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American Airlines Cuts GHG Intensity 5%

American Airlines parent company AMR reduced its greenhouse gas intensity by five percent from 2009 to 2010, according to the company’s third annual corporate responsibility report.

The airline did not state a precise intensity figure, but a chart in the report (see left) showed the 2010 intensity to be between 1.5 and 2.0 metric tons of CO2e per 1,000 Revenue Ton Miles, which is the weight of passengers and cargo the company was paid to transport.

AMR has a goal to reduce its GHG intensity ratio by 30 percent between 2005 and 2025, or an average of 1.5 percent per year. Between 2005 and 2010 the company reduced its intensity ratio by 6.8 percent, putting it slightly behind the 7.5 percent it was hoping to reach by this point.

But American noted that it has improved the intensity ratio 20 percent from 2000.

The company’s other carbon-related goals are to achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020 onwards and reduce aviation net carbon emissions by 50 percent by 2050, as compared to 2005 levels

Its fuel efficiency measures in 2010 included the receipt and deployment of 45 new Boeing 737s, which it says are 35 percent more fuel-efficient on an available seat-mile basis than the MD-80 aircraft they are replacing. The company has ordered an additional 35 of the 737s, to be delivered in 2011 and 2012.

Also in 2010, American announced the purchase of five Boeing 777-300 aircraft, to be delivered in 2012 and 2013. According to Boeing, the 777-300 is 19 percent lighter than its closest competitor, and it produces 22 percent less CO2 per seat and costs 20 percent less to operate per seat.

American said that by carefully managing the number of aircraft in its fleet and adjusting schedules to meet customers’ needs, it optimizes aircraft efficiency. In 2010, the total number of available seats on all AMR flights rose by just one percent while total passenger traffic increased 2.5 percent. In addition, the company says, it was able to carry almost 14 percent more cargo.

Last year the company celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Fuel Smart fuel conservation program, which it says has saved more than 500 million gallons of fuel. The program is an employee-led effort to identify, evaluate and implement ideas to reduce fuel consumption.

By the end of 2010, the program was saving 123 million gallons a year, exceeding American’s goal of 120 million gallons. It is targeting 134 million gallons this year.

Also in 2010, American says it achieved more than $12 million in savings through energy-efficiency initiatives implemented by its Utilities Management Council, exceeding a target of $11.5 million.

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