Delta Air Lines has lowered its annual greenhouse gas emissions by 8.5 million metric tons, an 18.4 percent reduction since 2005. In its continued commitment to transparency, the airline has reported successful verification of its 2012 greenhouse gas emission inventories under The Climate Registry.
“By measuring and verifying carbon emissions through The Climate Registry, we demonstrate accountability for our emissions, as well as a continued commitment to reduce Delta’s overall carbon footprint through fleet renewal, reducing weight from our aircraft and implementing air traffic initiatives,” said Ken Hylander, senior vice president – Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance.
Delta’s focus on third-party verification aligns with the data integrity component of the IATA resolution on the Implementation of the Aviation Carbon Neutral Growth 2020 Strategy, approved at the organisation’s annual general meeting in June 2013. Richard Anderson, Delta’s CEO, is currently the Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors.
The airline has improved annual aircraft fuel efficiency by an average of 1.7 percent from 2009 to 2012, exceeding the International Air Transport Association’s fuel-efficiency goal of 1.5 percent.
Delta also supports the greenhouse gas emissions goals of IATA and Airlines for America, including improving average annual fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent through 2020, stabilising emissions with carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and reducing net emissions 50 percent by 2050, relative to 2005.
Delta’s initiatives to lower carbon emissions include:
* Reducing its fleet of 50-seat regional jets with larger, more efficient mainline aircraft that produce fewer emissions per seat – Delta will retire 49 50-seat aircraft and add 28 larger aircraft including the Boeing 717 and Boeing 737-900 in 2013
* Converting 35 pieces of ground support equipment from diesel to electric in a combined effort with the Environmental Protection Agency and the City of Atlanta’s Center for Transportation and the Environment – an effort that will save an estimated 129,000 gallons of diesel and 575 tons of emissions year, totaling 11,500 tons over the life of the equipment
* Implementing numerous initiatives to reduce fuel consumption on existing aircraft, including weight reductions, fuel management and working with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Transportation to continually improve the nation’s air traffic control system and enable more fuel-efficient approaches and takeoffs
“Climate-registered organisations understand that there are both environmental and economic benefits to understanding and managing your carbon footprint,” said David Rosenheim, executive director of The Climate Registry. “Delta has become part of a powerful community of Climate Registered organisations, with substantive data guiding and supporting its sustainable activities.”
The Climate Registry is a non-profit organisation with established standards for calculating, verifying and publicly reporting carbon footprints. In 2012, Delta became the first legacy carrier to join the registry with successful verification of its 2005-2011 emissions.