Chicago - United Airlines ranked number one among global carriers in Newsweek's 2017 Global 500 Green Rankings, one of the most recognized environmental performance assessments of the world's largest publicly traded companies. United placed 59th among 500 U.S. brands and 100th among 500 global brands, further strengthening the company's position as a leading sustainable airline.

Newsweek's recognition of United's green initiatives follows Air Transport World (ATW) magazine naming United the Eco-Airline of the Year last year for the company's environmental leadership, innovation and action within the industry. Air Transport World has twice named United the Eco-Airline of the Year since the carrier launched its industry-leading Eco-Skies program.

"We are proud to be recognized as a global leader for our environmental stewardship," said Angela Foster-Rice, United's managing director of environmental affairs and sustainability. "We will continue to innovate, in the air and on the ground, as we strive to make United the most environmentally sustainable airline in the world."

United's Eco-Skies program represents the company's commitment to the environment and the actions taken every day to support a sustainable future. Several of United's most-significant environmental achievements include:

  • Becoming the first U.S. airline to begin using commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel for regularly scheduled flights, marking a significant milestone in the industry by moving beyond demonstrations and test programs to the use of low-carbon biofuels for ongoing operations.
  • Investing more than $30 million in U.S.-based alternative aviation fuels developer Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc., which represented the single largest investment by any airline globally in alternative fuels.
  • Becoming the first U.S. airline to repurpose items from the carrier's international premium cabin amenity kits and partnering with Clean the World to donate hygiene products to those in critical need.
  • Teaming up with Audubon International to protect raptors – including hawks, ospreys and owls – in and around New York-area airports and resettle the birds of prey at suitable golf course habitats where the species are more likely to thrive. 
  • Achieving "Green Business" certifications for United Club lounges from the cities of Los Angeles, Denver and San Diego.
  • Partnering with the Federal Aviation Administration to demonstrate the potential benefits of new satellite-based technology for instrument landings that enable aircraft to use fuel more efficiently on arrival and land at normal rates in challenging weather.
  • Continuing to replace its eligible ground equipment and service vehicles with cleaner, electrically powered alternatives, with nearly 40 percent of the fleet converted to date.
  • Becoming the first airline to fly with Boeing's Split Scimitar winglets, which reduce fuel consumption by up to 2 percent; United is the largest Split Scimitar winglet customer today.
  • Sourcing illy coffee's internationally certified supply chain of farmers who earn above-market prices in exchange for meeting quality and sustainability standards for the finest coffee.
  • Offering Eco-Skies CarbonChoice, the airline industry's only integrated carbon offset program for corporate business travel and cargo shipments.