Investment in green buildings
We were the launch customer and are the largest customer of
split scimitar winglets
Pioneering new aircraft designs
We recycle on board, in our airports and throughout our facilities
We upcycle our advertising materials to reduce landfill waste
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 27 percent compared to a 2013 baseline.
Animal conservation efforts
We partnered with the 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.
Over 3,000 pieces of our Ground Support Equipment (GSE) are powered by electricity rather than conventional fuel. Today, 37 percent of United’s eligible GSE fleet has
In 2016, we began serving Illy coffee and Daelman’s
Stroopwafel cookies on our aircraft. Both 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.
Employees participate in volunteer projects
year round, including beach cleanups, trash
pickups, stream cleanups, planting trees and more.
This year, we added a carbon
footprint measurement to our
Global Performance Commitment. We are committing to achieving the lowest gross carbon footprint of any U.S. network carrier, as measured
by carbon dioxide-equivalent per available seat-mile.
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.
Clean energy innovators
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 60,000 pounds of materials out of landfills each year.
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 newly opened United Club location in Los Angeles is a
certified Green Seal business.
Investment in alternative fuel
We’re proud to be named Eco-Airline of the Year by Air Transport World magazine. This prestigious award recognizes our commitment to sustainability and our leadership in environmental action. Let’s reflect back on the steps that make us an industry leader, while also looking to the future.
We continue to fly using biofuel today, and in 2016,
more than 39,000 United flights used a fuel blend that contained biofuel.
By replacing the aluminum tip of the back wing 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, 96 percent of eligible United aircraft have winglets.
Updated and enhanced water conservation practices in drought-impacted regions
United employees support environmental projects in their communities
industry-leading emissions performance through
our Global Performance Commitment
Our onboard products are sustainably sourced
Continuous pursuit of fuel conservation measures
Working with the FAA, we developed the Analyzed Regulatory Fuel program, which allows for planning the correct amount of fuel that will be needed to cover unexpected situations, and became the first U.S. airline to use it for international flights. This change helped us to reduce emissions by over 30,000 metric tons, equivalent to removing approximately 6,000 cars from the road.
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 support organizations that are dedicated to developing clean energy technologies for the aviation industry, such as our co-sponsorship of the Clean Energy Trust’s annual Aviation Innovation Award with Boeing.
We’re constantly working towards a cleaner world and greener skies. Visit Eco-Skies
In 2015, we invested $30 million into Fulcrum BioEnergy Inc., an alternative fuel developer that converts household trash into jet fuel. When production begins, we plan to buy 90 million gallons of biofuel per year from Fulcrum over 10 years.
Compared to traditional jet fuel, this new sustainable alternative fuel provides more than a 80 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions on a lifecycle basis.
In 2015 and again in 2017, we are partnering 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
Flying towards a
more sustainable future
We partnered with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute for panda research and provided travel so research scientists could study giant pandas in their natural habitats and newly protected areas of China.
United has been a long-time partner of Conservation International and continues to support enforcement agencies in combating the illegal wildlife trade.
honored with Eco-Airline of the Year award
In March 2016, we became the first U.S. carrier to fly with commercial-scale volumes of sustainable alternative jet fuel
We have long been a pioneer in adopting new aircraft designs, including being one of the launch customers for the upcoming Boeing 787-10. 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 40 percent since 1991.
We continue to innovate with one of the longest-running carbon offset programs
Since 2008, we’ve recycled more than 29.5 million pounds of plastic, paper and aluminum through our Eco-Skies inflight recycling program.
We became the first U.S. airline to turn partially used amenity kits into donations instead of trash