Last week, JetBlue announced that it would go carbon-neutral on all domestic flights starting this July. This is the first announcement of its kind for a major U.S. airline. The airline plans to try and reduce its overall carbon emissions as well as increase carbon offsets.
For some time now, airlines have given their customers the option to pay to offset their carbon footprint. However, airlines are now taking it a step further, and in the past few months, EasyJet announced that it would offset the carbon emissions on all flights, while Air France and British Airways announced plans to offset carbon emissions all domestic flights.
Since 2008, JetBlue has already been able to offset more than 2.6 billion pounds of C02 emissions. While that is impressive, the carrier has bigger plans and is looking to offset between 15-17 billion pounds of emissions each year. According to the airline, this is the equivalent of taking 1.5 million cars off the road.
To lessen its impact on the planet, JetBlue will work with carbonfund.org, which is a non-profit climate solutions organization. To accomplish its goals, JetBlue isn't just throwing money at an organization. Instead, it will invest in carbon offset projects that are focused on forestry, landfill gas capture along with solar and wind energy projects. The airline also plans to purchase sustainable fuel for flights out of San Francisco. The fuel is produced almost entirely from raw materials and waste, and it should offer a carbon footprint approximately 80 percent lower than typical fossil jet fuel.
In addition to investing in projects, JetBlue is investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft. Thus far, no other major U.S. airline has gone this far, though many allow travelers to pay to offset their carbon footprint.