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A Very Green Tuesday: RNP Preliminary Data Is In

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It’s so perfect that St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year.  For the past few years, we have worked hard to turn the average Tuesday into our very own “Green Day” here at Southwest to remind ourselves of the importance of environmental stewardship and offer each other great tips on living and working green.  Innovative suggestions are submitted by Employees to a dedicated Green e-mail address.  Whether they are tips on recycling, how to save (reduce), or even how to take your family back to the 1920s and not be so “disposable” (reuse), I have really learned a lot from reviewing these great tips. 

One of my favorite parts of working on our environmental efforts is being on the “ground floor” of a lot of our initiatives.  One of the most exciting and industry-leading efforts we have is RNP – Required Navigational Performance – a really fancy term for satellite-based navigation.  It will allow our aircraft to fly more direct routes, saving fuel and, most importantly, reducing emissions.  We had our first demo flight with RNP procedures on Sunday, flying roundtrip between Dallas Love Field and Houston Hobby.  There were about 19 of us on the flight, and I really felt like I was seeing history in the making: the culmination of two years of hard work, and a milestone in this six-year, $175 million project. 

The initial data was really impressive – saving more than 904 pounds of CO2 on the roundtrip flight and, in a year, that could equal more than 8.42 million pounds or the equivalent of taking 699 passenger cars off the road for one year!  Below is the RNP aircraft’s path (the green line) from Dallas Love Field to Houston Hobby, along with the other paths (yellow) an aircraft can fly. 

David “Fig” Newton, one of our Pilots and leaders of the RNP project, wrote a much better explanation last year–-and it even had a St. Patty’s Day flavor!

I am very “lucky” (no pun intended) to be part of the Southwest Airlines Green Team, which is a Team of about 40 Southwest Airlines Employees from all major Departments who meet every month to discuss how to make Southwest Airlines more environmentally conscious and help put a green filter on business decisions.  We also look for ways to take existing programs and make them even better.  Great examples are implementing a more robust and consistent recycling program, introducing ride share programs and a pre-tax commuter benefit program, creating a Green Ambassador program of Employees all across our System, and producing an Environmental Stewardship Report.  

            All of the efforts at Southwest add up to a Green way of thinking and living, and I love being a part of it.  Happy “Green” Tuesday! 

8 Comments
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As part of the Southwest Green Team, I have had the opportunity to be a part of creating our brand new Green Ambassador Program. What has been exciting to me is to see how many of our Employees across our System are passionate about the environment. They are so anxious to do their part in ensuring our Companywide Green efforts are as successful as they can be. I know their enthusiasm will make a difference not just at Southwest Airlines, but also in their respective communities across the country.
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On this greenest of Green Tuesdays, I just wanted to agree with Marilee about how lucky we are to work for a company that encourages and supports green initiatives and allows each of us the opportunity to make Southwest Airlines a better steward of the environment through the efforts of our Green Team!
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I always knew Southwest was a company that cared about it's employees and customers, but being part of the Green Team has really shown me another way SWA chooses to be outward focused. The conscious effort this airline puts into being mindful of our environment has proven to me over again the company's priority to put others interest before itself.
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It has been great fun being on the Green Team and helping to support our company's initaitives to be "greener." I have learned so much that I would not normally have learned about the effects of commuting or ideas for the office and home to be more environmentally friendly. And I LUV hearing about all the grassroot efforts being done by all our great, green Employees, just because they have a passion and decide to do the green thing! That is where the idea came for our Spring Volunteer project, S.A.V. E. (Serious About Volunteering for the Environment). This company-wide project encourages our Employees to do something in their hometown to show we are committed to helping our Planet. It will be exciting to see what all our inventive Employees do. But more on that later, I am sure....
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Showing your Green spirit is easiest on St. Patrick's Day, but the Southwest Green Team does a great job of putting its Green thumb on all that we do here at Southwest. My favorite part of being on the Green Team is seeing the outpouring of support and passion that the SWA Employees around the system show each and everyday to help improve the environment for our Customers and Families.....from their own daily actions to encouraging the actions of those that they encounter each day. The Green Team is a small, but mighty, group with endless ideas and passion for helping the Environment. But, none of it could be accomplished without the full support of Southwest Management and the relentless commitment of the entire Southwest Family. My personal favorite Green tip: take your own coffee mug to Starbuck's each morning. They will fill it with your daily coffee. If this doesn't fit your needs, you can also keep your coffee sleeve and hand it to the barista each morning to reuse. It saves another cardboard coffee sleeve and already has your order on it!
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The Green movement is not just a fad, it is here to stay and has become something of a global phenomenon! Being a part of Southwest's Green Team has helped me realize Southwest's overall commitement to the success and increased adoption of the green movement throughout our industry! As a part of this effort, we believe we can help not only our environment, but provide immediate and long-term economic benefits for the industry. This says a lot about our people, our leadership and our hearts! This generation will have the greatest impact on the environment within the next 50-100 years!!
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I really love this blog - keep up the good work, SWA!
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My wife Janis and I had a wonderful experience last week flying Southwest to Phoenix for Spring Break (my daughter, son-in-law and 2 grandsons live there). We then drove to Disneyland. I hadn't flown out of Love Field for awhile and had forgetten how hassle-free the experience can be, and how genuinely joyful the Southwest employees are. I am Chief Blogger for Frito-Lay's Snack Chat blog (www.snacks.com) and it's also great to see another Dallas-based company championing environmental sustainability. Who knows, some day Dallas may be known as a leading center for corporate social responsiblity!