Unique real estate variety at KLM Real Estate & Facility Contracting


Real estate: probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of KLM. Yet the Real Estate & Facility Contracting department manages more than 700,000 square metres at and around Schiphol Airport - from workshops to cargo hangars and from test centres to offices. As with the rest of real estate worldwide, emissions from these properties need to be reduced as soon as possible. Berend and Jeroen are helping to make them more sustainable. A big job, but also a unique one: within what real estate organisation can you find such a wide variety of spaces?

Part of the solution

Before buildings are completely energy-neutral, a lot of steps have to be taken worldwide. The first dot on KLM's horizon? Gasless by 2030. 'Our industry faces a huge challenge,' says Berend. 'It's great to help think about our part in the solution. As asset manager, I translate ambitions of KLM's strategy department into possible sustainable solutions within the management and maintenance of all building-related installations: think cooling, air treatment, electricity, water consumption, heat distribution and generation. Anything that turns out to be broken during an inspection or no longer complies with laws and regulations, we replace - as sustainably as possible, of course.'

Doing what you can

Making all buildings as sustainable as possible, what exactly does that look like for KLM? 'It starts, of course, with the 'simple' measures,' Berend continues. 'The heating one degree lower, for example. But we have also made sure we comply with energy label C - which became compulsory for offices in 2023. We're also working on the government's Approved Measures List (EML): a list full of energy-saving measures with a payback period of five years or less.'

Opting for more expensive sustainability?

Jeroen is programme manager and is more concerned with the construction and renovation projects within KLM's portfolio. 'Making the greenest choices is important,' he explains. 'What does count are the plans for our new head office. If that is realised soon, it will mean taking a lot of buildings out of the running. But even if we know that a building will be end of life within a few years, we are still looking for the most sensible solutions for the remaining period.'

All our locations are different and therefore must be set up completely differently. Yet the goal is the same everywhere: consuming less. For instance, we found out that one of the hangars is set up for 24-hour use, which is not necessary at all. Such improvements are purely in control technology, so they don't even require additional sustainability investments. In addition, awareness is very important, that's where it all starts.

Berend, asset manager

Real estate of the future

'Ultimately, KLM is about flying; we support that primary process,' says Jeroen. 'That's not just about making buildings more sustainable, but also about facilitating the best possible workplaces. This includes catering facilities or optimal use of meeting rooms. So,all in all, through good building management, we are contributing in our own way to the future of aviation: we're proud of that!'

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Real Estate & Facility Contracting

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