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Sustainability and Southwest Business: How We Engage our Customers

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As part of Southwest Airlines’ 10-year Environmental Sustainability plan, one of our goals is to Replace 10% of our total jet fuel consumption with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030. SAF plays a critical role in supporting our 2030 goals and ultimately reaching carbon neutrality by 2050!


Over the past year, we’ve continued to collaborate with different producers and partners to help make SAF commercially available. We have entered into a number of offtake agreements and memoranda of understanding to advance the commercialization of SAF. And, we are also engaging with corporate Customers! Many of our corporate Customers have their own environmental sustainability goals in which certain emission reductions from our use of SAF can play a role. Under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, Scope 1 emissions generated by Southwest’s use of SAF are considered Scope 3 emissions for our Customers. Where SAF can help us address the Scope 1 emissions from our jet fuel, it can also give Corporate Customers, through our SAF Beta Program, the opportunity to purchase certain Scope 3 emission reduction rights associated with our utilization of SAF in our operations.


However, the amount of SAF produced in 2021 was less than 0.1% of global jet fuel demand, and today SAF is two to four times more expensive than conventional jet fuel. Some of our corporate Customers have expressed a desire to help develop this market, which is why we launched our SAF Beta Program. Through the SAF Beta Program, we engage with eligible Southwest Business Customers in agreements that support Southwest’s utilization of available, qualifying SAF in its operation.


How does this work? Our eligible Southwest Business Customers purchase certain Scope 3 emissions reductions rights from Southwest’s use of such SAF. This enables Customers to help Southwest implement SAF into our operation at a cost that is closer to conventional jet fuel than the 2-3X premium today, and sends a demand signal to SAF producers. To date, we are engaging with Deloitte, Siemens USA, and Zurich North America! We are excited by the interest in this program and look forward to growing it more in 2023!


As part of this program, we’re excited to share a new partnership with 4Air. 4Air is an aviation sustainability company providing consulting, documentation, and rating services. With 4Air, we will provide Southwest Business Customers in our SAF Beta Program with independently verified assurance for the Scope 3 emissions reduction calculations and documentation associated with their support of expanding the use of SAF in Southwest’s operations. Southwest has processes in place to track emissions-reduction rights for our corporate partners in the program, and we are proud to partner with 4Air to verify that the purchased rights to emissions reductions have been correctly accounted for!


Over the past year, we’ve made a number of exciting announcements related to our SAF efforts, like being the first airline to bring SAF to Oakland International Airport. Please visit to learn more about our SAF efforts!