10 Highlights from Alaska Airlines’ Annual Sustainability Report

Aviation connects people and businesses, brings families together, contributes to local economies, and enables opportunity. At Alaska Airlines, we take these opportunities and our responsibilities personally. And when we refer to sustainability, we mean keeping one another and our guests safe, managing our business in balance, and improving our impact on people, our communities, and the planet we share. 

Since 2009, our sustainability reports have transparently tracked our progress toward our short- and long-term goals, learnings over the year, and the work ahead.  

Here are some highlights from our 2023 report: 

1. Operational Efficiency:

Contributing to our goal of being the #1 most fuel-efficient airline, our pilots helped save 1.6 million gallons of jet fuel by using single-engine taxi procedures when safe to do so, and dispatchers saved 1.2 million gallons of jet fuel by optimizing flight paths with the help of AI software, Flyways. We have more ahead toward this goal and other operational efficiency initiatives to continue on our trajectory of being the #1 most fuel-efficient airline.  

2. Inflight Recycling:

Flight attendants worked to increase average annual onboard recycling from 41% in 2022 to 63% in 2023 – on our way back to our pre-covid level.  

3. Reducing Plastic:

By replacing plastic cups with responsibly sourced paper cups, we eliminated the use of more than 55 million plastic cups annually. 

4. Reducing Food Waste:

Enabling passengers to pre-order meals drove a 61% reduction in our food waste compared to 2019, equivalent to 460,000 meals. 

5. Inclusive Culture:

We were proud to achieve a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2023-2024 Corporate Equality Index and score of 100 for the second year in a row in Disability:IN’s Disability Equality Index.

6. Supporting Communities:

16.8% Alaska and Horizon employees contributed their time and resources to support others, with a total of 42,282 hours volunteered in our community, and the company donated over $16 million to support community-based nonprofit organizations.  

7. Celebrating Indigenous Culture:

We partnered with Alaska Native artist Crystal Kaakeeyáa Rose Demientieff Worl to create a new special livery called Xáat Kwáani (“Salmon People” in the Alaska Native Tlingit language) reflecting the interconnected significance of the salmon— environmentally, culturally, and economically.

8. Maui Wildfire Relief:

We were humbled to help support impacted Maui residents, including airlifting over 220,000 pounds of relief to Maui wildfire zones and, in collaboration with Kanu Hawai’i, distributed 32 million donated miles to those in need.

9. Advancing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for the future:

We’re coming at SAF – one of the best opportunities aviation has to decarbonize– from all angles. In 2023, we piloted a first-of-its-kind option for individual guests to support SAF and earn elite-qualifying miles (EQMs). The program offered a sustainability-linked alternative to the year-end mileage run and supported over 515,000 gallons of SAF in just over a month (and a reduction of 4,334 metric tons of CO2e). It inspired us to expand the opportunity to support SAF to all guests who purchase a ticket online—directly in the booking path, in addition to before or after their travel.

10. Enabling Innovation:

New technology is critical for a more sustainable future, and we’re fortunate to partner with and learn from several innovative companies. One example is ZeroAvia – a leading manufacturer of hydrogen-electric engines working to prove their zero-emissions retrofit technology on increasingly larger-capacity regional aircraft like one of our former Horizon Air Q400 planes. Another is REGENT, which is collaborating through the Hawai‘i Seaglider Initiative to explore the promise of zero-emission, high speed, 100% electric seagliders for sustainable transportation throughout the islands of Hawai‘i.