News & Updates

American Airlines Cargo's green initiatives are taking off

Nov. 23, 2017

A sustainable culture fuels American Airlines Cargo's commitment to the environment

As a growing global company, American Airlines Cargo is committed to shrinking its carbon footprint. And as the carrier that works to provide the best possible service and most expansive network available for customers, its worldwide teams have taken the initiative needed to lessen the environmental impact of its operations, while making sustainability a priority throughout the globe.

Ever since employees led the innovative Fuel Smart initiative back in 2005, American Airlines has saved millions of gallons of fuel from being consumed by its aircraft and support vehicles, while also cutting millions of pounds of CO2 emissions from being thrust into the atmosphere.

From weight reductions to finding more creative ways to save on energy at every turn, Fuel Smart was just one of the first of many initiatives that our team has implemented to play our part in maintaining the beauty and splendor of our planet.

Our Cargo team personifies that commitment to the environment by finding unique ways to help.

  • Lightweight containers: American deploys more than 5,000 reusable lightweight composite cargo containers, reducing weight and saving more than 1 million gallons of fuel every year.
  • New aircraft: American’s 777-300 aircraft burns one-third less fuel than older 747s, and it emits 20 percent less CO2 than the nearest competitor.
  • Recycling efforts: American’s Cargo stations recycle about 85,000 pounds (38,555 kilograms) of shrink-wrap every year. That’s equivalent to 1.2 million water bottles!
  • Saving paper: The carrier’s eFreight initiative will bring the logistics process into the digital age and cut down on the thousands of pounds of paper every year.
  • Biofuel trials: American works with biofuel companies to get even smarter about its fuel consumption, especially in the international markets where the flights are much longer.

“As a global cargo carrier, we’re deeply committed to finding new and better ways to ensure we’re running a sustainable operation, whether that’s by reducing our carbon footprint through new tools and technology, or simply recycling the plastic materials we use daily to protect and package our shipments,” said David Vance, VP – Cargo Operations. “Our efforts are part of a major, overall initiative everyone here at American Airlines, which everyone feels passionately about.”

At our local hubs, the teams are making a meaningful impact too.

  • At Chicago O’Hare (ORD), the Green Team collects used cabin service items and amenity kits to donate to charity. They also collect electronic waste, like used TVs, for recycling, and ORD only uses electric tractors and forklifts to minimize gas emissions.
  • The Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW) hub recycles nearly 100 percent of the plastic used for shipping cargo. And by the start of 2018, DFW will use 100 percent renewable electricity at the facility.
  • At New York John F. Kennedy (JFK), the team puts broken skids through a chipper and grinds them into mulch.
  • The Miami (MIA) hub has its own dedicated green coordinator. Additionally, its team recycles an amazing 30,000 pounds (13,600 kilograms) of paper, magazines, wood skids and plastic every month.

Even its smaller stations have been working hard to make a positive impact on the local environment. American’s San Francisco (SFO) team pays a local company to take broken wood skids for recycling — which fills around six to eight 30-yard dumpsters a month.

Never comfortable, American is consistently looking for ways to further limit its environmental footprint.


About American Airlines Cargo

American Airlines Group is the holding company for American Airlines. American provides one of the largest cargo networks in the world with cargo terminals and interline connections across the globe. Every day, American transports cargo between major cities in the United States, Europe, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia Pacific.

American Airlines and American Eagle offer an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries. American has hubs in Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. American is a founding member of the oneworld alliance, whose members and members-elect serve nearly 1,000 destinations with 14,250 daily flights to 150 countries. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL. In 2015, its stock joined the S&P 500 index. Connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at


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