NLR seeks solutions for sustainable aviation that is economically sound and operates within the limits that society has set with regard to sustainability and the environment. NLR is directly involved in the development of more fuel-efficient engines, lighter aircraft, quieter landing procedures, the use of biofuels and hybrid and electric flying.
In addition to what NLR does for its customers, NLR is also working on making its own organization more sustainable.
Since 2016, NLR has determined CO2 emissions in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG) and ISO 14064-1 (Greenhouse gases – Part 1). In 2019, gross CO2 emissions (scope 1 and 2) amounted to 5,300 tonnes. This is 17% more than in the reference year 2016 (4,500 tons of CO2), but 12% less than the CO2 emissions in 2018 (6,000 tonnes). This decrease was due in part to the demolition of old buildings. Since 1 January 2019, NLR has made its electricity consumption sustainable through Guarantees of Origin (GVOs) for European wind. Net CO2 emissions (scope 1 and 2) were thus 69% lower than in the reference year 2016.
The graph on the right shows the origin of NLR’s CO2 emissions in 2019. This concerns scope 1 and 2 emissions plus scope 3 emissions insofar as they are caused by business travel.
NLR has the ambition to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 67% in 2021 compared to 2016. The reduction will mainly be achieved by purchasing and / or generating sustainable energy.
From 1 January 2019, NLR will use electricity generated through European wind energy. This electricity is generated sustainably / CO2-neutral.
In July 2019, NLR concluded a development agreement with HVC to realize approximately 30 ha of solar panel areas at the Marknesse location. NLR employees are given the opportunity to participate financially.
The environmental permit for the solar meadows was applied for in May 2020. If the permit is granted on time and the government grants a so-called SDE+ subsidy for this project this autumn, construction work can begin in early 2021.
NLR invests heavily in bringing its accommodation up-to-date. 11 old buildings have been demolished since 2017. Another 11 buildings will follow in 2019 and 20. In new construction and renovation, great attention was paid to insulation and energy consumption. In addition to standard measures such as LED lighting, motion detectors and H ++ windows, systems such as heat-cold storage have also been added, partly to reduce the consumption of natural gas.
The NLR fleet will be replaced as far as possible in the coming years by electric or hybrid vehicles. 4 electric cars were added in 2019, making 33% of the fleet electric or hybrid. The number of charging stations for official cars, visitors and employees has also doubled to 18.
For business trips by plane, NLR participates in the KLM Corporate Biofuel Program. In 2019, CO2 emissions from business travel by air decreased by 3% due to the use of sustainably generated aviation fuel.
NLR provides bicycles (partly e-bikes) for shorter distances within and around the locations. Charging stations have also been introduced in 2019 for employees who come with an electric bicycle or moped.
To minimize the number of trips, the video conferencing facilities have been greatly expanded. Flexible working hours have also been set up to minimize the travel times and the associated fuel consumption of the commuter traffic of the employees. Other measures in the context of CO2 reduction through transport are making an NS business card available and participating in a bicycle plan.