ATLANTA, April 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) is celebrating Earth Month by matching up to $25,000 of carbon offset contributions made by customers during April in partnership with The Nature Conservancy.
Delta's year-round carbon offset program allows customers to purchase and retire carbon offsets on delta.com to reduce the carbon dioxide associated with their travel. Retired offsets are tracked on Markit Environmental Registry.
Proceeds benefit The Nature Conservancy's Rio Bravo Project, which conserves tropical forest and wildlife habitat in northern Belize. Customers who purchase a ticket at delta.com have the option of contributing to the carbon offset program at $15 per metric ton. For example, to offset the 0.56 metric tons of CO 2 emitted for roundtrip travel between Atlanta and San Francisco, it would cost $8.44 per passenger. In the last twelve months, Delta and Delta customers have purchased 4,472 metric tons of carbon offsets."Delta is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with our operations," said Ken Hylander, senior vice president – Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance. "In addition to other initiatives, we've made a commitment to do our part to help offset carbon emissions by investing in the Conservancy's forest projects." In 2007, Delta became the first airline to launch a carbon offset program. The Tensas River Basin Project in the Lower Mississippi River Valley was Delta's first project with TNC and allowed the reforestation of 406.3 acres, which over time will sequester a net total of 74,177 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Delta's carbon offset program is just one of the airline's efforts to affect positive environmental change. Other initiatives include:
- Improving annual aircraft fuel efficiency by an average of 1.7 percent from 2009 to 2012, exceeding the International Air Transportation Association's fuel-efficiency goal of 1.5 percent annual improvement
- Reducing annual aircraft greenhouse gas emissions by 8.4 million metric tons since 2005, an 18.5 percent reduction – Delta's greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 to 2011 have been third-party validated through The Climate Registry, a nonprofit organization with established standards for calculating, verifying and publicly reporting carbon footprints
- Expanding its award-winning in-flight recycling program beyond the 29 cities currently equipped to participate – more than $131,000 is being donated this year to Habitat for Humanity and Delta's Employee and Retiree Care Fund for recycling rebates from 2012
- Becoming the sole airline member of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions' Business Environmental Leadership Council, a group of mostly Fortune 500 companies working together to explore energy policies that make sense for business and the environment