Delta Air Lines has announced it will commit US$1 billion over the next decade as part of its goal to mitigate all emissions from its global business in the future.

The carrier said it will invest in driving innovation, advancing clean air travel technologies, accelerating the reduction of carbon emissions and waste, and establishing new projects to mitigate the balance of emissions.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said: “There is no substitution for the power that travel has to connect people, which our world needs today more than ever before. As we connect customers around the globe, it is our responsibility to deliver on our promise to bring people together and ensure the utmost care for our environment. The time is now to accelerate our investments and establish an ambitious commitment that the entire Delta team will deliver.”

The company said its efforts will be focused on three key initiatives – reducing its carbon footprint, investing in projects and technology to remove emissions from the atmosphere and engaging stakeholders to advance carbon reduction and removal goals.

To reduce its footprint, Delta will focus on a fleet renewal programme, improved flight operations, weight reduction and increased development and use of sustainable aviation fuels.

Investments in projects and technologies to remove carbon emissions from the atmosphere will go beyond Delta’s current commitments, with areas of focus including forestry, wetland restoration, grassland conservation, and marine and soil capture.

Bastian continued: “There’s no challenge we face that is in greater need of innovation than environmental sustainability, and we know there is no single solution. We are digging deep into the issues, examining every corner of our business, engaging experts, building coalitions, fostering partnerships and driving innovation. We are on a journey, and though we don’t have all the answers today, we know that our scale, along with investments of time, talent and resources will bring meaningful impact to the planet and ensure the sustainability of our business for decades to come.”

Delta said its strategy will account for emissions across the business – both in the air and on the ground. To support its goal, the airline will allocate some of its financial commitment into investment vehicles, including a dedicated fund focused on achieving its carbon neutral ambition.

The carrier has made a number of environmental commitments over the last couple of years, including a partnership with Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels on a project to study the viability of creating sustainable aviation fuel from forest floor debris. It has also teamed up with Air BP to use biofuels for aircraft delivery flights and made a commitment to reduce single-use plastics from its onboard and in-lounge services.

Bastian concluded: “When customers choose to fly Delta, they should feel they’re making a statement about taking care of our planet. Our commitment to carbon neutrality means flying with Delta represents far more than a great travel experience – it’s about joining arms to create a better world.”

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