Pioneering new aircraft designs
Clean energy innovators
flying towards a more sustainable future
We have long been a pioneer in adopting new aircraft designs, including being one of the launch customers for the upcoming Boeing 787-10 and Boeing 737 MAX 10. We currently have over 200 new aircraft on order and invest over $2 billion per year in new aircraft. These investments have helped us improve our fuel efficiency by 45 percent since 1990.
After becoming more mindful of our water use, we identified ways to improve our water consumption. As a result, we cut water usage at our San Francisco Maintenance Center by 25 percent compared to a 2013 baseline.
Over 3,400 pieces of our Ground Support Equipment (GSE) are powered by electricity rather than conventional fuel. At the end of 2017, 38 percent of United’s eligible GSE fleet has been electrified.
We recently started printing Hemispheres on new paper that makes each magazine one ounce lighter. It may not sound like a lot, but that small change will save 170,000 gallons of fuel each year.
Launching the Raptor
Animal conservation efforts
In March 2016, we became the first airline to fly with commercial-scale volumes of sustainable alternative jet fuel on a daily and ongoing basis.
We were the launch customer and are the largest customer of split scimitar winglets
We helped facilitate the flights the NASA team conducted on a high altitude WB-57F aircraft with instruments that allowed them to make measurements in an important part of the atmosphere. The observations made by this team will improve predictions of future changes in climate and the ozone layer.
Through our partnership with Clean the World, a nonprofit organization that recycles and refurbishes partially used hygiene products, we helped create kits for those in need and will keep over 50,000 pounds of materials out of landfills each year.
Investment in green buildings
Our onboard products are sustainably sourced
We partner with Sustainable Travel International (STI), offering customers the option to offset the carbon
footprint associated with their air travel. Funds go toward supporting the development of conservation and renewable energy projects.
We are investing in making our facilities more energy efficient, including adding energy efficient lighting and mechanical systems in several United Club locations and airport terminals around the world.
Additionally, our United Club locations in Denver, Los Angeles and San Diego have received green business certification.
We serve illy coffee, Daelman’s Stroopwafel cookies and 100% cage-free egg breakfast sandwiches. These companies have commitments to sustainable practices.
In our amenity kits, we also feature products from
Soho House & Co.’s Cowshed Spa, which are made
from sustainable sources and natural botanicals.
United is committed to the environment and creating a more sustainable future. Join our Big Metal Bird host, Phil Torres, as he learns more about United’s Eco-Skies program, visits materials recovery facility, talks biofuel and volunteers at Clean the World.
We’re constantly working towards a cleaner world and greener skies. Visit Eco-Skies
Updated and enhanced water conservation practices in drought-impacted regions
industry-leading emissions performance through
our Global Performance Commitment
Continuous pursuit of fuel conservation measures
As part of our Eco-Skies commitment to the environment, we are partnering with Audubon International and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to launch the Raptor Relocation Program at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) aimed at moving Raptors, a type of bird that nest near airports and as a result increases the potential for bird strikes to aircraft, to safer habitats.
In this case, those safer habitats are golf courses that Audubon International has certified within their Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.
By replacing the aluminum tip of the winglets on our planes with an aerodynamic winglet tip cap and adding a downward-facing winglet, we reduced fuel consumption by an additional 2 percent beyond most airlines’ standard blended winglets. Today, 89 percent of United aircraft have winglets.
In 2017, we added a carbon
footprint measurement to our
Global Performance Commitment. We are committing to achieve the lowest gross carbon footprint of any U.S. network carrier, as measured
by CO e per available seat-mile.
We’re proud to be named the top environmental airline globally in Newsweek’s Green Rankings and for our commitment to sustainability and our leadership in environmental action. Let’s reflect on the steps that make us an industry leader while also looking to the future.
Each year, over 1,000 United flights departing Los Angeles use a fuel blend that contained biofuel. Learn more about United’s industry-leading biofuel program.
United has been a long-time partner of Conservation International and continues to support enforcement agencies in combating the illegal wildlife trade.
In October 2016, we hosted a
NASA research team at Guam
Airport to operate flights to study the upper atmosphere.
We are the first U.S. airline to turn partially used amenity kits into donations instead of trash.
We support organizations that are dedicated to developing clean energy technologies for the aviation industry, such as our co-sponsorship of the Clean Energy Trust and co-hosting a workshop to connect biofuel producers and potential investors.
In 2015 and again in 2017, we partnered with students at Columbia College Chicago’s Fashion School on an upcycling travel bag challenge.
In 2016 we partnered with Relan, a company that shares our commitment to sustainability, to turn outdated marketing materials into fashionable travel accessories.
We continue to innovate with one of the longest-running carbon offset programs
We upcycle our advertising
materials to reduce landfill waste
Through the ASPIRE initiative (Asia Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions), we worked with Air Traffic Control and ground crews to find ways to get aircraft to the runway, in the air and to the gate more efficiently, reducing emissions.
We partnered with FAA and NASA on demonstration flights to test technology that allows aircraft to land at normal rates despite visibility constraints, leading to fewer delays and a decrease in fuel usage.
We continue to enhance the performance of our fuel conservation programs by providing aircraft parked at the gate with more efficient air conditioning and electric power.