclame Code (SRC). The committee's verdict was seen Friday by Bloomberg.
The airline cannot prove the claim in its "Be a hero, fly CO2 zero" campaign, according to Bloomberg. A spokesperson from Air-France-KLM chose not to comment.
The verdict also talks about the larger issue of carbon offsetting by airlines. The practice means customers can pay extra, or airlines will alternatively invest in programs like planting trees or protecting forests. These programs are meant to compensate for the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by airplanes and reduce climate change effects.
In particular, KLM is involved in reforestation efforts in Panama, which customers can opt-in on for an extra cost. Although the program has a "level of offsetting," it is not sufficient to claim complete carbon neutrality, the verdict said.
Other airlines besides KLM have also been advertising carbon neutral options, which the verdict did not comment on. KLM has two weeks to decide to appeal the verdict, according to Bloomberg.