JetBlue is going JetGreen.
The airline announced plans Monday to become the first major US carrier to go carbon-neutral amid growing concerns about the industry’s contributions to climate change.
JetBlue said it will offset carbon dioxide emissions from all domestic flights starting in July by investing in environmentally friendly projects around the world, such as forest conservation and wind farms.
“By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we’re preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation — and all sectors — must plan for,” JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes said in a statement.
JetBlue also pledged to start using sustainable fuel made entirely from “waste and residue raw materials” on all flights out of San Francisco in the middle of this year. The fuel has a carbon footprint as much as 80 percent smaller than standard fossil jet fuel, the company said.
JetBlue didn’t disclose the cost of either program.
The airline has previously offset emissions from flights during certain times of the year. But the expansion of the effort is expected to cancel out 15 billion to 17 billion pounds of emissions each year — the equivalent of taking more than 1.5 million vehicles off the road, JetBlue said.
JetBlue’s move follows in the footsteps of the British budget airline easyJet, which announced plans in November to offset carbon emissions from all its flights.
The shifts come amid criticism from environmental activists that emissions from planes are worsening the world’s increasingly dire climate crisis.
Teenage climate crusader Greta Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to New York for September’s United Nations summit rather than make the trip by air.
“By stopping flying you not only reduce your own carbon footprint but also that sends a signal to other people around you that the climate crisis is a real thing,” Thunberg reportedly said in August.
JetBlue shares were trading down 1 percent at $18.37 as of 10:24 a.m. Monday.