Alaska Airlines commits to net zero carbon emissions by 2040

Commitments span carbon, waste and water impacts

Alaska Airlines has outlined its commitment and roadmap to reduce the company’s carbon emissions to net-zero by 2040, and commitments across carbon, waste and water impacts by 2025.

Alaska and regional subsidiary, Horizon Air, identified the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as the company’s most important opportunity for environmental action.

The oneworld alliance member’s roadmap to 2040 includes five focus areas to reach net-zero emissions: Fleet renewal; Operational efficiency; Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF); Novel propulsion, and; Credible, high-quality carbon offsetting technology.

Alaska’s roadmap to 2040 includes five focus areas to decarbonize air travel by 2040 - fleet renewal, operational efficiency, sustainable aviation fuel, novel propulsion and high-quality carbon offsetting technology.

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With a recent Boeing 737 MAX order, Alaska’s newest aircraft have 22% better fuel-efficiency on a seat-by-seat basis than the aircraft they replace. And as part of its near-term goals, the airline will cut in half emissions of its ground services equipment by 2025 through the purchase and use of electric ground equipment and other renewables.

Long-term plans include expanding the market for SAF and exploring and advancing novel propulsion approaches that support electrification technology for regional flying, that are either not dependent on fossil fuels, or more efficient than current methods.

The airline will also work with science and technical advisory Carbon Direct to identify and vet credible, high-quality carbon offsetting technologies to close any remaining gaps on the path to net-zero.

“The pandemic sharpened the clarity of our purpose and led us a stronger path forward. But we also know we can’t do this alone and that we must work together with government, manufacturers, innovators and other industry partners to decarbonize aviation,” said Diana Birkett Rakow, Alaska Airlines’ Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability.

Joining the Amazon Climate Pledge

As a result of its 2040 net-zero emissions strategy, Alaska Airlines today signed onto The Climate Pledge, a commitment to achieving net-zero-carbon 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement.

The company also announced five-year goals to reduce waste through more sustainable packaging and restarting industry-leading inflight recycling post-COVID, while offsetting 100% of its operational water use through investments in high-quality habitat projects.

Additionally, this year Alaska Airlines included a carbon emissions target in the incentive pay program for all 22,000 employees.

All images courtesy of Alaska Airlines

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