JetBlue’s planning to make some serious sustainability strides in 2020.
The budget airline has plans to offset carbon emissions on all domestic flights by July, and will also begin using sustainable jet fuel on flights out of San Francisco International Airport sometime this year as part of a broader plan to prepare for what it calls a “new climate reality.”
In doing so, JetBlue will be come the first of the major U.S. carriers aiming to become carbon neutral.
“We reduce where we can, and offset where we can’t,” said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes in a statement. “By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we’re preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation—and all sectors—must plan for.”
To achieve its sustainability goals, JetBlue will continue partnering with Carbonfund.org to support forest conservation efforts, solar and wind farms, and landfill gas capture. The airline has been working with Carbonfund.org since 2008, and has offset an estimated 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions by focusing just on limiting flights during certain parts of the year. Under the much more ambitious new plan, it’s estimated that 15 billion to 17 billion pounds of emissions will be offset each year.
Offsetting emissions isn’t a “silver bullet” solution for a lower carbon future, Hayes said, but another step to help get there.
“Reducing and mitigating our greenhouse gas emissions is a fundamental aspect of our business plan and our mission to inspire humanity,” he added.
Swapping out fossil fuels for more sustainable options is another strategy JetBlue is employing this year. The sustainable fuel, produced by Neste from 100% waste and residue raw materials, is fully compatible with current jet technology when blended with regular jet fuel.
In addition to offsetting emissions and investing in sustainable fuel options, JetBlue’s newest fleet of aircraft is 20% more fuel efficient. By updating older planes, it’s also reducing carbon emissions on some flights by 40% per seat. JetBlue is also advocating for a more efficient air traffic control system, which the company hopes will reduce unnecessary fuel burn, which accounts for around 12% of emissions.
At Adweek’s Brandweek summit last year, JetBlue won the Alliance Award at the 2019 Constellation Awards for the airline’s partnership with RuPaul’s Drag Race. The New York-based brand has also turned heads for stunts like its cross-country pizza delivery service, bringing Harlem’s Patsy’s Pizzeria pies to deprived, kale juice-saturated Los Angelenos.