In 2020, we committed to going 100% green by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2050 – our most ambitious step towards a sustainable future. We are going beyond traditional carbon offsets and taking a more direct approach to making sustainable aviation the norm.
At United Airlines, we’ve navigated at the speed of business in our ever-changing world, committing to innovation every step of the way. When we look at the challenges we have overcome in the past, and look at those that lie ahead, we see the ever-increasing need for responsible leadership in creating environmental initiatives. We recognize United’s role in climate change; therefore, we are committed to creating sustainable solutions to have a lasting impact on modern air travel.
GO BEYOND CARBON OFFSETS
We looked at the current state of air travel and the accompanying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While buying carbon offsets is helpful, it doesn’t target the source of the problem: the use of fossil jet fuel. Our approach is technology-driven and focuses on a three-pronged strategy towards decarbonization:
• Reduce our emissions by implementing operational efficiencies and developing sustainable low-carbon fuels
• Removal of carbon emissions by investing in carbon capture and sequestration
• Innovate to drive the next generation of decarbonization solutions
We have been an industry leader in reducing emissions and deploying Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). It dates back to 2009, when we became the first US airline to operate an SAF test flight. Since then, we have made the largest SAF investment to date – with $30 million in biofuels producer Fulcrum BioEnergy in 2015 – and began our continued use of SAF on flights departing from our Los Angeles hub in 2016. In September 2021, we announced an investment in Alder Fuels, which plans to produce carbon negative fuels, coupled with the largest publicly announced SAF deal in aviation history – an agreement to purchase 1 .5 billion gallons of SAF produced by Alder over 20 years.