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. 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.
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The following blog was co-authored by Helen Giles and Yvonne Ryan.
We seek to promote a better, healthier Planet, but we recognize we can’t accomplish it alone. Protecting our Planet is going to require a joint effort from individuals, communities, and businesses—all working together to do their part. That’s why Southwest Airlines is excited to announce a partnership with CHOOOSE™ that allows Customers to earn 10 Rapid Rewards ® bonus points per dollar contributed to help Southwest offset its carbon emissions, up to a maximum of 500 Rapid Rewards bonus points per month.*
Customers can show their Heart for the Planet by contributing funds for the purchase of offsets at Southwest.com/wannaoffsetcarbon. When a Customer contributes funds, those funds will be used to purchase carbon offsets sourced from global projects that avoid carbon emissions, including those that protect land that could otherwise undergo significant commercial timber harvesting or avoid unplanned deforestation and degradation.
For every dollar a Customer contributes, to help Southwest offset its carbon dioxide emission, Southwest will match the contribution, furthering our support of these important projects.*
This carbon offset offer is one part of the Company’s 10-year plan to maintain carbon-neutral growth to 2019 levels every year through the end of the decade while continuing to grow its operations. In addition to offsetting, the Company plans to continue modernizing its fleet with more fuel-efficient aircraft and support the development of sustainable aviation fuel.
This launch is an important component of our overall environmental sustainability plan to reduce, replace, and offset. Our ultimate objective is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and partnering with CHOOOSE™ and our Customers is an exciting part of our journey.
*Taxes and fees will not be matched by Southwest or earn points. Rapid Rewards Members can earn 10 Rapid Rewards bonus points per dollar contributed towards the purchase of offsets for Southwest up to a maximum of 500 Rapid Rewards bonus points per month. Points will only be awarded to the Rapid Rewards Member’s Rapid Rewards account number entered at the time of the carbon offset transaction. Allow up to 8 weeks for bonus points to appear in the Rapid Rewards Account. All offsets will be retired in the name of Southwest Airlines Co. Terms and conditions apply.
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