DALLAS, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today announced at its annual Media Day a "green plane," an innovative idea that marries efficiency, environmentally responsible products, Customer comfort, and reduced waste and weight. This plane, a Boeing 737-700, will serve as a test environment for new environmentally responsible materials and Customer comfort products.
It is a flying testament to the airline's philosophy that environmental decisions make good business sense. All of the initiatives being tested on this Green Plane, when combined, will equate to a weight savings of almost five pounds per seat, thus saving fuel and reducing emissions, along with adding recyclable elements to the cabin interior and reducing waste.
"Southwest is committed to continuing to lead the industry in emissions reductions through fuel efficiency. Efficiency in fuel consumption benefits our Company as well as the environment, and this has been part of our business model since the beginning," said Gary Kelly, Southwest's Chairman, President, and CEO. "As we look to the future, we know climate change remains of vital importance to our industry, our Company, and our Customers, so Southwest works hard every day in every area to be a responsible steward of the environment."
Southwest has designated one aircraft to serve as a test for eco-friendly products, which include:
"Southwest is proud to lead the aviation industry in environmental stewardship and honored to be working with these eco-friendly vendors and our partners at Boeing," Kelly says. "We are excited to test their forward-thinking products and expect these green products to not only help the environment, but also create a fuel and materials cost saving for Southwest."
In addition to the green plane, Southwest also announced the Nov. 1 kickoff of its more robust onboard recycling program, which is a co-mingled system that will allow the airline to capture more recyclable material and divert it from the waste stream. This 18-month process involved team work from all areas of the Company to implement the program on the ground at its Provisioning Bases and re-working of waste collection procedures in the cabin.
"The initiative by the Southwest Airlines Green Team, Facilities Maintenance, Inflight Department, and Provisioning Department was a truly heroic effort; when you serve nearly 68 cities there are often 68 different ways to implement a program," Kelly says. "We appreciate the hard work of our recycling vendor, Republic Services, and we are excited to take a very effective recycling program and make it even better."
Environmental Stewardship is a responsibility Southwest takes seriously, and efficient operations are the hallmark of our Company and the foundation of our environmental commitment. Over the decades, Southwest has been at the forefront of such efficiencies as paperless tickets, quick turnarounds, installation of winglets, and, more recently; the installation of fleet-wide advanced avionics. This focus on efficiency not only makes good business sense, it is the right thing to do. For more information on how Southwest Airlines cares for the environment, visit www.southwest.com/cares.
SOURCE Southwest Airlines