United receives multiple honors for sustainability efforts

Environmental Operations

Those of us in the airline industry have a shared responsibility to evaluate the way we do business to ensure that we operate in an environmentally conscious manner. For years, we at United have dedicated ourselves to reducing the airline's carbon emissions, and over the past week we've seen those efforts acknowledged in several significant ways.

First, United was recognized in the Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) 2016 Leadership Index for minimizing our carbon footprint and ensuring that we are following the best practices to address climate change. CDP is an independent, international nonprofit organization that enables companies, cities, states and regions to measure and manage their environmental impacts. Our A-minus rating placed United in the top-tier "Leadership" category and was the highest rating of any U.S. airline. The average score for companies inside and outside of the airline industry is a "C," so we are proud to be considered a leader in our environmental commitments and actions.

On November 1, we received the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award, given to Illinois-based organizations that demonstrate a commitment to preserving environmental, social and economic health through innovative sustainability practices. The governor's award came thanks in part to our investment in the biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy – the largest aviation biofuel investment in history – and our efforts to help develop a sustainable alternative to petroleum in the aviation industry, as well as our comprehensive sustainability strategy that includes recycling and upcycling initiatives and our introduction of sustainable inflight coffee and amenity products.

Our biofuel program also received the 2016 Airports Going Green Award after being nominated by the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA). This award affirmed the value of the program, as well as our outstanding leadership in pursuit of sustainability within the aviation industry. We continue to bring sustainable aviation biofuel into the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) fuel farm, where it has been blended with traditional fuel since March 2016.

Last week, the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) honored us with the CAAFI Commercial Production Trailblazer Award for our pioneering development and use of commercial-scale alternative jet fuel at LAX in partnership with AltAir Fuels.

In addition to these recent awards, earlier this year we were named one of the Leading Airlines for Biofuel in the Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) 2016 Aviation Biofuel Scorecard, which rates airlines worldwide on their sourcing and use of biofuel. Additionally, we were recognized with the Chapter Mission Award by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) Illinois Chapter for our decades-long commitment to sustainability.

While we are extremely proud of these accomplishments in sustainability, we still consider this just the beginning and will continue to push ourselves and the industry toward a more sustainable future.