South Pole is delighted to support JetBlue in its climate action, including providing offsets to enable the climate neutrality of its domestic flights. In the words of our CEO Renat Heuberger: "We are delighted to see JetBlue pursuing an aggressive climate strategy, entirely on a voluntary basis. It is key that the private sector - especially in sectors such as aviation - steps up and moves from ambition to climate action. We are happy to be part of JetBlue's climate journey, helping achieve these ambitious climate neutrality goals."
NEW YORK – August 13, 2020 – JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) today announced it has followed through on its commitment to go carbon neutral on all domestic flights. Earlier this year, JetBlue became the first major U.S. airline to commit to this critical and measurable step toward reducing its contribution to global warming, and is now the first U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutral flying.
On July 1, the airline began offsetting carbon dioxide emissions (CO 2) from jet fuel for all domestic JetBlue-operated flights. JetBlue views carbon offsetting as a bridge to other industry-wide environmental improvements like fuel with lower emissions. Therefore, JetBlue is also investing in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and to start, the airline is fueling all flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) with a renewable jet fuel blend.
Carbon neutrality is just one way JetBlue is preparing for a changing climate and ensuring a more sustainable business for its crewmembers, customers, shareholders and communities. JetBlue's environmental social governance (ESG) strategy focuses on reducing emissions in the first place. This includes investments to shrink its impact through fuel-saving technologies and aircraft, and advocating for a more fuel-efficient air traffic control system. JetBlue has achieved consistent reductions in emissions on an intensity basis since 2015, and most recently improved 2.2 percent per ASM from 2018 to 2019. Offsetting all domestic flights and SAF will help JetBlue move toward the lower-carbon economy for which aviation and all sectors must plan.
"The global pandemic has only reinforced the need to mitigate risks that threaten the health of our business. We see real action in sustainability as the cost of doing business today, and these commitments have only become more important as we prepare our business for a new climate reality" said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. "Even with a long recovery ahead following the COVID-19 pandemic, JetBlue remains focused on long-term environmental opportunities, particularly lessening our largest impact – carbon emissions – and more fuel efficient flying."
In 2008, JetBlue began offsetting CO 2 emissions from jet fuel with programs to balance customer flying, including two months of carbon neutral flying network-wide. Offsetting all domestic flying expands those efforts in a bigger and more impactful way. Prior to this announcement, JetBlue had offset more than 2.6 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org — a leading U.S. based nonprofit carbon reduction and climate solutions organization. JetBlue's new carbon offsetting partners include established experts in the space – South Pole and EcoAct, in addition to Carbonfund.org.
Due to reduced flying in 2020 from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, initial offsetting is lower than originally projected. JetBlue intends to continue offsetting all emissions from jet fuel for domestic routes going forward, ramping up as travel demand returns. Once travel returns to pre-COVID levels, JetBlue expects to offset 15-17 billion pounds (7 to 8 million metric tons) of CO 2 emissions each year – the annual equivalent of removing more than 1.5 million passenger vehicles from the road.
As part of its offsetting program, JetBlue selects projects around the globe that will balance the use of jet fuel. Many projects operate in less economically developed countries where a bigger community impact can be made. Emissions reduction projects reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere in at least one of three ways – avoiding greenhouse gas emissions in favor of renewable sources, removing emissions from the atmosphere, and destroying emissions when possible.
JetBlue has started purchasing and flying on SAF from Neste, the world's largest producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, starting in August 2020 for flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The low-carbon and high-quality fuel will contribute to JetBlue's efforts to reach our climate emission reduction goals.
Neste is now successfully delivering sustainable aviation fuel to SFO via pipeline, a milestone the airport has called a climate quantum leap. Once Neste's SAF enters SFO's fuel consortium, it is available for any commercial, cargo or business aviation. With agreements like these, JetBlue and the aviation industry is helping to kick-start the SAF market and lead the economics on these lower carbon fuels.
Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel TM is produced 100 percent from waste and residue raw materials. Over the lifecycle, it has up to 80 percent smaller carbon footprint compared to fossil jet fuel. Safety is JetBlue's number one priority and the fuel is fully compatible with the existing jet engine technology and fuel distribution infrastructure when blended with fossil jet fuel. The fuel ships via the fuel pipeline to the airport where it is safely used alongside regular fuel without safety or operational impact.
How carbon offsetting works – When projects that reduce CO2 emissions are developed, every ton of emissions reduced results in the creation of one carbon offset or carbon credit. A carbon credit is a tradeable certificate that represents the avoidance or removal of one ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Buying carbon credits means investing in emission reduction projects that require carbon offsets financing in order to take place (a.).
JetBlue will support carbon offsets projects focused on but not limited to:
All of JetBlue's purchased carbon offsets are audited, verified and retired on the airline's behalf. The offsets will benefit physical projects and are verified and enforceable, as reputable carbon offset auditors have confirmed the claims behind a program and the project is on a public database. These projects are also permanent and ongoing. The sale of carbon offsets help to finance the projects. (b.)
JetBlue's focus on climate leadership – JetBlue's ESG strategy focuses on issues that have the potential to impact its business and the industry in the long-term. Customers, crewmembers and community, as well as stakeholders, are key to JetBlue's climate and sustainability strategy. Demand from these groups for responsible service is one of the motivations to further reduce the airline's environmental impact. Shareholders, including many crewmembers, have demanded that JetBlue's ESG strategy benefit stakeholders and the airline's financial position. Tying ESG to its treasury function, including sustainability-linked loans dependent on the airline's ESG scores, further demonstrates JetBlue's commitment to combat climate change.
Carbon offsetting is just one example of how JetBlue is mitigating its contribution to climate change in response to public and market demand. JetBlue's 2019 Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Report identifies key sustainability factors that affect the airline's business and financial performance. For more information, visit jetblue.com/sustainability.
JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers across the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. For more information, visit jetblue.com.
(a.) Sourced with permission from www.southpole.com/carbon-offsets-explained
(b.) Carbon Offsets Project Certification – JetBlue has purchased high-quality carbon credits that adhere to a strict set of standards. Projects are registered with a third-party internationally recognized verification standard, including the Gold Standard, Verra's Verified Carbon Standard (VCS), Social Carbon and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards (CCBS), or standards verified by the UNFCCC. These standards also help highlight different benefits while ensuring that the project is real, verified, permanent and additional.
Projects certified under each standard means that they have been developed following the rules and requirements of the particular standard; have been independently audited and verified; follow defined GHG emission reduction quantification methodology; and carbon credits are assigned serial numbers and are issued, transferred and permanently retired in publicly accessible emission registries.
JetBlue follows the below principles when selecting projects:
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