By Stacey Leasca
January 06, 2020

JetBlue is ready to be the greenest airline in the sky.

On Monday, the airline announced it will offset carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from jet fuel for all its domestic flights beginning in July 2020. It also announced plans to start flying with sustainable aviation fuel sometime this year on its flights from San Francisco International Airport.

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“Air travel connects people and cultures and supports a global economy, yet we must act to limit this critical industry’s contributions to climate change,” Robin Hayes, chief executive officer of JetBlue, shared in a statement. “We reduce where we can and offset where we can’t. By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we’re preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation – and all sectors – must plan for.”

Not sure what carbon offsetting actually means? JetBlue broke it down as the following:

When projects that reduce CO₂ emissions are developed, every ton of emissions reduced results in the creation of one carbon offset or carbon credit. A carbon credit is a tradeable certificate that represents the avoidance or removal of one ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Buying carbon credits means investing in emission reduction projects that require carbon offsetting financing in order to take place.

In a statement, the airline explained it first began offsetting carbon dioxide emissions with programs to balance customer flying during specific times of the year, however, today’s announcement greatly expands that work.

In order to offset carbon emissions, the airline will continue to partner with Carbonfund.org, a leading U.S. based nonprofit carbon reduction and climate solutions organization, which has partnered with JetBlue since 2008. To date, the airline has offset more than 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions thanks to the partnership. Its also expanding its carbon offsetting partners to include EcoAct and South Pole.

This expansion, JetBlue explained, is expected to offset an additional 15-17 billion pounds of emissions per year, which is the annual equivalent of removing more than 1.5 million passenger vehicles from the road.

“The airline industry is one of the few industries that has collectively committed to an international emissions reduction goal,” Hayes added. “Air travel brings so much good to the world and JetBlue has always been about making our essential industry better. Carbon offsetting is a bridge to, not a silver bullet for, a lower carbon future. Reducing and mitigating our greenhouse gas emissions is a fundamental aspect of our business plan and our mission to inspire humanity.”

As part of JetBlue’s offsetting program, the airline selects projects to receive its carbon credits. Some of the projects include forest conservation projects that help prevent deforestation by helping voluntarily forego plans that would have converted forests for other purposes, landfill gas capture initiatives, solar and wind farm projects, and more.

It also plans to mitigate its environmental impact by investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, including its 85 new Airbus A321neo planes, and helping modernize its air traffic control system to help flights get from point A to point B in a more direct path. And all that adds up to not only a more environmentally-friendly flight for customers but a more efficient one too.

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