Airline pledged net zero and diversity targets

US airline JetBlue has pledged to become net zero by 2040 via what it descried as “an ambitious and comprehensive set of short and medium term ESG targets”.

Among its steps will be increased usage of renewable energy, significantly increase diverse representation in its leadership ranks and hold its business partners accountable for sustainable business practices. This Earth Month, JetBlue is accelerating its commitment to take critical and measurable steps toward reducing its contribution to climate change.

The firm said it viewed robust oversight of key ESG issues as good for business and in generating long-term value, and recognised that customers expect clean, efficient, and affordable travel. In 2020, JetBlue became the first US airline to achieve carbon neutrality for all domestic flying, today primarily through carbon offsets while the industry builds up lower-carbon technologies to reduce direct emissions.

“Our vision is to lead the way to a lower-carbon future for aviation. To get there, we are focused on innovations that offer meaningful reductions in emissions – and are setting clear targets along the way,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “We’re facing climate change head on and are seeking opportunities to reduce natural resource consumption, such as increasing use of renewable energy and minimizing waste produced.”

While ESG is part of JetBlue’s business strategy, programs encouraging individuals to lessen their environmental impact remain a pillar of JetBlue For Good, the airline’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility.

On its ESG targets the airline said carbon neutrality is just one way JetBlue is preparing for a changing climate and ensuring a more sustainable business for its crewmembers, customers, shareholders and communities.

“JetBlue’s carbon reduction efforts focus on decreasing emissions through fuel-efficient operations, aircraft, and usage of sustainable aviation fuels. JetBlue is setting clear targets to chart a path toward net zero,” it explained.

Under its plans it has targeted to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, including carbon offsets. It has pledged to decrease aircraft emissions by 25 percent per available seat mile (ASM) by 2030 from 2015 levels, excluding offsets.

It will Convert 10 percent of total jet fuel to be from blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030 and convert 40 percent of three main ground service equipment vehicle types to electric by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030.

This year JetBlue’s senior leaders have linked their 2021-2023 long-term incentive plan (LTIP) compensation to key ESG metrics. An ESG Index was developed that measures leadership payouts based on percent reduction in company emissions per ASM, volume of sustainable aviation fuel used, spend toward underrepresented business partners, long-term efforts to engage and work with minority and women owned businesses (MWBE), and a more diverse slate of officers and directors.

“JetBlue’s reinforced DEI strategy includes an increased investment in crewmembers’ development, retention and growth, focusing on a more inclusive workplace that drives better decision-making and innovation, said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue. “We’re mobilizing our senior leadership team to create a more equitable workplace that better reflects the diverse communities we serve in all aspects of our airline. To ensure our success and strengthen shareholder value, ESG metrics will be tied to compensation and goals for JetBlue’s officers and directors.”