Safeguarding a Green Future

As the largest airline in the world, we understand our responsibility in protecting the environment.

Demand for air travel and cargo lift continues to grow, and with nearly 7,000 flights moving freight to the largest network in the world, it's our responsibility to ensure we operate in a way that stabilizes and safeguards our environment.

From aircraft emissions to material consumption to energy use, we're constantly searching for ways, both big and small, to leave a better world for future generations.

Download our environmental initiatives one-sheet here »

Air quality

American Airlines is pursuing a goal to cut its CO2 emissions in half over the next 30 years, and Cargo plays a major part in the pursuit to achieve this goal.

Everything begins with our aircraft. Our fleet renewal program is retiring older models for more fuel-efficient aircraft, and we've brought on 500 new planes since 2013 – making our fleet the youngest U.S. fleet in the industry.

In addition to renewing our fleet, we are also expanding. 264 new aircraft are on the way, including 49 new Boeing 787 planes that are ideal for moving the world's cargo on a global scale. The 787s will replace many of our aging 767s that lack the fuel efficiency the newer planes offer.

We also recently announced our order of 50 new Airbus A321XLR aircraft, which are light and fuel-efficient narrowbody aircraft capable of flying more than 4,700 nautical miles.

However, it's not enough to just have the youngest fleet in the U.S. American is optimizing arrival times, reducing aircraft weight and implementing sustainable and commercially viable alternative jet fuels (SAF) to achieve greater fuel efficiencies that reduce emissions. Over the past four years, American emitted nearly 6.4 million metric tons of CO2e less than the emissions that would have resulted had fuel efficiency remained at the 2014 level.

While better air quality in our skies is improving, we've procured new ground support equipment that meets emission guidelines on land as well. At the end of 2018, more than a quarter of our GSE fleet was either electric or used lower emission propane.

Facility footprint

To combat electricity consumption at our hubs around the world, we are playing a big role in advocating for the use of renewable energy. There is no place more evident than at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where we use 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources for the American Airlines headquarters and cargo terminal.

Not to be too obvious, but 100 percent is 100 percent.

Outside of DFW, we're investing in the future with new ways to save energy at our facilities. A few examples include:

  • Retrofitting hangar facilities with high-efficiency LED lights
  • Relighting our line maintenance hangars at San Francisco (SFO), Washington, D.C. (DCA), as well as our wheel and brake center at our Tulsa maintenance base (TUL)
  • Future relighting projects for hangars in New York City (JFK and LGA) and Philadelphia (PHL)

These initiatives, among others, have given us the honor of being ranked 46th on the Environmental Protection Agency's list of the largest Fortune 500 company green power users.

While we are proud of the expansive strides we've made, we recognize there's still more to be done. This year, we've established a company goal to source 2.5 million gigajoules — the energy equivalent to almost 20 million gallons of jet fuel — of cost-competitive renewables by 2025.

Waste reduction

Lifting more than 100 million pounds of cargo every week gives us a unique perspective on the impact our services can have on waste and recycling initiatives.

Did you know our air cargo industry prints roughly 7,800 tons of paperwork every year? That's 100,000 trees and enough paper to fill 80 747 freighters. That's why we're fully committed to the industry's eAWB initiative. We're dead-set on getting to 100 percent eAWB use from all of our customers.

We also deploy more than 7,500 reusable, lightweight composite cargo containers that reduce weight and save more than 1 million gallons of fuel every year. Our stations recycle roughly 85,000 pounds of shrink-wrap every year — the equivalent to 1.2 million water bottles.

At American Airlines Cargo, creating a world-class service is the driving force in all we do. We're honored to apply that philosophy in our pursuit to mitigate our impact on the environment now and for the years to come.