It doesn’t make much sense for companies that profit from helping people travel the world to neglect that world in the process. A few companies in the travel industry understand that they owe a debt to the planet and try to give it respect it deserves. Companies like JetBlue, Southwest, and Park ‘N Fly are among the best at also protecting the environment while getting you to your destination.
JetBlue has shared detailed information on its social and environmental impact every year since 2006. In its 2015 report, JetBlue devotes an entire section to its environmental sustainability efforts. The company acknowledges how much its affordable flights depend on natural resources and the beauty of the earth, which is why the company takes a proactive approach to reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint by minimizing pollution and waste.
To evaluate that footprint, JetBlue looks at its emissions footprint in revenue ton miles (RTM), which is a common environmental metric in the airline industry. This number reflects the weight in tons of cargo and customers carried multiplied by the number of miles flown. The company compared the metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted per 1,000 RTM. Since 2009, JetBlue has shrunk this ratio, also known as the Scope 1 emissions intensity ratio, by 3.7 percent.
The company has also incorporated recycling into virtually every aspect of its business. For example, since 2013, JetBlue’s recycling tracking system estimates that the company has recycled more than 60 million bottles and cans. Similarly, JetBlue donated the 110,000 pounds of food waste that it collected from JFK airport in 2015 to an upstate New York farm for conversion to organic compost.
Park ‘N Fly
Park ‘N Fly’s business concept helps protect the environment by offering travelers off-airport parking. Rather than having to ask someone to make two trips to drop them off and pick them up, travelers can park in a conveniently located lot and share a shuttle to their destination gate.
Park ‘N Fly has also created a foundation of the same name devoted to natural disaster preparedness and relief. The company is also a subsidiary of BCD Travel, which earned the top Corporate Social Responsibility rating in 2016 largely due to its environmental sustainability efforts.
In an effort to maximize efficiency, Southwest has developed an independent climate change strategy in addition to its standard business strategies. In 2014, the airline signed a contract to purchase 3 million gallons of low-carbon, renewable jet fuel each year from Red Rock Biofuels. Red Rock refines the fuel from the residues of Oregon’s forests.
The company has also managed to boost its RTM efficiency by 29 percent since 2005. Additionally, the company maintains a commitment to local sourcing to reduce transportation costs, receiving 39 percent of its construction materials from sources within 500 miles of the site.
Without a beautiful planet to explore, the travel industry won’t experience much demand. These three companies have incorporated that principle in their ongoing efforts to respect and reinvigorate the environment.