Delta’s Journey to Carbon Neutral Starts Now

Our commitment to sustainability is about joining arms to create a better world. We are committing $1 billion over the next 10 years on our journey to mitigate all emissions from our global business. The investments will drive innovation, advance clean air travel technologies, accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establish new projects toward a more sustainable future.

"There is no substitute for the power that travel has to connect people, which our world needs today more than ever before. As we connect customers around the globe, it is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment."

-- Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines

Delta is focusing these efforts on carbon reduction, carbon removal, and stakeholder engagement. 

From being the first and only U.S. airline to voluntarily cap greenhouse gas emissions at 2012 levels, to adding more than 80 new aircraft in 2019 in an effort to renew our fleet with aircraft that are 25 percent more fuel efficient than the aircraft they are replacing, Delta has undertaken a multi-year effort to achieve more sustainable air travel. As part of our commitment, Delta has partnered with industry innovators to advance the development and production of sustainable aviation fuels.

As a result of COVID-19 and the need to park aircraft, Delta has also retired the B-777, MD-88 and MD-90 aircraft, some of the least efficient fleets, earlier than previously planned.  

Changing How We Fly with Tomorrow in Mind

Jet fuel is the No. 1 contributor to our carbon footprint and the chief focus of our efforts to reduce our emissions and manage our environmental impact.

Building a more efficient fleet

We focus on building our fleet to have the longest, most sustainable life possible to make the most of our planet’s resources. Over the past year, we’ve introduced 88 new aircraft – like the state-of-the-art A220 – to our fleet that are 25% more fuel-efficient than the models that are being replaced.

Reducing emissions through Carbon Offsets

Carbon offsets reduce the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, which lowers greenhouse gas levels – the primary culprit for global warming and climate change. Our carbon offset program directly supports projects like the Conservation Coast, opens in a new window – a 54,000 hectare conservation that provides sustainable livelihoods for local communities.

Partner with us to offset the environmental impact of your flight by protecting forests and supporting communities. 

Alternative fuels, sustainable future
Fuel efficiency and carbon-neutral growth alone are not enough to address the risks of global climate change. To help take the next step, we’re using biofuels and carbon offsets to take 20 carbon-neutral delivery flights of the A321 aircraft.

Addressing Climate Change

fuel-efficient aircraft

With purchase commitments for new, fuel-efficient aircraft in the coming years, older, less-efficient models will be phased out.

carbon-neutral growth

We’ve voluntarily purchased over 14 million carbon offsets for carbon-neutral growth since 2012.

Lowering emissions

With electric ground vehicles and fuel-efficiency gains, emissions have been reduced 9% since 2005. Our goal – cut emissions in half by the year 2050.

Improving Our Environment by Reducing Our Impact

We continually assess all aspects of our waste handling operations to minimize what we send to landfills and identify opportunities for material reuse and recycling.

Reducing Single-Use Plastics

In 2019, we removed single-use plastics: stirrers, utensils, straws, and amenity kit wrappers and replaced them with reusable or compostable alternatives, diverting 30k lbs of plastics from landfills each year.

Making the most of recyclable materials

Since 2007, we’ve recycled more than 3 million pounds of aluminum onboard – equivalent to 22 B747s - and with the rebates, have funded the construction of 12 homes through Habitat for Humanity.

Waste Reduction Highlights

plastic waste reduction

The move to eco-friendly materials onboard and in Delta Sky Clubs has eliminated 300,000 pounds of plastic waste annually.

air and ground recycling

The onboard and ground recycling programs combined to salvage 1,220 tons in 2019 alone. 

Zero-Waste Sky Clubs

Sky Clubs in MSP, SEA, and SFO are zero-waste, meaning 90% diversion from landfill. These clubs recycle packaging, compost food, and provide eco-conscious food service items.

News Feed

Delta Cargo has joined the Sustainable Air Freight Alliance (SAFA), a business-led collaborative initiative aiming to reduce its members’ environmental footprint. The move aligns with Delta’s pledge earlier this year to become the world’s first carbon neutral airline. The airline has committed $1 billion over the next 10 years to mitigate all emissions from its global business.

SAFA is a collaboration between shippers, freight forwarders and airlines to track and reduce emissions from air freight and promote responsible freight transport. It is facilitated by BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), a global nonprofit business network and consultancy dedicated to sustainability.

“We’re proud to join SAFA as we accelerate our sustainability goals while also being aligned with our customers and their values,” said Shawn Cole, Vice President – Delta Cargo. “We are in the midst of the worst global pandemic in living memory, but we can’t afford to take sustainability off the agenda. Through this commitment, we are supporting Delta’s goal to be a more environmentally-friendly airline for generations to come.”

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With global industry slowing to a near standstill, widespread economic devastation will likely have painful impacts for years to come. That’s why we believe more strongly than ever in our mission to connect the world – to foster understanding across cultures and nations while enabling the highways of commerce that supply the lifeblood of the global economy. Meanwhile, as hundreds of millions have stayed at home, cleaner waterways, skylines and national forests show off the magnificence of our planet.

But connecting the world and keeping it beautiful for future generations cannot be mutually exclusive. 

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Starting March 1, 2020, Delta Air Lines is committing $1 billion over the next 10 years on its journey to mitigate all emissions from its global business going forward. The airline will invest in driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions.

“There is no substitute for the power that travel has to connect people, which our world needs today more than ever before. As we connect customers around the globe, it is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment,” said Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO. “The time is now to accelerate our investments and establish an ambitious commitment that the entire Delta team will deliver.”

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Building on its $2 million investment for an ongoing feasibility study with Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels (NWABF), Delta has entered into one of the largest airline offtake agreements of its kind to purchase sustainable aviation fuel, if produced, from NWABF.

The feasibility study, announced in October 2019 and currently underway, is expected to determine the potential for a facility in Washington state that could supply sustainable aviation fuel for Delta operations in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles by mid-2020. Read More 

Customers who choose to offset their travel using the upgraded carbon calculator with Delta fund projects across the planet that use natural climate solutions and make a measurable difference in the atmosphere. These projects restore ecosystems and address deforestation, in addition to supporting local communities by offering job opportunities and economic growth.

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, customers now have more – and easier – ways to join Delta in its work to fly more sustainably. Starting this month, Delta customers will be able to use the global airline’s upgraded carbon calculator to choose from four new carbon offset project options – each of which has verified emissions reduction impacts that align with United Nations Sustainable Development goals.

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View all of our sustainability updates.


Note: Delta has been publishing annual Corporate Responsibility Reports (CRRs) since 2009. To request a CRR prior to 2017, please contact