Delta’s 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report, released this week, highlights the airline’s continued commitment to employees, customers, sustainability and social impact. In 2019, Delta was again recognized by Great Place to Work, improved our Net Promoter Score, donated a record 13,064 pints of blood, improved fuel efficiency, and this year, committed to investing $1 billion over the next 10 years to become carbon neutral. Delta employees are at the core of these milestones and made 2019 one of the company’s most successful years to date.
While 2019 was a banner year for Delta, with the company sharing record profits with employees and committing $1 billion over 10 years toward carbon-neutrality, the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis for the airline industry and Delta. Despite this, we have not changed our commitment to environmental sustainability.
“Even as the global pandemic continues, we remain focused on sustainable development and protecting the future of our company,” said CEO Ed Bastian. “We are a company deeply grounded in our values with a clear understanding of our commitments, and that will never change.”
Delta supports The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that engage organizations across all sectors to help end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. To be transparent about our goals related to sustainability, Delta reports our progress to the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
Our 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report expands on the following commitments:
In 2019, Delta’s safety culture enabled the company to maintain a 3.9 percent Total Recordable Injury Rate performance, the same rate as 2018 and 43 percent better than the industry average. The company also introduced a special Security Incident Response tool, allowing us to better mitigate dangerous circumstances that might unintentionally damage the airline’s operations, employee safety or property. Delta continues investing in personal safety initiatives that improve safety awareness, culture and knowledge.
Even as we face challenges related to COVID-19, sustainability work is essential to protecting the planet and must continue. Delta remains committed to investing $1 billion over the next 10 years on its journey to become the first carbon neutral airline in the world. The company will achieve this by investing in clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions. Learn more about Delta’s voluntary sustainability efforts here.
“Fortunately, we’ve always viewed sustainability as a long-term, ongoing investment. That’s why we will uphold our pledge to becoming carbon neutral, and investing toward that goal over the next decade to make air travel sustainable for our planet’s future – despite limiting investments today to aspects of our business and operations that are mission-critical to navigating this crisis,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Gareth Joyce. “As a global community, the need to come together and address a crisis that threatens us all is as important now than ever.”
In 2019, the airline operated its first full year with the Airbus 220, the airline’s newest, state-of-the-art aircraft featuring best-in-class fuel efficiency. Replacing older aircraft currently has the largest impact on Delta’s emissions and efficiency. New aircraft are 25 percent more efficient per seat mile than the aircraft they replace. After COVID-19 forced us to park aircraft, Delta has retired our entire MD-88, MD-90, 777 and 737-700 fleets and portions of the 767- 300ER and A320 fleets earlier than planned, making way for more sustainable flying.
Additionally, Delta operated our first Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) flights in 2019, delivering four Airbus 330-900neos from Toulouse, France, to Atlanta. Delta also partnered with Airbus and Air BP to ensure that the next 20 A321 deliveries from Mobile, Ala., to Atlanta would be carbon neutral by using an SAF blend and offsets. In 2019, we had the first nine of these aircraft delivered. In total, these 13 flights used approximately 141,000 gallons of SAF. The SAF used in the A321 deliveries produced an 83 percent reduction in life-cycle emissions, compared to conventional jet fuel.
Our achievements of 2019 were possible thanks to the diligent work of Delta employees around the globe who provide world-class service to customers every day. In 2020, their passion shines through on the front lines against the virus, as they work to keep U.S. airways open for essential travel.
Delta’s culture of giving back has served as a connection to the communities in which our employees live, work and serve. Delta people donate thousands of pints of blood each year and were named the No. 1 corporate blood donor to the American Red Cross in 2018, 2019 and 2020. The company has also been named an honoree of The Civic 50 by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service for the past three years in a row.
In 2019, for a third straight year, Delta landed on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list, the only airline to do so. Delta has also been named Best Workplaces for Diversity, Women and Millennials by Fortune and Great Places to Work.
Customers have always been at the center of our business decisions, and that continues to be true as the airline navigates the COVID-19 pandemic. Caring for customers during these times includes electrostatic spraying to sanitize each aircraft before every flight, extensively cleaning high-touch areas and blocking middle seats to give passengers more space while traveling.
Delta’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), a key measure of customer satisfaction, hit a record high for the company in 2019. Our NPS has grown more than 10 points over the past five years as the company has focused on customer experience, operational reliability and customer service.
Delta operated 84 percent of our flights on time across our network in 2019. Delta also achieved a record 281 days without canceling any mainline flights, including 165 days with no cancellations on the entire Delta network (including regional partners), a 15 percent increase from 2018.