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Uniform upcycling, reduction of single-use plastics and youth advisory council on sustainability touted as award-winning sustainability achievements.

While heroes come in many forms, it’s not every day that a global airline is recognized as a hero. At its annual Benefit Gala, the Captain Planet Foundation did just that when the Atlanta-based nonprofit presented Delta with the first-ever “Superhero Corporate Award.”

“Delta is forging a path to corporate sustainability on a global scale,” said Laura Turner Seydel, Chairperson – Captain Planet Foundation. “We are proud to recognize the work our partner has done to champion the environment and transform an industry that historically has not been known for its environmental stewardship.”

Ekrem Dimbiloglu and Christine BoucherThe Captain Planet Foundation™, which is committed to environmental education, cited Delta’s uniform upcycling initiative, reduction of single-use plastics onboard and in clubs, and youth advisory council on sustainability as achievements justifying the honor.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our sustainability efforts by the Captain Planet Foundation,” said Christine Boucher, Managing Director – Global Environment, Sustainability & Compliance. “While we still have work to do in the sustainability space, we are proud of our achievements and look forward to innovating within our business and continuing our journey of environmental stewardship.”

Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Director — Uniforms, joined Boucher on stage to accept the award. This year, the Uniform team partnered with Global Environment, Sustainability & Compliance to divert 350,000 pounds of retired uniforms from landfills in one of the largest, single company textile diversion programs in U.S. history to date. Retired uniforms were then donated to people in need, recycled or transformed into new, upcycled goods.

“Our team was proud to support sustainability at Delta in a unique and creative way through our partnership with Looptworks,” said Dimbiloglu. “A testament to Delta’s culture of service and innovation, the upcycled uniform project gives new life to retired uniforms and seat covers that would have otherwise ended up in landfills and creates one-of-a-kind upcycled products. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of these goods is actually being put toward a Youth Environmental Education and Action Fund through the Captain Planet Foundation.”

Beyond the notable achievements recognized by the Captain Planet Foundation, this year Delta also funded two Habitat for Humanity homes using the proceeds from its onboard recycling program and took steps to improve sustainability on its Atlanta campus through the introduction of edible and pollinator gardens, campus beehives and compostable alternatives in campus cafeterias. The airline also continues to align fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions goals with IATA and maintains carbon-neutral growth through the purchase of carbon offsets year after year.

Main image: Dune Ives, Executive Director — Lonely Whale; Leesa Carter-Jones, President & CEO — Captain Planet Foundation; Christine Boucher, Managing Director — Global environment, Sustainability & Compliance; and Ekrem Dimbiloglu, Director — Uniforms. Credit: Donna Permell, Captain Planet Foundation.

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