In honor of Earth Month, United Airlines customers traveling aboard the company's signature Eco-Skies aircraft in April will be flying carbon neutral. Through United's Eco-Skies CarbonChoice program, the airline is obtaining carbon offsets for all passengers and crew on every flight of the specially painted 737-900ER – aircraft #432. The Eco-Skies aircraft is also retrofitted with fuel-efficient Split Scimitar winglets, which reduce fuel consumption by up to an additional two percent over traditional winglets. Carbon offsets alleviate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions by reducing emissions from other sources.
In collaboration with Sustainable Travel International, a non-profit organization and long-time United partner, the CarbonChoice offsets from the airline's Eco-Skies plane are third-party verified to internationally recognized standards and will support GreenTrees' Advanced Carbon Restored Ecosystem (ACRE) project along the Mississippi River Valley. To date, GreenTrees and its landowners have planted over 36 million trees on nearly 100,000 acres along the Mississippi Alluvial Valley. United's support will allow GreenTrees to accelerate its success in emission reductions from 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide to entirely new levels of conservation impact.
"Our Eco-Skies plane represents United's strong commitment to the environment, and we're proud of the work we do to be an environmentally responsible airline and reduce our emissions, not just in the month of April, but all year around," said the airline's Managing Director of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability Angela Foster-Rice.
Customers can purchase CarbonChoice offsets for travel when checking in at united.com or any time before or after a flight, and MileagePlus members can also utilize miles to purchase offsets, both by visitingunited.com/carbonchoice. In addition, United's corporate sales and cargo customers now have the ability to purchase a complete carbon-neutral travel option for all flights on United. For more information on this enterprise-level solution, please visit united.com/carbonchoice.
Along with its robust carbon-offset program, United has further demonstrated leadership in environmental sustainability by establishing several ambitious initiatives and programs. United's recent achievements include:
- United is a leader in the advancement and use of sustainable aviation biofuel, making history in commercial aviation with its partnership with AltAir Fuels to bring commercial-scale, cost-competitive renewable jet fuel to its Los Angeles hub this year and was awarded in 2015 by the World Bio Markets for Excellence in Advanced Biofuels for this program.
- The company in early 2014 became the first airline in the world to fly with the split scimitar winglet technology that cuts fuel consumption by up to an additional 2 percent over the airline's existing fuel-saving winglet technology.
- The company in 2014 reduced CO2 emissions by more than 1 million metric tons and reduced fuel consumption by more than 110 million gallons through fuel efficiency, equal to removing more than 225,000 cars from the road.
- The airline increased orders for new Boeing and Airbus aircraft that are 15 to 20 percent more fuel efficient than those they will replace, and now has more than 260 of these new, fuel-efficient aircraft on order.
- United Eco-Skies continues to partner and provide sustainable travel options to our customers, most recently with the introduction of Eco-Skies Vacation packages available on unitedvacations.com.
- United Eco-Skies is partnering with Smithsonian.com to encourage and recognize sustainable travelers who demonstrate leadership and an active commitment to travel for environmentally responsible purposes, generating positive social, economic, or environmental outcomes in the local communities visited. Photographers can submit their pictures in the Sustainable Travel category, made possible through the support of United Eco-Skies, by visiting http://www.smithsonianmag.com/photocontest/tags/sustainable-travel/?no-ist.