Delta commits $1 billion to become first carbon neutral airline

ATLANTA — Delta Air Lines is working to become the first airline in the world to be carbon neutral.

The Atlanta-based airline announced Friday that it will commit $1 billion over the next 10 years to “mitigate all emissions from its global business going forward.”

The airline will invest in driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions, WSB-TV reported.

“There is no substitute for the power that travel has to connect people, which our world needs today more than ever before. As we connect customers around the globe, it is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO. “The time is now to accelerate our investments and establish an ambitious commitment that the entire Delta team will deliver.”

Delta said the aviation industry accounts for roughly 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. Delta’s carbon footprint comprises the company’s largest environmental impact, with 98 percent of emissions coming from its aircraft.

Here is how the company is focusing its efforts to become carbon neutral, according to WSB-TV:

  • Carbon reduction: Reducing Delta's carbon footprint through enterprise-wide efforts to decrease the use of jet fuel and increase efficiency. Areas of focus include an ambitious fleet renewal program, improved flight operations, weight reduction, and increased development and use of sustainable aviation fuels.

  • Carbon removal: Investing in innovative projects and technology to remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere that go beyond the airline's current commitments, and investigating carbon removal opportunities through forestry, wetland restoration, grassland conservation, marine and soil capture, and other negative emissions technologies.

  • Stakeholder engagement: Building coalitions with our employees, suppliers, global partners, customers, industry colleagues, investors and other stakeholders to advance carbon reduction and removal goals and maximize our global impact.

“When customers choose to fly Delta, they should feel they’re making a statement about taking care of our planet,” Bastian said. “Our commitment to carbon neutrality means flying with Delta represents far more than a great travel experience – it’s about joining arms to create a better world.”

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