Working toward a greener future

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


At American Airlines Cargo, sustainability is an integral part of our business. As part of an industry requiring high-energy consumption, it's our responsibility to ensure we operate in a way that sustains and safeguards our environment – starting now, and for the future. We remain committed to uncovering ways, both big and small, to leave a better world for future generations.

Learn more below about some of the initiatives we have in place to support this mission.


The switch to bio-degradable plastic wrap

In 2022, we announced our transition to BioNatur Plastics™, launched by M&G Packaging, for use in our cargo operations. We started by replacing our current plastic products with the BioNatur brand across most of our major hubs, an adoption that allowed us to reduce long-term plastic waste in landfills by the equivalent of 6.4 million water bottles, in the first year alone.

In 2023, we expanded our use of BioNatur’s products beyond U.S. hubs to include regional domestic stations and international locations, replacing 150,000 lbs of traditional plastic with bio-the degradable plastic and reducing our long-term plastic waste by the equivalent of 8.6 million water bottles.

  • BioNatur Plastics is a growing line of biodegradable plastic products manufactured with proprietary formulations that make them the most sustainable plastic options available.
  • Regular plastic can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade in a landfill. BioNatur biodegradable plastics will biodegrade under landfill conditions in only 8 to 12 years.
  • BioNatur Plastics is manufactured with a 1% load of an organic, food-safe proprietary additive that allows anaerobic bacteria to digest the plastic in a landfill. Outside of a landfill, the plastic has an indefinite shelf life and performs exactly like traditional plastic products.
  • The end products are fully recyclable in normal waste collection streams, and with added strength, the plastics can be used in thinner amounts – thus minimizing the quantity of plastic use overall.

We have continued to expand the use of BioNatur products in 2023, with plans to continue spreading to our smaller operations and international locations.

Learn more about BioNatur plastics >>


Reducing our footprint at cargo hubs

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.

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)

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.


Entering our digital era

Lifting more than 100 million pounds of cargo per month gives us a unique perspective on the impact our services can have on waste.

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 already conduct more than half of our business transactions through entirely digital booking channels, and we are focused on increasing that number as much as possible.


Part of a bigger picture

As a business unit within American Airlines, American Airlines Cargo also falls within the airline’s overarching goal to achieve net-zero by 2050. Learn more about the initiatives and milestones in place to work towards this goal.

Sustainable aviation fuel

The clearest near-term way for us to decarbonize is by using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which is why purchasing and helping scale SAF production is the cornerstone of our climate strategy this decade. American has commitments covering more than 620 million gallons of SAF from 2025–2030. In 2022, we used more than 2.5 million gallons of SAF and were one of the few airlines to report using more than 1 million gallons during the year.

>> Climate Change and the path to net-zero

Additional efforts

>> A focus on Sustainability across American’s operations

>> 2022 Sustainability Report