JetBlue to go carbon neutral on all domestic flights by offsetting emissions starting in 2020; flying with SAF from SFO
JetBlue will offset carbon dioxide emissions from jet fuel for all domestic JetBlue flights beginning in July 2020, making it the first major US airline to take this measurable step toward reducing its contribution to global warming. JetBlue also announced plans to start flying with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in mid-2020 on flights from San Francisco International Airport.
The efforts also build on the airline’s existing programs such as investments in fuel-saving technologies and aircraft, as well as advocating for a more fuel-efficient air traffic control system that would reduce emissions from flying.
JetBlue first began offsetting carbon dioxide emissions with programs to balance customer flying during specific times of year. JetBlue will continue to partner with Carbonfund.org—a leading US-based nonprofit carbon reduction and climate solutions organization. Since 2008, JetBlue has already offset more than 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions in partnership with Carbonfund.org. JetBlue’s new carbon offsetting partners now also include established experts in the space: EcoAct and South Pole.
This expansion is expected to offset an additional 15-17 billion pounds (7 to 8 million metric tons) of emissions per year—the annual equivalent of removing more than 1.5 million passenger vehicles from the road. JetBlue will offer ways for the airline’s customers and communities to connect with the carbon offsetting projects with which JetBlue is engaging.
When projects that reduce CO₂ emissions are developed, every ton of emissions reduced results in the creation of one carbon offset or carbon credit. A carbon credit is a tradeable certificate that represents the avoidance or removal of one ton of carbon dioxide emissions. Buying carbon credits means investing in emission reduction projects that require carbon offsetting financing in order to take place.
Carbon offsetting is a bridge to other industry-wide environmental improvements such as fuel with lower emissions. JetBlue has agreed to purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and a pioneer in renewable jet fuel, starting in 2020.
Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel is produced 100% from waste and residue raw materials. Over the lifecycle, it has up to 80% smaller carbon footprint compared to fossil jet fuel. The fuel is fully compatible with the existing jet engine technology and fuel distribution infrastructure when blended with fossil jet fuel. The fuel is being shipped via the fuel pipeline to the airport where it will be used alongside regular fuel without safety or operational impact.
JetBlue is continually exploring SAF options and views SAF as a critical part of the industry’s transition to a lower-carbon model. With agreements like these, JetBlue is helping to kick-start the SAF market and lead the economics on these lower carbon fuels.
Types of carbon offsetting projects selected by JetBlue. As part of its offsetting program, JetBlue selects projects around the globe that will offset the use of jet fuel. Many projects operate in less economically developed countries where a bigger community impact can be made. Emissions reduction projects reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere in at least one of three ways: avoiding greenhouse gas emissions in favor of renewable sources; removing emissions from the atmosphere; and destroying emissions when possible.
JetBlue will support carbon offsets projects focused on but not limited to:
Forestry: Forest conservation projects prevent deforestation by helping voluntarily forego plans that would have converted forests for other purposes, thereby sequestering CO2 emissions from the atmosphere in trees and soil while having additional co-benefits for communities and local wildlife.
Landfill Gas Capture (LFG): Landfill gas is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills. Instead of escaping into the air, LFG can be captured, converted and used as a renewable energy resource. In addition, LFG energy projects generate revenue and create jobs in the local community and beyond.
Solar/Wind: These projects develop expansive solar and wind farms, generating power that otherwise would have been supplied by fossil fuels such as coal, diesel and furnace oil. These projects also create jobs and revenues for local communities.
All of JetBlue’s purchased carbon offsets are audited, verified and retired on the airline’s behalf. The offsets will benefit physical projects and are verified and enforceable, as reputable carbon offset auditors have confirmed the claims behind a program and the project is on a public database. These projects are also permanent and ongoing. The sale of carbon offsets help to finance the projects.