Delta Air Lines has lowered its annual greenhouse gas emissions by 8.5 million metric tons, an 18.4 percent reduction since 2005, according to the airline’s 2012 GHG emission inventories verified by the Climate Registry.
Delta says its focus on third-party verification aligns with the data integrity component of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) resolution on the Implementation of the Aviation Carbon Neutral Growth 2020 Strategy, approved at the aviation industry group’s annual general meeting in June 2013.
Richard Anderson, Delta’s CEO, is the chairman of the IATA Board of Governors.
The airline has improved annual aircraft fuel efficiency by an average of 1.7 percent from 2009 to 2012, exceeding the IATA’s fuel-efficiency goal of 1.5 percent.
Delta says it also supports the greenhouse gas emissions goals of IATA and Airlines for America, including improving average annual fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent through 2020, stabilizing emissions with carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and reducing net emissions 50 percent by 2050, relative to 2005.
Delta’s initiatives to lower carbon emissions include:
- Reducing its fleet of 50-seat regional jets with larger, more efficient mainline aircraft that produce fewer emissions per seat. Delta says it will retire 49 50-seat aircraft and add 28 larger aircraft including the Boeing 717 and Boeing 737-900 in 2013.
- Converting 35 pieces of ground support equipment from diesel to electric in a combined effort with the EPA and the city of Atlanta’s Center for Transportation and the Environment. Delta expects this effort to save an estimated 129,000 gallons of diesel and 575 tons of emissions year, totaling 11,500 tons over the life of the equipment.
- Implementing initiatives to reduce fuel consumption on existing aircraft, including weight reductions, fuel management and working with the FAA and the Department of Transportation to enable more fuel-efficient approaches and takeoffs.
Last year Delta became the first legacy carrier to join the Climate Registry with successful verification of its 2005-2011 emissions.