JetBlue Airways’ aptly-named corporate responsibility report, The Blue Review, outlines the company's values and the progress it has made in its approaches to environmental, social and business responsibility.
The report, issued this month, highlights major developments made by the airline in 2014, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The airline managed to cut GHGs by 6 percent from 2013 to 2014, from 1.65 to 1.54 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per 1,000 revenue-ton miles.
While that may not sound very impressive, it’s a significant improvement in this industry because jet fuel is expensive, plus it’s not exactly the cleanest fuel available — and airlines use a tremendous amount of it.
In line with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Version 4 standards, JetBlue’s report focuses on its responsibility strategy as guided by its five core values – safety, caring, integrity, passion and fun.
“JetBlue values are fundamental to who we are and how we operate. It is only fitting that our approach to responsibility is based on these standards. Our mission is to inspire humanity in the air and on the ground. This only works if both crewmembers and customers believe in this mission,” Robin Hayes, JetBlue CEO and president, wrote in the report.
He added that the footprint of the airline’s brand in the community “is very important as a test of authenticity … We know airplanes create carbon dioxide emissions, so this is where technology plays a huge role.”
Hayes applauded the work the engine manufacturers are doing to develop more efficient engines. The Airbus “new engine option” (NEO) — JetBlue has 70 on order — has an engine that’s 15 percent more efficient. It has 25 of the aircraft on order that will begin arriving in 2020, and 45 that will join the fleet starting in 2018.
Over the next several years, JetBlue plans even more fuel-efficient options, including a retrofit, beginning this year, of its entire A320 fleet with Sharklets — curved extensions to airplane wings that improve aerodynamics. This change will in turn boost fuel efficiency by around 3 percent on long-haul flights.
Highlights from the 2014 Blue Review include:
Last year crewmembers and leaders across JetBlue implemented more than half a dozen trials and new procedures that have added up to more than $2.5 million in fuel savings.
“For example, our engines consume up to 12.7 pounds of fuel per minute, so idling them for longer than needed creates unnecessary waste. By working with crewmembers to adjust idling times per flight, we can reduce fuel use by millions of pounds annually," the company wrote in its report.
JetBlue has adopted International Air Transport Association targets for GHG emission reductions. The focus is to cut carbon emissions through a variety of initiatives and meet the following targets:
Image: Jet Blue NY by H. Michael Miley via Flickr CC