Fleet Transformation: Delta is investing to build a simpler, more efficient fleet with 25 percent greater efficiency per seat for every plane that we upgrade. The company has delivered over 300 new aircraft in the last five years, resulting in a 5.3 percent fuel efficiency improvement per available seat mile (ASM). In addition to these deliveries representing over 25 percent of its fleet, an additional 25 percent of its fleet will be upgraded over the next five years.
Sustainable Aviation Fuels: Delta is partnering with industry innovators to advance the development and production of sustainable aviation fuels, including its recent partnership and offtake agreements with Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels and Gevo. In July 2019, Delta flew the first of 20 carbon-neutral new aircraft delivery flights from the Airbus final assembly line in Mobile, Ala., utilizing sustainable aviation fuel and carbon offsets in coordination with Airbus and Air BP.
Capping Emissions: Delta became the first and only U.S. airline to voluntarily cap greenhouse gas emissions at 2012 levels even with 20 percent growth, through the purchase and retirement of more than 16 million carbon offsets that are verified emissions reductions.
Recycling and Composting: In 2007, Delta was one of the first U.S. airlines to implement an in-flight recycling program and donate all proceeds from recycling rebates to Habitat for Humanity. Since then, the program recycled more than 3 million pounds of aluminum from onboard waste – equivalent to the weight of seven empty Airbus 350s – and funded 12 Habitat for Humanity homes. In 2018, Delta launched a campus composting program to supplement its longstanding campus recycling program.
Reducing Single-Use Plastics: In 2018, Delta started replacing single-use plastics onboardand in Delta Sky Clubs to eliminate more than 300,000 pounds in plastic waste annually – equivalent to the weight of almost three empty Airbus 321s.
Employee Engagement: Delta’s employee-led business resource group, Green Up, focuses on new ways Delta and its people can make a difference in environmental sustainability, such as driving innovative ways to reduce waste on our corporate campuses. The group’s work to raise visibility of sustainability included supporting a visit of world-renowned conservationist Jane Goodall to the headquarters.
Customer Engagement: Delta was the first U.S. airline to launch a carbon offset calculator in 2007, and most recently introduced an upgraded calculator for customers to join Delta in making a meaningful difference for our planet by investing in one of four carbon offset projects that have a social impact. Delta has also partnered with corporate accounts to address emissions and has pilot carbon offset agreements in place with companies such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Columbia Sportswear, Merck and UCB Biopharmaceuticals. To make a truly global impact, we are working with our best-in-class partners to ensure we are doing what is right for our planet across all countries.
Global Partnerships & Coalition Building: Delta made a multi-million dollar contribution to Global Citizen movement to address climate change, reduce inequality and end extreme poverty by 2030, while Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian became the co-chair of Global Citizen’s private sector CEO Coalition which includes CEOs from Cisco, Verizon, Johnson & Johnson, and P&G. Delta is partnering with the international advocacy organization’s Global Goal Live: The Possible Dream event, to help reach United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on sustainability, gender equality and human capital. The airline also established its Youth Advisory Board on Sustainability in 2018, made up of several young environmental champions who help support Delta’s sustainability work.
Government Engagement: Delta actively collaborates with the FAA and industry to modernize the air traffic control (ATC) system through forums such as the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC). Modernization efforts reduce delays, decrease fuel consumption, and cut carbon emissions by shortening flights and providing more direct routes. According to the FAA, NextGen is projected to save 615 million metric tons of CO2 between 2020-2040.
Innovation: Delta people pioneer technology that reduces carbon emissions every day. The Flight Weather Viewer app gives Delta pilots in the flight deck a visual cross-section of the air space on their tablets so they can make more informed decisions about changing altitude to reach smooth air, resulting in a decrease in carbon emissions of up to 88,000 metric tons a year. Delta’s industry-first wireless in-flight entertainment systems also cut emissions by eliminating cables that account for around a pound of weight per seat.
Transparency: Delta’s current reporting aligns with leading disclosure frameworks and standards, such as Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and CDP. The airline will continue to engage with key stakeholders as disclosure best practices evolve.