At Southwest Airlines, we take pride in being the airline with Heart, and that includes respecting our Planet. Environmental sustainability is an ongoing priority for our future, and we want to treat our Planet the way we treat our Customers—with respect that extends beyond takeoff and landing.
It’s an honor to share that Southwest was celebrated last month by D CEO Magazine as part of their 2023 Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards. Our ongoing environmental sustainability goals and efforts—including our Repurpose with Purpose program—helped us take home a win in the Sustainability Leadership category!
Specifically, our entry celebrated our refreshed climate strategy, including the work underway to help us move toward our goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Efforts across our Reduce, Replace, Offset, and Partner strategy demonstrate our intent to focus on environmental sustainability, and it’s an honor to be recognized for that work!
Our global sustainability initiative, Repurposed with Purpose, was also a factor in our award win. Through this program, more than a million pounds of aircraft seat leather have been upcycled into new products. The driving force behind Repurpose with Purpose has remained the same since its inception. When presented with an aircraft renovation initiative in 2014, we asked ourselves how Southwest could help prevent materials like aircraft seat leather from going to waste. Fast-forward to today, and we’re proud to partner with a variety of organizations to give thousands of pounds of leather new life. We’ve donated more than $1.3 million in grants and more than 1.4 million pounds of leather to provide employment, skills training, and other social benefits for organizations and communities through Repurpose with Purpose.
There’s so much work that happens across the Company to support our environmental sustainability efforts—which is what makes being recognized as a Sustainability Leadership honoree extra special!
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The following was co-authored by Laurie Barnett & Juan Suarez
At Southwest Airlines doing the right thing is a core part of our DNA and we have a longstanding commitment to being a good citizen—it’s even a part of our Foundational 5 Strategic Priorities! Our corporate citizenship efforts guide our commitment to do the right thing by our People, through our Performance, and in service to our Planet, all supported by strong corporate governance.
We approach corporate citizenship strategically and holistically; sharing our citizenship story is a huge part of that work. We want our Employees, Customers, Shareholders, and communities to see the ongoing work and progress we are focused on as it relates to our corporate citizenship efforts.
To that end, we are excited to share with you all two very special reports related to our corporate citizenship efforts:
The 2022 One Report
You can view it at: Southwestonereport.com
Published annually, our annual integrated corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability report—the Southwest Airlines One Report—is our comprehensive report that includes information on our corporate citizenship efforts. It showcases how we champion causes that matter most, including committing to a diverse and inclusive workforce, setting goals to address our carbon emissions, and investing in community partnerships that drive impact. New to the report this year:
Introducing Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) disclosures: We are proud to introduce information aligned to TCFD for the first time. We performed a qualitative scenario analysis in reference to TCFD that will further inform our understanding and management of potential climate-related risks and opportunities. This inclusion demonstrates our commitment to continuous improvement and reporting.
Progress on goals: Another new item included this year is a progress report on an aggregation of overall Citizenship goals. In the Citizenship section, the One Report speaks to our DEI goals as well as our updated Environmental goals. Additional information on our progress toward our DEI and Environmental goals is also included in the People and Planet sections, respectively.
The 2022 Southwest Airlines Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Report
You can view it at: DEI Report
This companion piece to the One Report is a formal, comprehensive report focused on our current DEI priorities and continued commitment to drive our DEI efforts forward. This report is designed to keep our Employees, Customers, and other Stakeholders informed on the progress of our DEI initiatives.
Be sure to check out the reports today!
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Southwest Airlines ® is celebrating more than 50 years of putting People first this week by releasing a one-of-a-kind Leadership book, “Leading with Heart: Living & Working the Southwest Way.” This book represents Southwest Airlines’ guide to Leadership, business, and life, based on insights from Founder Herb Kelleher, as well as President Emeritus Colleen Barrett, Executive Chairman of the Board and former Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly, Chief Executive Officer Bob Jordan, President & Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven, and other impactful Southwest Leaders past and present.
Southwest’s new Leadership Book: "Leading with Heart: Living & Working the Southwest Way." Available at Southwest® The Store.This book also highlights Living & Working the Southwest Way as a set of fun and engaging Leadership tenets, giving readers a “behind-the-curtain” view into the beginnings of Southwest’s Culture and how it’s maintained by our People, so others can find useful learnings for their workplaces and daily lives. It features a special foreword by Gary Kelly and is endorsed by authors Patrick Lencioni, Dave Ramsey, and Ken Blanchard, as well as by Coach Lou Holtz and Brian Brim, Ed.D.
Join us in celebrating Southwest’s legacy of Leadership by diving into this Fun-LUVing book, full of meaningful lessons and interesting anecdotes from Leaders throughout Southwest’s history. As we release “Leading with Heart,” our hope is that all readers are inspired by Herb Kelleher’s belief that we can each lead by example and positively influence others, regardless of our title, job, or role in life.
“As far as Leadership is concerned, everybody needs to be a Leader in order to have a successful Company. We think everybody is a Leader no matter what their job is. They’re setting an example by their conduct, and they should be inspirational.” – Herb Kelleher, Southwest Founder
“Leading with Heart” is now available exclusively through Southwest ® The Store for $20 (plus tax and shipping).
“Leading with Heart” is the second of two special books Southwest has published to commemorate and celebrate the Company’s rich history and impactful legacy (the first is “50 Years. One Heart.”—a coffee-table book beautifully showcasing 50 important objects and artifacts accompanied by short stories from Southwest history—that was released late last year and is still available to purchase at this link through Southwest ® The Store).
Chief Executive Officer Bob Jordan and Executive Chairman of the Board and former Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly proudly display “Leading with Heart” at Southwest’s Corporate Campus.About “Leading with Heart: Living & Working the Southwest Way”
Hardcover chapter book
6 x 9 inches
Available exclusively through Southwest ® The Store for $20 (plus tax and shipping)
Represents Southwest Airlines’ guide to Leadership, business, and life, based on insights from Founder Herb Kelleher, as well as President Emeritus Colleen Barrett, Executive Chairman of the Board and former Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly, Chief Executive Officer Bob Jordan, President & Chief Operating Officer Mike Van de Ven, and other impactful Southwest Leaders past and present
Features a special foreword by Executive Chairman of the Board and former Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly
Endorsed by authors Patrick Lencioni, Dave Ramsey, and Ken Blanchard, as well as by Coach Lou Holtz, and Brian Brim, Ed.D.
Great for Southwest fans, leaders, business people, and higher-education students
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The following was co-authored by Laurie Barnett & Juan Suarez
For more than 50 years, Southwest Airlines has been committed to doing the right thing by our People, through our Performance, and in service to our Planet. We take pride in our reputation as the airline with Heart, and that naturally extends to a passion for making a difference in our communities and protecting our resources. There’s nothing that showcases our corporate Citizenship efforts in 2021 better than the 2021 One Report—our annual corporate social responsibility Report.
This integrated Citizenship report provides important data and highlights significant social, economic, and environmental events that occurred throughout 2021, all through the lens of Citizenship.
2021 One Report highlights include:
A Word from Bob: Hear directly from Chief Executive Officer, Bob Jordan, on the progress and accomplishments our Company has made during our Citizenship journey.
Our 10-Year Environmental Sustainability Plan: In 2021, we proudly announced our long-term goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, along with our shorter-term, 10-year environmental sustainability plan. Each year through 2030, we plan to maintain carbon emissions at 2019 levels while continuing to grow our operations by focusing on four pillars: Reduce, Replace, Offset, and Partner.
Inspiring the future through Southwest Scholarships: Championing educational attainment for all is a foundational principle that drives our work across the communities we serve. In 2021 we awarded our first round of scholarships through the Southwest Airlines Scholarship Program, supporting 17 students.
Recognizing our milestone 50 th Anniversary: In celebration of our 50th Anniversary, we focused on recognizing our Company’s historic journey and honoring the People who kept us flying for the last five decades—our dedicated People, key partners, and loyal Customers.
Learn more about our efforts around People, Performance, and Planet by visiting SouthwestOneReport.com.
Something New for 2021
New this year, we’ve also launched the Southwest Airlines Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Report, a companion piece to the One Report. This comprehensive report focuses on our current DEI priorities and path forward. We plan to share this report on an annual basis in an effort to keep our Cohearts, Customers, and other Stakeholders informed on the progress of our DEI goals, commitments, and initiatives.
We are committed to Doing Well by Doing Good and these reports are the perfect way to learn more about corporate Citizenship at Southwest.
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Today, and every day, Southwest Airlines is dedicated to giving the world Heart. Now more than ever, we’re focusing our efforts to help our Employees, Customers, and the communities we serve to navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Hearts are with all of those who are impacted and experiencing hardships. I’m proud of the many ways Southwest has stepped in to support the communities where our Employees and Customers live and work.
We remain strong in our commitment to meet communities where they are by providing meaningful resources and support. While our support often comes in the form of complimentary flights, I’m proud to share we also recently donated $400,000 of product, traditionally used during our in-flight snack and beverage service.
I’m especially proud that during a time when we must focus on low costs, our People found an innovative way to give back using resources we already had. These items will help communities fulfill a basic need, fighting against hunger.
Specifically, Southwest donated nearly 13 tractor-trailers full of product to 15 food banks that are a part of the Feeding America network, listed below. These food banks will distribute our donations to food pantries, homeless shelters, senior centers, and children’s feeding programs, ensuring it’s placed directly into the hands of those who need it most including those volunteering on the frontlines during this crisis.
Atlanta Community Food Bank
Feeding South Florida
Feeding Tampa Bay
Food Bank of the Rockies
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Harvesters - The Community Food Network
Houston Food Bank
Maryland Food Bank
North Texas Food Bank
Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services
Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee
St. Louis Area Foodbank
St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance
Three Square Food Bank
In addition to our foodbank support, we are delivering snacks and beverages to nearly 50 local organizations across the country.
A huge thanks to the many Employees and departments across the Company who made this donation possible—it was truly a Team effort that couldn’t have been done without Ground Ops, Provisioning, Enterprise Supply Chain, Customer Experience, Inflight, Community Outreach, and our Provisioning partner Bunzl!
Together, we can continue caring for our neighbors in need. Because at Southwest, we believe community is more than a place—it's at the Heart of what brings us together. #SouthwestHeartStrong
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Since 2016, Customers onboard a Southwest flight have enjoyed the great taste of Community® Signature Blend coffee—made with four generations of family care for rich, smooth flavor in every cup. For every pound of Community® coffee served inflight, Southwest and Community donate to the ECOM Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on making better lives for producers of coffee, cotton, cocoa, and other soft commodities.
Supporting the communities we serve has always been an important part of who we are as a Company which is why we are excited to share that beginning in 2019, Southwest and Community® Coffee are increasing our philanthropic support to the ECOM Foundation to $50,000 total per year. This increased donation will be split between two different school groups, Chiapas Mexico School Program, which Southwest has supported the past few years, and Grow Your School – Primary School Union Mexico initiative. Since the partnership was formed in 2016, more than $60,000 USD has been donated to Mexican communities. This partnership has allowed us to make a positive impact on education in communities throughout Mexico and we are incredibly grateful to further our support through this important program.
Through the work of the ECOM Foundation, we are giving origin producers in rural areas access to technology-enhanced secondary education and advanced agriculture training to promote long term sustainability in these communities and ensure the livelihood of the local communities and the coffee industry in the regions we collaborate with. People have always been at the Heart of everything we do, which is why we’re committed to investing in the quality of life for the producers of the premium coffee we serve onboard our planes.
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For many of the communities Southwest Airlines serves, 2017 was a challenging year. Several places we love were impacted by natural disasters, including an 8.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the Mexican states Chiapas, Oaxaca, and Tabasco on September 7. Southwest has proudly served Mexico since 2014, and our Hearts were heavy after this disaster, which was closely followed by the Central Mexico earthquake on September 19. One of the areas most impacted was Tapachula, Chiapas. People living in this area supply some of the coffee beans utilized by Community Coffee Company, our onboard partner that provides our inflight coffee.
Since 2016, Southwest and Community Coffee have teamed up with the ECOM Foundation to support coffee farming communities in this remote region of Mexico. Currently, for every pound of Community® Signature Blend coffee Southwest serves, Southwest and Community Coffee help fund educational programs in Mexico, delivered through satellite.
In continuation of support for this region, Community Coffee and the ECOM Foundation are again teaming up to meet local needs by launching a sustainable housing project to help rebuild after the earthquake. This project will focus on building homes for families located in the southern Mexico region where some of Community® Arabica coffee beans are sourced. The families affected by the earthquake will have new homes constructed using bamboo, a sustainable and low-cost material. The new structures are earthquake resilient, which will help provide the families with a more secure place to call home.
At Southwest, disaster preparedness and response is one of the core pillars of our community outreach efforts, and we are honored to play a role as the people of Tapachula rebuild. September marks the one-year anniversary of the earthquakes, as well as the start of National Preparedness Month. We encourage you to review your disaster preparedness plans this month, so you can be ready for anything that comes your way.
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Southwest Airlines is proud to share that it has been recognized by the American Society of Professional Communicators (ASPC) for its 2016 Southwest Airlines One Report TM . The One Report highlights the many ways Southwest brings to life its Purpose of connecting People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. Annually, the ASPC sponsors the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report Awards which celebrates innovation and excellence in CSR reporting.
The 2016 Southwest Airlines One Report won two best-of-category awards for:
Best Corporate Social Responsibility Report
Corporate Social Responsibility Report: Best Front Cover
Additionally, Southwest earned the ASPC Colonial Awards for Excellence for:
Corporate Social Responsibility Report: Best Letter to Stakeholders
Corporate Social Responsibility Report: Best Interactive Online Experience
The Report, which features the great work our Employees accomplished throughout 2016, is truly a testament to their hard work and dedication to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet, and being a great global citizen.
Be on the lookout for the 2017 One Report, coming late spring!
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Notice: Southwest Airlines resumed scheduled flights to/from San Juan (SJU) with a reduced schedule starting today, Thursday, September 28. Seat availability is extremely limited due to high demand. For details on offered flights and availability, please check online or call us at 800-I FLY-SWA (800-435-9792). If you are a Southwest Customer impacted by Hurricane Maria, we are offering flexible accommodations for those Customers holding reservations from San Juan (SJU) from Monday, September 18, through Wednesday, November 1, and want to alter their travel plans. We will operate a humanitarian flight (SJU-MCO) on Friday morning for those who are stranded. Customers wishing to standby for the humanitarian flight on Friday, September 29 should arrive at the airport by 6:00 a.m. local time.
Our thoughts continue to be with the people of Puerto Rico as they recover from this devastating storm. We are hopeful conditions there continue to improve so that we can operate more frequently and continue to increase our role in that recovery.
Friday, September 29, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. CDT
I wanted to give you a closer look at one of our humanitarian flights and the work our Employees are doing on the ground in Puerto Rico.
This footage was captured by Patric, from Southwest's Multimedia Team. He was able to fly down and back earlier this week on one of our humanitarian flights. One of the terminals regained power today, but there are still many challenges on the ground. Our hearts are heavy, but what our Employee Ramzes said in the video brings it all home. He said, "that smile and that thank you, also the handshake, that's what keeps me moving. People."
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 10:30 p.m. CDT
Today, we've been able to connect with many of our Customers in San Juan to inform them about our humanitarian flights. Power outages are widespread, and internet and cellular connectivity are extremely limited. The airport has largely been energized using backup power generators. Access to operate flights into and out of San Juan (SJU) is still heavily restricted by the FAA, following the impact of Hurricane Maria.
SJU Ramp Supervisor Ricardo Berrios Perez greets Robert Robles,Ground Operations Regional Manager for International, as the initial Assessment Team arrived in SJU on Sunday, Sept 24.Since Sunday, we've been flying in a crew to assess the damage and assist with operating a limited number of daily relief flights, carrying supplies into San Juan and more than 1200 passengers back to Orlando (as of Thurs). We operated two of those flights earlier today and are planning two more for tomorrow (Wednesday), based on the number of slots we are given to operate in and out of the San Juan airport. Air space congestion has been a significant issue since Saturday, and early on, we ran the risk of our Crews spending too much time in the air waiting for entry to San Juan. Both relief flights from San Juan on Tuesday departed full. Terminal B, where we operate our Southwest flights was badly damaged and we have had to run manual operations from other terminals as we await repairs. We continue to coordinate with government and relief agencies to identify ways we can assist.
We have canceled all scheduled service through at least Wednesday, Sept. 27, including our originating flights from San Juan on Thursday, Sept. 28. We still plan to operate two relief flights out of San Juan on Wednesday, from Orlando. If you are a Southwest Customer in SJU and your Southwest flight has been cancelled, please call (800) 435-9792 if you are interested in traveling on one of these humanitarian flights.
This equipment from our friends at Sprint is scheduled to be sent as they travel in with us on Thursday, and will help with improved cell service.
Notes from individuals like Cristina Rodriguez and Stephen Mueller are what remind us about the impact and importance of Southwest's role in recovery. Cristina was on our first humanitarian flight out of San Juan on Monday:
Please continue to follow this blog post for the latest updates from San Juan.
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