Hawai‘i’s largest and longest-serving carrier continues to advance an array of initiatives to reduce its environmental impact as it develops a roadmap to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Hawaiian is exploring sustainable aviation fuel opportunities, preparing to induct a fuel-efficient fleet of Boeing 787-9 aircraft as soon as next year, and partnering with Conservation International to offer a carbon offset program for travelers while committing to offset emissions from all of its employee business travel on the airline’s flights. Fleet modernization and fuel efficiency practices have driven progressive reductions in the carbon intensity of Hawaiian’s flight operations each year for the last four years.
Hawai‘i’s hometown airline also reaffirmed its focus on sustainable tourism last fall by producing a Travel Pono (Responsibly) in-flight video as the state of Hawai‘i began welcoming more visitors and COVID-19-related travel restrictions have eased. The pre-arrival educational spot features airline employees who provide tips on how Hawaiian’s guests can safely enjoy the islands while respecting communities, the culture and the environment. Additionally, Hawaiian last year offered significant funding to travel2change, a Hawai‘i nonprofit helping to train and scale organizations hosting regenerative tourism experiences.
“We remain engaged with grassroots, industry and political leaders on how we can shape a greener, more beneficial and equitable tourism economy,” Hawaiian Airlines President and CEO Peter Ingram said in the Corporate Kuleana Report.
To address plastic pollution, Hawaiian is committing to replacing 50% of single-use plastics from in-flight service items with sustainable alternatives by 2025 and 100% by 2029. Hawaiian expects to replace about 142,000 plastic bottles served onboard annually in a pilot project using aluminum bottles from water company Mananalu.
“Food sustainability is another important issue for us and our home state, and we support local food production,” the report adds. “Local sourcing of food both supports Hawai‘i’s economy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with the shipping of products. Over the past few years we have reached 29% of our spending on locally sourced in-flight food and beverage products at our Hawai‘i hubs. By 2025, we are committed to increasing this metric to 40%.” Hawaiian also announced it would only use cage-free eggs for catering on all flights departing from Hawai‘i by 2025, and on all domestic flights by 2027.
While COVID-19 variants and surges made 2021 another trying year for the 93-year-old airline, widespread vaccinations, relaxation of travel restrictions and the appeal of a Hawai‘i vacation helped with Hawaiian’s recovery.
Last summer, Hawaiian operated its busiest transpacific domestic schedule in history, with new flights connecting Hawai‘i with Orlando, Austin and Ontario, California, as well as nonstop Long Beach-Kahului, Maui service. Hawaiian also resumed flights between Honolulu and American Samoa, Tahiti and Sydney. By year’s end, strong pent-up demand for travel to, from and within the islands had allowed Hawaiian to recall almost all employees accounted for in workforce reductions in late 2020.
As Hawaiian rebuilds its employee ‘ohana, it is doing so “with a renewed focus on strengthening our diversity, inclusion and belonging initiatives,” the report said.
“The heart of Hawaiian will always be our people,” said Ingram, noting that nearly 1,000 employees donated 3,100 hours to community causes in 2021. “We continue to strengthen our diversity, inclusion and belonging initiatives. We are working to ensure that recruitment, retention and promotions are free of bias, and we are listening to our employees and acting on their feedback. While we have much work to do, I am encouraged by our progress in fostering a more inclusive and diverse company.”
This year’s report for the first time also includes disclosures aligned with the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), in addition to Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) metrics. To learn more about Hawaiian Airlines' sustainability work, visit http://www.HawaiianAirlines.com/About-Us/Corporate-Responsibility.