How we’re making flying matter for the long term

At Alaska, sustainability isn’t just a word; it’s a responsibility. One of our core values is to do the right thing, and that means delivering for all those who depend on us – for the long term. And our efforts are paying off.

We’re honored the 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Index ranked Alaska No.1 among North American airlines for the third year in a row. Globally, we ranked No. 7 and received top scores for corporate governance and efficiency.

Each year, more than 2,200 companies included in the Index answer up to 120 questions focusing on governance, environmental and social factors. The idea is that companies that tend to all of their stakeholders (guests, employees, communities and owners) will deliver value for the long-term, not just the next business cycle. In other words: they’re sustainable.

From our Green Team, a group of employees devoted to education and innovation around environmental issues, to our flight crews who sort our onboard waste, and everyone in between – our employees are at the forefront of our biggest green initiatives.

“It takes everybody to make a difference,” says Kim Fisher, Alaska reservations call center specialist and co-leader of the Green Team. “It can be so overwhelming to think about the environment, but the truth is everything we do counts.”

Here’s are few ways we’re setting ourselves up to make flying matter for the long-term – check out the links for stories and examples:

Governance:

Our female independent board directors. From left: Phyllis Campbell, Patricia Bedient, Helvi Sandvik, Susan Li and Marion Blakey. Not pictured: Kathleen Hogan.

Governance is all about how we make decisions, what we prioritize and how we operate. More than half of our independent board members are women—and we were the first West-Coast-based, Fortune 500 company to do this.

Our directors represent the communities where we live and fly, which enables us to have more diversity of thought and make better decisions for those we serve.

Environmental impact:

Carrying a prefilled water bottle helps reduce plastics.

We make conscious choices every day to reduce the impact of our operations, through big things—from purchasing the most fuel-efficient aircraft to exploring sustainable alternative aviation fuels. We also think about the little things—like eliminating plastic straws, recycling onboard items, sourcing locally-made food and beverage items and encouraging our guests to #FillBeforeYouFly.

By focusing on reducing aircraft emissions and creating less waste, we’re leading the industry, managing costs and reducing our environmental impact.

Social impact:

From the beginning, serving people and our communities has defined us. Driven by our incredible employees, we take care of each other to build culture and community. We take time to focus on volunteer activities and donate more than 50 million miles a year though LIFT miles to nonprofit partners like Make-A-Wish, and provide career connections for young people through our annual Aviation Day, grants and partnerships with local school districts and nonprofits. While we’re partial to aviation, we believe that all young people should have a chance to imagine what’s possible and build a great career in whatever field they choose.

You can learn more about our sustainability efforts here.