American Airlines Scores High On Newsweek’s Green Rankings List

Reader Contribution by Press Release
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For the third consecutive year, AMR Corporation — the parent company of American Airlines — holds the title of the greenest U.S. airline. This is according to Newsweek’s 2012 Green Rankings List, an annual environmental list of the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the United States. AMR Corporation’s performance also ranked second best among 18 other green companies in the transportation and logistics category.

“Being honored in the Newsweek Green Rankings is direct result of the passion and dedication of our people to making American Airlines a better steward of the environment,” said David Campbell, American’s Vice President – Safety, Security and Environmental. “Reducing our carbon footprint is a core commitment that our people take very seriously, and this is reflected through our many successful environmental programs.” American was also recognized for its environmental reporting. This category evaluates the adequacy, completeness and quality of company sustainability reporting, and includes measurement and disclosure of environmental impacts and involvement in key transparency initiatives.

In collaboration with leading environmental research organizations, Newsweek annually evaluates the 500 largest publicly traded companies in the U.S. by size according to revenue (most recent fiscal year), market capitalization and number of employees. Companies are ranked by their overall Green Score, which is determined by their environmental footprint, management of that footprint and sustainability communications. American stresses that it is committed to minimizing its environmental impact throughout all operations and maintaining transparency of its efforts. A number of programs, as well as grass-root initiatives implemented by American’s people, contribute to the airline’s success in reducing its footprint. Key areas of focus include:

  • Fuel Conservation: Fuel Smart is American’s employee-led effort that was launched in 2005 to safely reduce fuel consumption. Fuel Smart has been responsible for saving more than 700 million gallons of fuel and for the elimination of 7 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions since the project began. Furthering this commitment to save fuel — and an estimated $1.2 million in annual savings — in August 2012, American became the first commercial carrier to receive FAA approval to use the Apple iPad as an Electronic Flight Bag in the cockpit during all phases of flight.
  • Recycling: American’s flight attendants recycled over 12 million aluminum cans in 2011 — as much weight as four Boeing 737 aircraft. They also collect and recycle corks from wine bottles. Also in 2011, American’s maintenance bases and airports recycled 1,300 tons of cardboard and paper and more than 1,200 tons of metal.
  • Fleet Renewal: Putting more fuel-efficient planes in the air is the most effective way to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. In July 2011, American placed the largest aircraft order in aviation history: 460 narrow body jets from Boeing and Airbus to be delivered from 2013 through 2022. These new aircraft will provide significant environmental benefits over the aircraft they will replace. For instance, a Boeing 737 offers a 35 percent improvement in fuel economy over an MD-80, and it’s much quieter. American will have the youngest, most fuel-efficient fleet by 2017.
  • ecoDemonstrator: In 2012, Boeing established the ecoDemonstrator program through the FAA’s Continuous Lower Energy Emissions Noise (CLEEN) program, to accelerate the advancement of environmental technologies. The program emphasizes emerging technologies in the areas of fuel efficiency, noise reduction and operational efficiency. American is the first airline to participate in the initial test phase, and allowed Boeing to borrow one of its new 737-800 aircraft for flight testing that began in August 2012. The ecoDemonstrator flight test program allows Boeing and American to accelerate promising technologies and move them onto airplane models and into new aircraft design considerations across the industry.
  • Airspace Modernization: American also advocates for and leads industry-wide developments in Area Navigation, or RNAV. Developed to maximize the use of available airspace without compromising safety, RNAV conserves fuel and reduces CO2 emissions by moving planes via the most efficient, often shorter flight path. Currently, RNAV procedures are in place at five major airports, with more airports to follow.

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Photo By American Airlines

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