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Don’t Pinch—Top 10 Ways Southwest Goes Green

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As you can imagine, as an airline, it’s not easy being Green.  But, we are always looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment and use our resources responsibly. 

Here are our top 10 reasons why you shouldn’t pinch the next Southwest Employee you see OR the next LUV jet you fly on because here’s how Southwest goes Green:

10.          Purchasing Renewable Energy | To power Southwest Airlines-controlled Dallas and Houston facilities, we’re continuing our five-year commitment to purchase 30 percent renewable energy credits, making Southwest one of the EPA’s Green Power Leaders.   

9.            Electric Ground Support | On the ground, we continued our electric GSE conversion program and now have nearly 1,100 GSE in our fleet that use cleaner-burning technology. We also announced our commitment to enter new markets with electric belt loaders and baggage tractors.

8.            Community Garden | Currently, volunteers regularly cultivate the Community Garden at Headquarters, which has now grown to include 2,500 square feet and uses compostable waste from The Landing café. This past season, the Team harvested an array of fruits and vegetables, which were donated to a local Dallas food bank.

7.            Partnering with Green Suppliers | The suppliers we select must share our high standards of efficiency and desire to provide Green products and services.

6.            Co-Mingled Recycling | As a result of our ongoing environmental stewardship commitment, we have diverted nearly 7,000 tons of material from landfills and into recycling facilities since August 2008 with our co-mingled recycling program.  That’s equal to the weight of nearly 165 Boeing 737-700 aircraft. 

5.            Green Team | Comprised of Employees from every operating group, the Green Team helps collect, share, and implement our environmentally responsible ideas and initiatives and help Southwest put a Green filter on business decisions.

4.            Green Ambassadors | Our Green Ambassadors  across our System support the Green Team’s efforts and help to foster and grow environmental stewardship in the cities we serve. They promote our mission to operate with a Green filter in these communities by sharing eco-friendly ideas, leading volunteer activities, and hosting green events.

3.            Evolve: The New Southwest Interior | On Jan. 19, 2012, Southwest introduced a new sleek cabin experience to improve Customer service, improve fleet efficiency, and give back to the environment.  The cabin update on Southwest’s 737-700s and new 737-800s joining the Southwest fleet in April feature durable and environmentally responsible products that reduce waste and create a weight savings of 635 pounds.       

2.            Volunteerism | We are committed to doing our part to Protect the Planet and its natural habitats by partnering with organizations like the National Wildlife Refuge Association and the Student Conservation Association to take service projects to the backyards of our Employees’ work locations. 

1.            Operating with a Green Filter | Our Green filter is evident in our environmental programs, education and outreach efforts, and stakeholder involvement.  For us, it’s more than just doing the right thing.  Environmentally responsible decisions make good business sense.

Other than wearing something Green to avoid that St. Patty’s pinch, what are you doing to be Green and give back to the environment where you work and live?  Let us know by e-mailing green@wnco.com or by commenting below.  DING!  You are now free to be Green!