|Category: Brand Ratings -> Airline Companies -> Southwest|
Average Fleet Age: 12
Greenopia Environment Achievement:
Southwest promotes itself as one of the greenest airlines in the marketplace right now. Southwest is one of the few airlines with a LEED certified terminal (Oakland) and it also has better than average sustainability reporting for the industry. Southwest has implemented a variety of processes to decrease its environmental footprint on the ground including electric ground tools and its point-to-point flying helps it minimize its travel time. Southwest has a comprehensive program to recycle items on board and was the first company to go paperless with its ticketing process. Although Southwest does not offer a significant amount of green food items, it does only select brands that have easily recyclable packaging.
The main thing that really hurts Southwest’s ranking is its lack of available offsets for travelers. Even though only a small percent of passengers may take this option, even fewer will go to an outside source to offset their footprint. Thus this is the main complaint we have since it doesn’t allow eco-conscious fliers to easily offset their impact. Southwest also does not appear to pursuing any alternative fuels at this time. Finally, Southwest has one of the older fleets of the airlines include in our study and it has a relatively high emissions per revenue passenger mile to reflect this.
Southwest has some impressive environmental initiatives, but its normalized emissions and lack of carbon offsets prevent it from being closer to the top of our list.