Delta has made a ten-year, $1 billion commitment to mitigate all emissions from its global business, starting next month.

The US carrier said it would become “the first carbon neutral airline globally”, with initiatives “driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions”.

Delta said that the efforts would cover air and ground initiatives, stating that 98 per cent of the group’s emissions come from its aircraft.

The carrier said that efforts would focus on three areas:

  • Carbon reduction, with initiatives including “an ambitious fleet renewal programme, improved flight operations, weight reduction, and increased development and use of sustainable aviation fuels”
  • Carbon removal, through the investment in projects and technology including “forestry, wetland restoration, grassland conservation, marine and soil capture, and other negative emissions technologies”
  • Stakeholder engagement, focusing on “building coalitions with our employees, suppliers, global partners, customers, industry colleagues, investors and other stakeholders to advance carbon reduction and removal goals and maximize our global impact”

Commenting on the news Delta’s CEO Ed Bastian said:

“There is no substitute for the power that travel has to connect people, which our world needs today more than ever before. As we connect customers around the globe, it is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment.

“The time is now to accelerate our investments and establish an ambitious commitment that the entire Delta team will deliver.”

“There’s no challenge we face that is in greater need of innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no single solution. We are digging deep into the issues, examining every corner of our business, engaging experts, building coalitions, fostering partnerships and driving innovation.

“We are on a journey, and though we don’t have all the answers today, we know that our scale, along with investments of time, talent and resources will bring meaningful impact to the planet and ensure the sustainability of our business for decades to come.

“When customers choose to fly Delta, they should feel they’re making a statement about taking care of our planet. Our commitment to carbon neutrality means flying with Delta represents far more than a great travel experience – it’s about joining arms to create a better world.”

Recent sustainability efforts by the carrier include eco-friendly amenity kits, and upcycling old uniforms and seats as travel accessories.