Air France-KLM chief executive Ben Smith has described a Dutch court ruling over alleged ‘greenwashing’ as unfair.

An Amsterdam court ruled on 20 March that KLM misled consumers with its “Fly Responsibly” campaign by “painting an overly rosy picture” on the impact of its climate mitigation measures – an action it says made the messaging illegal.

KLM Fly Responsibly

Source: KLM

During its 100th anniversary celebrations in July 2019, KLM launched a campaign video and website under the banner “Fly Responsibly”.

“It’s not a fair assessment,” Smith said during a panel discussion at the Airlines for Europe (A4E) Aviation Summit in Brussels on the same day.

Smith insists that KLM “could not be showing any more concrete examples” of how it is tackling its sustainability challenges, citing the example of the group’s “biggest investment” being in more-efficient aircraft.

“I don’t consider that greenwashing,” Smith says.

He adds that Air France-KLM will “reflect” on its next steps after the ruling, although the court did not impose any penalties on KLM and the campaign was withdrawn by the carrier last year.