JetBlue achieves carbon neutral flying on all domestic services

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August 14, 2020
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Photo: JetlBlue

JetBlue has achieved carbon-neutral flying on all domestic services as it prepares for the new climate reality.

The airline is offsetting emissions for all domestic flights and investing in sustainable aviation fuel.

Earlier this year, JetBlue became the first major U.S. airline to commit to this critical and measurable step toward reducing its contribution to global warming and is now the first U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality on all domestic flying.

On July 1, the airline began offsetting its carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from jet fuel for all domestic JetBlue-operated flights. JetBlue views carbon offsetting as a bridge to other industry-wide environmental improvements like fuel with lower emissions. Therefore, JetBlue is also investing in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and to start, the airline is fueling flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with SAF.

Carbon neutrality is just one way JetBlue is preparing for a changing climate and ensuring a more sustainable business for its crewmembers, customers, shareholders, and communities.

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JetBlue’s carbon reduction strategy focuses on reducing emissions in the first place. This includes investments to shrink its impact through fuel-saving technologies and aircraft, and advocating for a more fuel-efficient air traffic control system.

JetBlue has achieved reductions in emissions on an intensity basis since 2015 and most recently improved 2.2 percent per available seat mile (ASM) from 2018 to 2019. Offsetting all remaining emissions from domestic flights and investing in SAF will help JetBlue move toward the lower-carbon economy for which aviation and all sectors must plan.

“The global pandemic reinforces the need to mitigate risks that threaten the health of our business. Our commitment to sustainability has only become more important as we prepare our business for a new climate reality,” said Joanna Geraghty, president, and chief operating officer, JetBlue.

“Even with a long recovery ahead following the COVID-19 pandemic, JetBlue remains focused on short- and long-term environmental opportunities, particularly lessening our largest impact – carbon emissions – and more fuel-efficient flying.”

Since 2008, JetBlue has been offsetting CO2 emissions from jet fuel with programs to balance customer flying, including a month of carbon-neutral flying network-wide in 2015 and again in 2019.

Offsetting all domestic flying expands those efforts in a bigger and more impactful way. Prior to this announcement, JetBlue had already offset more than 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions in partnership with CarbonFund.org Foundation—a leading U.S. based nonprofit carbon reduction and climate solutions organization. JetBlue’s new carbon offsetting partners include two experts in climate solutions and carbon offsetting – the South Pole and EcoAct, in addition to Carbonfund.org.

JetBlue will offset all emissions from jet fuel for domestic routes and expects to ramp up to offset 15-17 billion pounds (7 to 8 million metric tons) of CO2 emissions each year – the annual equivalent of removing more than 1.5 million passenger vehicles from the road.

As part of its offsetting program, JetBlue selects projects around the globe that will balance the emissions from its jet fuel. Many projects operate in developed countries where a bigger community impact can be made. Emissions reduction projects reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere in at least one of three ways – avoiding greenhouse gas emissions in favor of renewable sources, removing emissions from the atmosphere, and destroying emissions when possible.

JetBlue has also started purchasing and flying on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Neste, the world’s third most sustainable company and the largest producer of renewable diesel and SAF made from waste and residue materials, starting in July 2020 for flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Neste’s SAF will contribute to JetBlue’s efforts to reach its climate goals, providing an immediate reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from any aircraft using the fuel.