Delta offsets carbon emissions for 170,000+ customers Thursday

Delta Air Lines issued this statement:

Delta is helping customers travel a little cleaner today by offsetting carbon emissions on all domestic travel into and out of seven major airports with high corporate travel demand. The investment comes in honor of Earth Month and the airline’s commitment to carbon-neutral growth.

More than 170,000 corporate and leisure customers travelling through Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Raleigh and all three New York-area airports today will be accounted for through a Delta program that calculates the emissions per customer, then purposefully invests in global offset projects that provide social benefits while reducing emissions.

“Being sustainable in all areas of our business will continue to be key in Delta’s success,” said Christine Boucher, managing director — Global Environment, Sustainability & Compliance. “We know that many of our customers are engaged in their own personal and corporate sustainability efforts and want to extend those efforts to travel. We’re proud to help them do that through this program and projects that expand our global sustainability efforts — that’s what being a good business partner and member of the community is all about.”

Delta estimates it will buy 30,000 carbon offsets for customer travel today as well as 15,000 carbon offsets allotting for Delta employee travel throughout April. A carbon offset is a reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide in order to offset an emission made elsewhere.

The carbon offsets purchased this month will be invested into three projects selected for their ability to help reduce emissions and their focus on social responsibility. One of these is The International Small Group & Tree Planting Program (TIST), which empowers subsistence farmers in countries such as Kenya and Uganda to reverse the devastating effects of deforestation, drought, and famine through tree planting and sustainable agriculture. Meanwhile, The Kariba Project protects forests in Zimbabwe, while supporting the wellbeing of local communities. The third beneficiary is the Brazilian Bandeira & Capelli Project that brings sustainable practices to the local construction industry. The project also opened a local soccer school to keep children in the community away from street violence.

“I was interested to know that I can plant trees and do something to improve the environment and at the same time get some incentives,” said Pamela Barigye, a TIST farmer in Uganda.
Since 2012, Delta has purchased more than 8 million carbon offsets, which is equivalent to one year of emissions from 1.7 million cars. These offsets have helped Delta invest in environmental sustainability in more than 15 countries, including Chile, China, Mexico, Brazil, Korea, Kenya, Uganda, Guatemala, Peru, US, Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

Serving 180 million customers annually, Delta is committed to the environment 365 days a year, not just during Earth Month, through a number of programs including:

  • An ongoing carbon offset program for customers to calculate the impact of their travel and purchase offsets with dollars or donate Delta SkyMiles. Delta was the first US carrier to introduce this kind of program in 2007 and since then, more than 18 million Delta SkyMiles have been donated to The Nature Conservancy. Customers can offset their future travel and learn more about our environmental efforts here
  • The first U.S. airline recycling program for waste from aircraft. Delta has recycled more than 3 million pounds of aluminum from on-board waste — equivalent to 22 Boeing 747s — over the past 10 years. The funds from that program and recycling oil in TechOps have been used to construct nine of the 253 homes Delta has built with Habitat for Humanity.
  • A fleet modernization program that will replace 20 percent of Delta’s mainline narrowbody fleet over the next five years with quieter, more fuel efficient aircraft.
  • First-of-their-kind partnerships with Duke and the Seattle Seahawks to offset emissions while benefitting local communities where Delta people and customers live and work.
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