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Delta Roadmap to Sustainable Travel

A ‘Business Imperative’: Delta Outlines Roadmap to More Sustainable Travel

From pursuing sustainable aviation fuels and more efficient aircraft to reducing single-use plastics and encouraging a net-zero supply chain, Delta announced its roadmap to more sustainable travel and net-zero emissions by 2050. The strategy and goals are inspired by what is good for the planet, communities and Delta people, and driven by a recognition that sustainability is a business imperative.

Delta Chief Sustainability Officer Pam Fletcher first shared the strategy with the airline’s more than 90,000 employees in late February. It’s focused on two pillars: embedding sustainability in everything the airline does and eliminating the company’s climate impact from flying.

“Delta people are known for doing difficult things well,” Fletcher said in an email to all employees on Feb. 28. “As we reshape the fundamentals of aviation, we are as dedicated to making immediate progress as we are to investing wisely in disruptive solutions.”

The reduction of fossil fuels and an evolution to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is at the forefront of Fletcher’s mid-term strategy. After all, the fuel that powers jets accounts for around 98% of an airline’s carbon footprint.

Delta’s sustainability strategy also accounts for near-term goals, including minimizing Delta’s impact from single-use plastic, transitioning to electric ground service equipment, and encouraging vendors in its supply chain on their own sustainability plans.

Fletcher, a well-known leader in the transportation sector, joined Delta in 2022. Her outlined sustainability strategy builds on the company’s ongoing progress and affirms its commitment to setting goals aligned and informed by science and proven metrics to ensure accountability and transparency.

Delta has outlined bold aspirational goals for 2050 as well as a series of incremental milestones to measure its progress along the way.

“We’ve already achieved significant results, like reducing single-use onboard plastics by nearly five million pounds annually and saving 10 million gallons of fuel last year thanks to the work of Delta’s Carbon Council,” Fletcher said. “Our foundation is strong. Now we accelerate.”

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