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2010 One Report: Efficiency and Environment

mvandeven1
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This is the eighth in a series of posts about our integrated annual report, the 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report™, where we have illustrated our commitment to a triple bottom line and how our passion and focus on Performance, People, and Planet continues to propel us forward.

Helping preserve our planet and conserve resources is important to us here at Southwest, because this is what we do – we help people see the world.  Good stewardship is not only the right thing to do as citizens of our planet, but also because our business is giving people access to see the world.

When I think of environmental stewardship, I think of efficiency, which is the elimination of waste, a streamlined way of doing business, and an effective use of our resources.  It’s fitting then that efficiency is the foundation of our environmental commitment, because efficiency and the planet go hand-in-hand.  The 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report™ details how when we are efficient in our flight paths and fuel burn, we reduce emissions; when we clean our engines, they run more efficiently and save fuel and reduce emissions; how when we use electric ground support equipment, we create a better, cleaner work environment for our People, reduce emissions, and save fuel.

An efficient use of our resources also is important.  I am very proud of the way our Employees have embraced our co-mingled recycling efforts.  In 2010, we saw an increase of 69 percent in the amount of waste diverted from the waste stream to recycling.  That is pretty amazing!  I think recycling is a great example of environmental decisions making good business sense, because it is definitely an environmental decision to recycle aluminum, cardboard, plastic, and paper.  It is a great business decision because we spend millions of dollars a year on waste pickups – by diverting recyclables from the waste stream, we reduce the number of waste pickups, which is a true bottom line savings.  It’s a win for our planet and our business. 

We are proud of our commitment to being a good citizen of the world.  We look forward to sharing the journey with you in our blog post series on Performance, People, and Planet, and we hope it will inspire you to read our 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report™, which, in an effort to conserve our natural resources, can only be found online at www.southwest.com/citizenship.