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Southwest Airlines Community

Supporting Climate Change Initiatives with Yale University

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Southwest Airlines has evaluated, developed, and started executing various initiatives to improve environmental stewardship across our airline. Last month, we announced our 10-year plan to maintain carbon-neutrality to 2019 levels while continuing to grow our operations.


Ultimately, our goal—and the  U.S. government’s goal for the aviation sector—is to be carbon neutral by 2050. This will likely require the innovation of new decarbonization technologies, which is why we became a founding member of the Aviation Climate Taskforce.


Environmental sustainability is a priority for us. That is why we are also looking outside of our industry to support research and development of solutions to climate change. We decided to support advances in natural carbon sequestration, which can have a significant impact on removing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and mitigating the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. Our search led us to make a commitment to contribute $10 million to the Yale School of the Environment (YSE) and the Yale Center for Natural Carbon Capture (YCNCC). We will fulfill our donation through the Southwest Airlines Foundation, a corporate-advised fund within the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.


Representatives from Southwest Airlines and Yale University met earlier this month to talk about progress and future plans for the center.Representatives from Southwest Airlines and Yale University met earlier this month to talk about progress and future plans for the center.The purpose of this contribution commitment is to fund activity at the center to research technological advancements and explore new solutions to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions. It will also help fund exploration of the current state of sustainability, strategy, policy, and economics—including a focus on finding new possibilities to reduce atmospheric carbon. This innovative partnership allows Southwest to support the development of crucial science to combat climate change.


“The climate crisis is the biggest challenge we face as a species,” says Michael Crair, vice provost for research at Yale. “To find solutions, we will need the very best efforts of scientists and policy experts at Yale and around the world. It’s a collaborative effort, and I am so grateful that Southwest Airlines has stepped forward to join our efforts in creating a sustainable future.”


We seek to team up with other environmentally-minded organizations to help us amplify our impact and make the planet a better, more sustainable place. It’s important to support initiatives that take a holistic approach to decarbonization in the long term. Scientific research and development are crucial to the success of tackling climate change, and we’re honored to support Yale’s groundbreaking work in this vital space.