Southwest Reveals 10-Year Sustainability Plan –

[ News ] By Chase Hagl
Southwest unveils 10-Year Sustainability Strategy Plan

Southwest Airlines, based in Dallas, unveiled its 10-year sustainability strategy Monday. The company released its 10-year sustainability plan in a press release. It outlines both long-term and short-term goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2019. This will allow Southwest Airlines to continue growing its operations.

This announcement comes only weeks after the International Air Transport Association (IATA), voted to accept the Air Transport Action Groups' (ATAG), aggressive proposal to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2020.

Bob Jordan, Southwest Airlines' Executive Vice President and Incoming Chief Executive Officer, stated in a press release that he was building upon previous efforts to reduce the environmental impact of Southwest Airlines and today's announcement was a way to do so. He also said that Southwest Airlines is committed to advancing knowledge in sustainability and reducing carbon emissions.

The airlines' 10-year sustainability plan outlines its main goal to reach 2019 carbon neutrality. It includes initiatives that reduce, replace, and offset. Southwest's Plan of Action:

Through fleet modernization, route optimization, and other initiatives, the company will reduce its carbon emissions per seat mile (inclusive of scope 1 and scope 2) by at least 20% by 2030.

By 2030, replace 10% of the total jet fuel consumption by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).

Southwest will match every dollar that is contributed to offset Southwest's carbon emissions. This is the first U.S-based airline carbon offset offer.


Modernization of the Boeing 737 fleet will play a major role in reducing carbon emissions. The airline is moving away from its older 737-700 aircraft to invest in newer models such as the 737 MAX 7 or MAX 8 and will continue to replace them with more efficient models such as the 737 MAX 7 or MAX 8.

Southwest's 2021 second quarter earnings report revealed that it has 70 firm orders with Boeing for 2022. This brings its order book to 389 firm orders with Boeing for the 737MAX (240 MAX7s and 149 MAX8s), and 262 MAX options. The airline can choose any MAX variant from 2021 to 2031.


The airline will also work to replace 10% of its total jet fuel consumption by more sustainable aviation fuels (SAF). It will do this by forming partnerships with companies such as Neste, an oil refiner company, which will supply Southwest with up to 5,000,000 gallons of SAF until December 2023. Marathon Petroleum Corporation and Phillips 66 also have SAF.

Take off

Carbon neutrality will also require the ability to offset energy consumption. This can be achieved by exploring new technologies and engaging in different partnering businesses such as Customers or ChooseTM which offset carbon emissions in unique ways.

They are offering the first U.S.-based airline carbon offset program with loyalty points. For every dollar that is contributed to Southwest's carbon emissions, Southwest will match it. The Green Incentive Program will be launched by Southwest. This is a performance-based incentive program that allows corporate customers to earn and spend funds for sustainability initiatives.

Southwest's 10-year plan for Southwest will go beyond the ten-year target. They plan to be completely carbon neutral by 2050. This 10-year plan gives a glimpse of how they intend to reach such an ambitious goal.


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