The Social Impact Report outlines the JetBlue For Good pillars – community, youth and education and the environment – and highlights how the airline supported its communities and crewmembers through the most challenging time in the aviation industry’s history, and took meaningful actions to accelerate its journey to become more representative and inclusive in every aspect of its business. The Environmental Social Governance (ESG) Report outlines JetBlue’s work toward sustainable operations and travel solutions, and its sharpened focus on identifying, tracking, and responding to risks and opportunities shaping the future of its business.
“In 2020 our mission to inspire humanity was tested like never before,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and chief operating officer, JetBlue. “Humanity depends on compassion, and empathy, and our crewmembers took this to heart. They showed up and went above and beyond to keep our customers safe when they needed to travel. Despite a global pandemic, we continued to support our communities, crewmembers and the planet. With a focus on the future, we evolved our diversity, equity and inclusion strategy to support a more diverse pipeline. Meanwhile, we recognize we have more work to do in reaching our ambitious sustainability targets, so we set clear short-term milestones to hold us accountable along the way.”
JetBlue responded to pandemic-specific needs in 2020 by donating both resources and flights to nonprofits to get much needed supplies and medical professionals to the areas in critical need. JetBlue took on these efforts in addition to its signature corporate responsibility programs focused on youth, education, the environment and increasing diversity within aviation and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
Over the past 18 months, societal demands and stakeholder feedback spurred JetBlue to reexamine its relationships with its crewmembers, customers and the communities it serves, and in turn, strengthen shareholder value. Aligned with its long-term strategy, JetBlue reimagined its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy to contribute to the airline’s long-term growth by starting with a concentrating on three areas – people, sourcing and brand.
JetBlue For Good 2020 highlights –
Youth and Education
- One opportunity that emerged as a result COVID-19 pandemic was a renewed global spotlight on the importance of science. Despite a shift from traditional classrooms to virtual learning, JetBlue continued to introduce traditionally underrepresented students to the various possibilities within aviation. JetBlue and the organizations it partners with worked together to not only spark students’ interest in STEM, but also break down barriers that block or prevent underserved youth from advancing in these areas. As the efforts of many organizations to advance diversity, and racial and gender equity were severely impacted by the pandemic, the JetBlue Foundation issued an emergency granting cycle to help organizations like Aviation High School, Columbia Memorial Space Center, and the Latino Pilots Association continue their important work.
- Much like school classrooms need desks, chairs, textbooks and teachers, virtual classrooms also require resources to be effective. To help support the shift to virtual learning, JetBlue and its crewmembers volunteered more than 500 hours in virtual classrooms and activities, donated 160 refurbished laptops to ensure students passionate about STEM could continue their education from home, and engaged with 25 STEM-focused organizations via online programming, grants and in-kind support.
- JetBlue pivoted to support its community partners in creative ways and donated much needed supplies, such as blankets, pillows and amenity kits to organizations like the City of New York and its Department of Social Services to help clothe and care for the homeless and other vulnerable communities. JetBlue donated headphones to education partners, like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Broward County, to assist in virtual learning, and provided toiletry kits to local shelters. Dishware and cutlery were sent to local soup kitchens through a partnership with the United Way of Broward County, as well as local soup kitchens in Boston.
- Through its TrueBlue® loyalty program, JetBlue and its customers donated three million TrueBlue points to charities including Autism Speaks, Make-A-Wish®, Together We Rise and World Central Kitchen to assist with critical travel needs and fundraising efforts.
- JetBlue continued to take major steps in reducing its impact on the environment. Last summer, JetBlue became the first airline to achieve carbon neutrality for all U.S. domestic flights by offsetting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from jet fuel and flying with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Since 2008, JetBlue has offset more than three million metric tons of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking 652,000 cars off the road for a year, and plans to continue offsetting all domestic flying indefinitely.
- JetBlue is currently flying on SAF from two different producers for flights at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO). This began in 2020 with Neste, the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel and SAF refined from waste and residues, to fuel JetBlue’s flights from SFO. Neste’s SAF is produced from 100 percent renewable and sustainably sourced waste and residue materials.
Geraghty continued, “We’re facing climate change head-on to work toward a healthier planet, ensure our success and strengthen shareholder value. Despite a challenging year, we have sharpened our focus on ESG. Our experiences in 2020 only reinforced the importance of mitigating risks that threaten the health of our business.”
Ambitious ESG Targets and Governance
JetBlue accelerated its commitment to take critical and measurable steps toward reducing its contribution to climate change. JetBlue announced several environmental targets to help reach its goal to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040, including efforts to:
- Decrease aircraft emissions 25 percent per available seat mile (ASM) by 2030 from 2015 levels, excluding offsets.
- Convert 10 percent total jet fuel to blended sustainable aviation fuel by 2030.
- Convert 40 percent of three main ground service equipment vehicle types to electric by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030.
- Eliminate single-use plastics within service ware where possible. Where not possible, ensure plastic is recyclable.
- Maintain at least an 80 percent recycling rate for audited domestic flights.
JetBlue recognizes that ESG issues touch all parts of its business. To ensure the airline is appropriately identifying and managing potential ESG-related risks and opportunities, such as those associated with climate change, JetBlue has incorporated ESG considerations into core business functions starting at the top with its Board of Directors. JetBlue’s Board formed an ESG Subcommittee to the Governance and Nominating Committee to ensure the Board is aware of JetBlue’s ESG strategy and has a comprehensive understanding of ESG matters. JetBlue also linked, for the first time, key ESG targets to its senior leaders’ long term incentive plan (LTIP) compensation.
JetBlue For Good is JetBlue’s platform for social impact and corporate responsibility – Combining JetBlue’s corporate efforts with its customers’ and crewmembers’ passions, the common theme is Good – JetBlue For Good. Giving back is part of JetBlue’s DNA and is core to its mission of inspiring humanity. Centered on volunteerism and service, JetBlue For Good focuses on the areas that are most important to the airline’s customers and crewmembers – community, youth/education and the environment.
JetBlue believes in communicating transparently about climate change. The airline is committed to taking steps to address the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from its flights and JetBlue empowers and inspires its customers and crewmembers to offset GHG emissions when they fly. The airline is constantly looking for ways to enhance the sustainability of its travel through more fuel efficient technologies, increasing its usage of sustainable aviation fuel, and supporting the next generation of alternative energy aircraft.