“We know that our scale, along with investments of time, talent and resources will bring meaningful impact to the planet."

By Cailey Rizzo
February 14, 2020
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Delta Air Lines announced it is investing $1 billion over the next 10 years to become the first carbon-neutral airline.

“There’s no challenge we face that is in greater need of innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no single solution. We are digging deep into the issues, examining every corner of our business, engaging experts, building coalitions, fostering partnerships and driving innovation,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a press release on Friday. “We are on a journey, and though we don’t have all the answers today, we know that our scale, along with investments of time, talent and resources will bring meaningful impact to the planet and ensure the sustainability of our business for decades to come.”

In addition to offsetting the carbon produced by flights, Delta said the $1 billion investment will go towards developing new clean air travel technologies and reducing overall carbon emissions and waste. The initiative will start on March 1.

In an additional statement and video message from Bastian on LinkedIn, he also noted, "Travelers shouldn’t have to choose between flying and being good environmental stewards. The broad, industry-leading work we’ve done over the past decade isn’t enough – we need to do more, faster. This is a race for our planet, not a race to be No. 1."

Last year, the airline replaced 80 of its aircraft with new planes that are 25 percent more fuel-efficient. The airline has also previously said it wants to cut its fuel emissions in half by 2050, according to The Points Guy.

Despite their major investment, Delta isn't the only airline vowing to be more environmentally friendly.

Earlier this year, JetBlue announced that it wanted to become the first airline to offset all emissions produced by its domestic flights, according to The Washington Post. Qantas, British Airways and Air France also announced they would offset their carbon emissions.

And last year, easyJet made a similar claim that it was going to become the first airline in the world to offset all its carbon emissions.