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Planet

Strengthening Our Commitment to the Environment

Our Purpose at Southwest is to connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. It serves as our Company’s Heartbeat and keeps us mindful of our impact on those around us. Living out our Purpose means doing things right across our operation: serving Customers with a Servant’s Heart, championing communities where we live and work, and protecting and respecting our Planet for future generations to come.

For years, we have evaluated and executed ways we can improve environmental stewardship across our airline. We have efforts in place to reduce emissions intensity, manage waste, use fuel more efficiently, and repurpose materials to minimize the impact on landfills. Efforts include:

  • Partnering with different organizations including Red Rock Biofuels and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to support sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) development and production
  • Returning to service the Boeing 737 MAX 8, our most fuel-efficient aircraft
  • Expanding our Boeing order book through 2031, including 100 additional Boeing MAX 7 aircraft, which are expected to replace less fuel-efficient Boeing 737-700 aircraft6565) The 2020 Southwest Airlines One Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to (i) the Company’s environmental sustainability beliefs, plans, and expectations; (ii) the Company’s plans, goals, objectives, and initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion; (iii) the Company’s plans and expectations with respect to Employee training, development, benefits, (including post-retirement benefits) pay, and staffing (including with respect to avoiding furloughs or pay cuts); (iv) the Company’s Vision; (v) the Company’s network plans, expectations, and opportunities, including factors and assumptions underlying the Company’s plans and expectations; (vi) the Company’s initiatives and related goals with respect to global distribution system access and related alliances and capabilities; (vii) the Company’s financial position, outlook, plans, strategies, goals, targets, and projected results of operations; (viii) the Company’s fleet plans and expectations; and (ix) the Company’s initiatives and expectations with respect to fuel efficiency and emissions. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the duration, spread, severity, and any recurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, including through any new variant strains of the underlying virus; the effectiveness and availability of vaccines; the duration and scope of related government orders and restrictions; the duration and scope of the Company’s actions to address Customer and Employee health concerns; the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall demand for air travel and the Company’s related business plans and decisions; and any negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s access to capital; (ii) the impact of fears or actual outbreaks of other diseases, economic conditions, fuel prices, extreme or severe weather and natural disasters, fears of terrorism or war, actions of competitors, consumer perception, and other factors beyond the Company's control, on consumer behavior and the Company's results of operations and business decisions, plans, strategies, and results; (iii) the impact of governmental actions and governmental regulations on the Company’s plans, strategies, and operations; (iv) the Company's dependence on Boeing with respect to the Company's fleet order book and delivery schedule; (v) the Company’s dependence on other third parties for products and services, in particular with respect to global distributions systems and related alliances and capabilities, and the impact on the Company’s operations and results of operations of any third party delays or non-performance; (vi) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively implement, transition, and maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; (vii) the impact of labor matters on the Company’s result of operations, business decisions, plans, and strategies; and (viii) other factors, as described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2020.
  • Continuing the ongoing work of our Repurpose with Purpose program which diverts materials and items intended for landfills while generating social and economic opportunities for communities

 

We recognize global citizenship is not a fixed destination; no company ever truly “arrives” as an environmental steward. True citizenship demands ongoing iteration and improvement as circumstances in the world around us change and affect our business. That’s why in early 2020, we further concentrated our effort to find new ways to reduce our environmental footprint. This includes an intention to increase the usage of sustainable aviation fuel, introduce carbon offsets where they make sense,
and improve our recycling efforts inflight and on the ground.6666) The 2020 Southwest Airlines One Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to (i) the Company’s environmental sustainability beliefs, plans, and expectations; (ii) the Company’s plans, goals, objectives, and initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion; (iii) the Company’s plans and expectations with respect to Employee training, development, benefits, (including post-retirement benefits) pay, and staffing (including with respect to avoiding furloughs or pay cuts); (iv) the Company’s Vision; (v) the Company’s network plans, expectations, and opportunities, including factors and assumptions underlying the Company’s plans and expectations; (vi) the Company’s initiatives and related goals with respect to global distribution system access and related alliances and capabilities; (vii) the Company’s financial position, outlook, plans, strategies, goals, targets, and projected results of operations; (viii) the Company’s fleet plans and expectations; and (ix) the Company’s initiatives and expectations with respect to fuel efficiency and emissions. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the duration, spread, severity, and any recurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, including through any new variant strains of the underlying virus; the effectiveness and availability of vaccines; the duration and scope of related government orders and restrictions; the duration and scope of the Company’s actions to address Customer and Employee health concerns; the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall demand for air travel and the Company’s related business plans and decisions; and any negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s access to capital; (ii) the impact of fears or actual outbreaks of other diseases, economic conditions, fuel prices, extreme or severe weather and natural disasters, fears of terrorism or war, actions of competitors, consumer perception, and other factors beyond the Company's control, on consumer behavior and the Company's results of operations and business decisions, plans, strategies, and results; (iii) the impact of governmental actions and governmental regulations on the Company’s plans, strategies, and operations; (iv) the Company's dependence on Boeing with respect to the Company's fleet order book and delivery schedule; (v) the Company’s dependence on other third parties for products and services, in particular with respect to global distributions systems and related alliances and capabilities, and the impact on the Company’s operations and results of operations of any third party delays or non-performance; (vi) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively implement, transition, and maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; (vii) the impact of labor matters on the Company’s result of operations, business decisions, plans, and strategies; and (viii) other factors, as described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2020. Throughout 2020, we brought together Employees from across the Company who spent time collectively reviewing existing plans while developing new ideas to strengthen our commitment to the environment:

  • Focusing on a goal of carbon neutrality for our emissions by 2050. To accomplish this, we’re looking to incorporate more sustainable aviation fuel partners and introduce carbon offsetting into our operation
  • Purchasing renewable energy certificates (RECs) equal to the electricity consumption at our Headquarters campus, while working to develop a comprehensive, longer-term renewable energy strategy for our corporate facilities
  • Continuing our work with a variety of organizations, nonprofits, and government entities, including Airlines for America (A4A), whose work complements our efforts to improve our environmental sustainability
  • We will remain committed to improving our environmental footprint at our owned facilities and creating a sustainable inflight experience for our Customers. We will continue to explore repurposing and upcycling options for items including aircraft seat leather
  • We will invite individual and Corporate Customers to join the effort to show kindness to our Planet. Whether through volunteer opportunities or purchasing carbon offsets for travel, we want to provide options where People not only can buy-in philosophically, but do their part

 

Doing the right thing is about being a good steward of the environment. It’s a win-win: what’s good for our business is also good for our Planet. We’re proud of our environmental accomplishments and we’re ready to do more. Establishing a goal to be carbon neutral by 2050 is an excellent and logical next step, and we’re excited to continue our journey toward increased environmental sustainability.
—Tom Nealon, President Southwest Airlines

In harmony with these efforts, Southwest also continues to align with A4A in the trade association’s strategies to address the impacts of aviation on the climate. This includes aligning with industry-wide goals for emission reduction and building our own plans for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.6767) The 2020 Southwest Airlines One Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to (i) the Company’s environmental sustainability beliefs, plans, and expectations; (ii) the Company’s plans, goals, objectives, and initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion; (iii) the Company’s plans and expectations with respect to Employee training, development, benefits, (including post-retirement benefits) pay, and staffing (including with respect to avoiding furloughs or pay cuts); (iv) the Company’s Vision; (v) the Company’s network plans, expectations, and opportunities, including factors and assumptions underlying the Company’s plans and expectations; (vi) the Company’s initiatives and related goals with respect to global distribution system access and related alliances and capabilities; (vii) the Company’s financial position, outlook, plans, strategies, goals, targets, and projected results of operations; (viii) the Company’s fleet plans and expectations; and (ix) the Company’s initiatives and expectations with respect to fuel efficiency and emissions. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the duration, spread, severity, and any recurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, including through any new variant strains of the underlying virus; the effectiveness and availability of vaccines; the duration and scope of related government orders and restrictions; the duration and scope of the Company’s actions to address Customer and Employee health concerns; the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall demand for air travel and the Company’s related business plans and decisions; and any negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s access to capital; (ii) the impact of fears or actual outbreaks of other diseases, economic conditions, fuel prices, extreme or severe weather and natural disasters, fears of terrorism or war, actions of competitors, consumer perception, and other factors beyond the Company's control, on consumer behavior and the Company's results of operations and business decisions, plans, strategies, and results; (iii) the impact of governmental actions and governmental regulations on the Company’s plans, strategies, and operations; (iv) the Company's dependence on Boeing with respect to the Company's fleet order book and delivery schedule; (v) the Company’s dependence on other third parties for products and services, in particular with respect to global distributions systems and related alliances and capabilities, and the impact on the Company’s operations and results of operations of any third party delays or non-performance; (vi) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively implement, transition, and maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; (vii) the impact of labor matters on the Company’s result of operations, business decisions, plans, and strategies; and (viii) other factors, as described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2020.

The carbon neutral goal is an ambitious one, and it will take all airlines, government, airframe and engine manufacturers, and the oil and gas industry working together to achieve. It will take the advancement of technology in engine and airframe design; the government’s commitment to a modernized air traffic management system and needed infrastructure improvements; support and incentives for affordable and scaled SAF development and production; and airlines working to modernize fleets for further fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

We have a responsibility to the environment and that’s something we take seriously. At Southwest, our Heart doesn’t just give back, it gives forward, and we recognize conservation can be more impactful when we all work together for a more sustainable future. Because the People we serve and the places we call home are more than just parts of our operation—they’re at the Heart of who we are.

At Southwest, our Heart doesn’t just give back, it gives forward, and we recognize conservation can be more impactful when we all work together for a more sustainable future.

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