April 1 marks the beginning of a monthlong celebration of our Earth—giving us another opportunity to demonstrate what doing the right thing looks like at United. We’ve been focused on decarbonizing aviation for the last decade, and, even in the midst of the most disruptive crisis our industry has ever faced, we are making groundbreaking investments to reduce our impact on the planet.
Now is the time for the airline industry to take bold action to confront the climate crisis. Writing a check and planting trees someday will not suffice—this is about pioneering a better future today for generations to come because there is no plan(et) B.
Since our aircraft run on fossil fuels, we recognize our role in contributing to climate change, as well as our responsibility to solve it.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to reducing the industry’s impact on the earth. That’s why United is taking a variety of meaningful, innovative steps to help reduce our carbon emissions footprint before you even take your seat.
At the end of 2020, we announced our industry-leading commitment to go 100 percent green by reducing our carbon emissions 100 percent by 2050. We plan to do so by investing in carbon capture and sequestration and other emerging technologies, instead of by relying on traditional carbon offsets. We are dedicated to finding effective and scalable solutions that have a tangible impact.
We realize there’s a limit to what a single company can do alone. That’s why we are continuing to seek opportunities to collaborate with other industries and our government. We must reach across the aisle and across industry to develop coordinated efforts to accomplish what must be our collective goal of carbon neutrality.
Since our 100 percent green announcement in December, United has joined the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Net Zero Business Alliance, which will enable us to work with other member organizations to collectively identify innovative public policies, investment strategies, and technological breakthroughs that will help reduce the speed of climate change.
We are also embracing emerging technologies that decarbonize air travel. As the only airline to invest in Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology, we are working with 1PointFive, a joint venture between Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Rusheen Capital, to help build the first industrial-size DAC plant in the United States.
Additionally, we recently announced a partnership with Archer Aviation to accelerate the production of advanced, short-haul electric aircraft, an investment that’s focused on reducing carbon emissions while providing transportation solutions for urban mobility.
Our sustainability leadership isn’t going unnoticed. Thanks to our actions to cut emissions, mitigate climate risks, and develop the low-carbon economy, United was the only airline globally to be named to the Carbon Disclosure Project’s 2020 climate “A List.” This marked the seventh consecutive year that United had the highest CDP score among U.S. airlines.
With new technologies, we can curb the impact aircraft emissions have on our planet, but to make sustainable aviation a reality, we need partners who are also invested in doing the right thing. Together, we will leverage the results of our individual efforts and get closer to permanently solving the problem—making your time spent in the Friendly Skies better for you and better for our planet.
Scott Kirby CEO, United Airlines