WASHINGTON, D.C., April 18, 2007 – Delta Air Lines is partnering with The Conservation Fund, a leading environmental nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting land and water resources, to become the first U.S. airline to help its customers give back to the environment by buying trees to help offset carbon emissions associated with air travel. To kick off the program, Delta is making a donation to The Conservation Fund for every customer taking a Delta mainline or Delta Shuttle flight on Earth Day, April 22, and is pledging a commitment to plant a tree for each of the airline’s 47,000 employees.
Beginning June 1, customers who purchase a ticket online at delta.com will have the option to contribute toward the offset of carbon emissions associated with air travel through a donation to The Conservation Fund. Contributions of $5.50 for a domestic roundtrip flight and $11 for an international roundtrip flight will be used by The Conservation Fund to plant trees throughout the U.S. and abroad. A small portion of the donation also supports the organization’s education and outreach efforts.
“Many of Delta’s customers and employees worldwide are passionate about and committed to social responsibility with environmental stewardship as an important area where they can make a difference,” said Jim Whitehurst, Delta’s chief operating officer. “In support of that, we are pleased to become the first and only U.S. carrier to offer a program that allows customers to help promote positive global environmental change through carbon offsets.”
Added Conservation Fund President Larry Selzer: “We applaud Delta’s leadership for its commitment to help offset the carbon footprint of its travelers on Earth Day. Climate change has emerged as one of the dominant environmental issues of our time, and Delta’s industry-leading efforts to address this challenge, and its invitation to its customers to join in this initiative, serve as a model for corporate environmental stewardship in the 21st century.”
The newly planted forests will help to absorb carbon dioxide, filter water, restore wildlife habitat and enhance public recreation areas. As the program grows, Delta will invite its employees and customers to participate in ceremonial tree plantings in select cities worldwide.
“Many of Delta’s employees live and work in my District,” said Congressman David Scott (GA-13), a member of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research. “I applaud Delta for moving forthrightly to affect positive environmental change by launching the first carbon offset program offered by an American airline. Once again, with today’s announcement, Delta further demonstrates an unmatched level of corporate commitment to protecting the environment and supporting a high quality of life for the communities of its employees and well beyond.”
Delta’s new program is just one of the airline’s efforts to affect positive environmental change. Some of the airline’s ongoing programs include:
- Fuel conservation/recycling initiatives such as weight reduction efforts, engine washes, engine refurbishment, the institution of continuous descent approaches and industry leadership in single engine taxis with more than 25 million gallons of fuel saved in 2006 alone;
- A water consumption reduction system designed to reduce water consumption by 50 percent at the airline’s Technical Operations Center (TOC). For its efforts to date, Delta received The Fox McCarthy Water Wise Award and recognition from the Georgia Association of Water Professionals;
- The incorporation of over 600 electric vehicles and other types of electric ground support equipment into the airline’s fleet - all with zero emissions. Significant reductions in emissions have been achieved by converting internal combustion engines to zero emission electric units; and,
- Promoting a next generation Air Traffic Control (ATC) system – both in Europe and in the United States – that affords more direct aircraft routing and subsequently results in the reduction of carbon emissions associated with air travel.
Delta’s partnership with The Conservation Fund is the latest addition to “Delta’s Force for Global Good” – a program that unites Delta employees and customers in support of philanthropic and socially responsible efforts throughout the world. The program leverages Delta’s global network of employees who volunteer, as well as assets of Delta’s charitable foundation, The Delta Foundation, to support the communities where Delta customers and employees live and work worldwide. The Conservation Fund is Delta’s Force for Global Good’s newest partner. Delta launched the campaign last December in partnership with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) with the airline’s first international build in the township of Katlehong in Johannesburg, South Africa. This month, Delta employees took part in a two-day build in Brooklyn, New York. Delta’s Force for Global good is planning additional builds in Ghana and India later this year.
The Conservation Fund is The United States’ foremost environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting America’s land and water legacy for current and future generations. Since its founding in 1985, the Fund has helped its partners safeguard wildlife habitat, working landscapes, community green space and historic sites totaling more than 5.5 million acres nationwide using a balanced approach that integrates environmental protection and economic development. With 1 percent fundraising costs and 96 percent program allocation, The Fund is recognized as the nation’s top-rated environmental nonprofit by both the American Institute of Philanthropy and Charity Navigator.
Since 2000, The Conservation Fund, though its Climate Change Program and Go Zero,SM, has restored nearly 30,000 acres and planted more than 9 million trees that will capture an estimated 13.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere. For more information, visit http://www.conservationfund.org/ and http://www.gocarbonzero.org/.Delta Air Lines (Other OTC: DALRQ) offers customers service to more destinations than any global airline with Delta and Delta Connection carrier service to 307 destinations in 52 countries. With more than 60 new international routes added in the last year, Delta is America’s fastest growing international airline and is a leader across the Atlantic with flights to 31 trans-Atlantic destinations. To Latin America and the Caribbean, Delta offers more than 600 weekly flights to 58 destinations. Delta's marketing alliances also allow customers to earn and redeem SkyMiles on nearly 15,000 flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta is a founding member of SkyTeam, a global airline alliance that provides customers with extensive worldwide destinations, flights and services. Including its SkyTeam and worldwide codeshare partners, Delta offers flights to 456 worldwide destinations in 100 countries. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes and check flight status at delta.com.