May 29, 2013

Calling All Leftovers! Composting Program At T5!

We’re excited to announce a partnership with Air Ventures and Royal Waste Services to compost leftovers from select restaurants in Terminal 5 (T5) at John F. Kennedy International Airport.  Air Ventures, the franchisee that owns and operates the Jamba Juice and Dunkin Donuts restaurants in T5 and Royal Waste Services have committed to work with us to separate and haul nearly 300 pounds of food waste each day for composting.

Preserving the environment and creating a healthier planet is a core pillar of our sustainability philosophy.  Compost is good for the environment, reduces the amount of solid waste that goes into landfills, redirects it to become a useful product and decreases the production of greenhouse gases.

If a seagull flies over the sea, what flies over the Jamaica Bay on final approach to JFK? You guessed it! JetBlue!

This collaboration is our most recent effort to reduce waste in landfills. Rather than tossing food into the trash, Air Ventures will throw compostable food scraps into bins which Royal Waste Services will then transport to a composting facility to turn it into fertilizer and nutrient rich soil for local farms including McEnroe Organic Farm in upstate New York.  We hope to extend this partnership to other vendors in JFK’s T5, as well as other airports throughout our network.

At JetBlue, preserving the environment is a top priority. We’re creating a healthier planet through a variety of efforts.  We recently accepted Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Carbon Challenge to reduce carbon gas emissions in New York City. We also took an environmentally-friendly approach during the construction of our new corporate support center in Long Island City, adding to the building’s recognition by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) as having achieved Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED EB) Silver certification.

Since 2008, we’ve partnered with Carbonfund.org, a nonprofit organization that allows customers to offset carbon dioxide emissions generated by their individual air travel. We also offset all crewmember business travel. Carbon offsets balance out carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from a flight by supporting projects that reduce CO2 elsewhere. Additionally, over the past six years through its One Thing That’s Green, we’ve planted 1,333 trees and cleaned up nearly three tons of trash throughout New York City in an effort to improve air quality. These trees will remove 34,658 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over the course of their lives.

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September 19, 2014

Media Post Roundtable: How Climate Change Affects Companies

We are proud to have our very own Head of Sustainability, Sophia Mendelsohn featured along with Nestlé USA’s Chairman and CEO Paul Grimwood and Starwood Vice President Sustainability, Global Citizenship Andrea Pinabell  in this Mediaplanet roundtable discussion on the importance of sustainability in business. Presented here is her portion of the conversation with Mediaplanet

GREEN BUSINESS New studies show that businesses that develop goods and services that reduce the impacts of climate change, water scarcity and emissions are more successful than business that don’t.

Mediaplanet: How do you see climate change impacting your business in the future?

Sophia Mendelsohn Head of Sustainability JetBlue Airways

Sophia Mendelsohn
Head of Sustainability
JetBlue Airways

Sophia Leonora Mendelsohn: Airlines are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Scientists predict climate change will bring more frequent and severe weather events, and such episodes can disrupt flight schedules and threaten physical infrastructure.  We believe that raising awareness among crew members and customers about climate change is part of our responsibility.

MP: What do your customers say are the most important sustainability issues to them?

SM: Our customers want to know that in the future, there will still be naturally beautiful, healthy destinations– like clean beaches and national parks– to fly to. We agree. With customer support, we have increased recycling onboard and in terminals, and increased greenhouse gas offsetting to start to protect those places.

MP: How have you witnessed sustainability initiatives change within the past five years?

SM: People now recognize that business and environmentalism are completely compatible. We have invested in Sharklets – curved extensions to the wing that provide greater lift and improve fuel efficiency by roughly 3 percent on all our new A320s and A321s. We have advocated for the use of Sharklets since 2006, when we partnered with Airbus to test designs on our aircraft. Through our use of Sharklets, last year we avoided roughly 5,210 metric tons of CO2 emissions and $1.7 million in fuel costs.

MP: What is one way that your company is lessening your environmental footprint?

SM: There’s an old business adage, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” We are starting to measure and value natural resources the same way we do finances. We are calculating our waste to landfill, recycling, composting and water use. We are also attempting to measure and value the priceless– the worth of the Caribbean’s natural beauty to our ticket sales. Without this region’s healthy ecosystem, a major portion of our business would not exist.

MP: What is one of the greatest challenges you face when implementing new sustainability initiatives?

SM: Aviation has depended and changed thanks to science and innovation. Because of funding for this creativity, planes have gone from single-seaters to double-deckers in a hundred years. In the next hundred, biofuel and efficient technology will make the industry sustainable.  These need investment from governments and companies to bring benefits to consumers. Our biggest challenge is the cost and availability of biofuel vs. traditional jet fuel. We could not fly entirely on biofuels and offset all emissions without raising prices.

MP: Where is the future of sustainability going? What are some new trends that you’re excited about?

SM: Sustainability will be so woven into standard business practice that it won’t be a standalone issue anymore. What we now call “addressing climate change” will simply be risk mitigation. Volunteering, philanthropy, and social responsibility will just be brand building and protection. As social media continues to increase transparency and bring consumers closer to brands’ personalities, we’ll start to see companies the way we see people as good or bad citizens.

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April 30, 2014

Our sixth annual Responsibility Report

Last week we released our sixth annual Responsibility Report, highlighting the progress we’ve made in 2013 in the environmental and social responsibility arenas. From initiatives like onboard recycling, to investing in our crewmembers and the communities in which we live in.

Read highlights of the report below or read the complete report here.

Climate Change and Decreasing Environmental Impact

  • Climate change: JetBlue is communicating transparently about climate change. We work every day to reduce our environmental impact and are fully committed to meeting the International Air Transport Association (IATA) targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions. These include joining an industry pledge to cut carbon emissions 50 percent by 2050, relative to 2005 levels. (Want to learn more? Our CEO Dave Barger was recently speaking about it.)
  • Partnering to protect oceans: No one benefits when oceans and beaches are polluted. JetBlue teamed up with The Ocean Foundation to explore a novel approach to ocean health in the Caribbean. Destinations in Latin America and the Caribbean make up one-third of our route network, and the health and appearance of these destinations have a direct impact on our revenue. With The Ocean Foundation’s help, JetBlue is showing the economic value of clean beaches by directly tying the importance of nature to the airline’s main economic measure – revenue per available seat mile (RASM). (Want to help? Take our survey!)
  • Composting: In most terminals valuable food scraps are sent to landfills, where their nutritional value is lost and they emit GHGs during decomposition. JetBlue decided to do something different. At JFK’s T5, we began a partnership to compost food waste.  Through our composting partnership, we send nearly 300 pounds of material each day (55 tons annually) to a composting facility where it is turned into fertilizer and nutrient-rich soil for farms.

Governance and Transparency

  • Conflict materials: JetBlue purchases minerals to make the TVs on the aircraft. These TVs would not work without critical minerals to transmit signals and images. These minerals can only be sourced through mining in specific locations and not all mining and sourcing is created equal. Some minerals including, but not limited to, tungsten, tantalum, tin and gold, come from mines that engage in horrific and widespread human atrocities. We do not intend to fund these mines through its supply-chain and have started a deep audit of its supply-chain connected to their TVs and its LiveTV subsidiary that manufactures them.

Investing in its People

  • Marriage equality: JetBlue treats all crewmembers equally. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) made this difficult. For some crewmembers, this meant their partners could not be recognized as “spouses” by federal law, and couldn’t receive federal marriage benefits. Last year, JetBlue signed an amicus brief together with 278 employers and organizations, in the case of United States vs Windsor, who was challenging the Act’s constitutionality.

Investing in the Community

  • Volunteerism: JetBlue’s Community Connection program ties corporate giving with crewmembers’ passions. Through this program, crewmembers log the hours they volunteer with nonprofits and for every 25 hours, JetBlue donates a travel certificate for the charity of their choice. In total, 1,040 crewmembers volunteered 69,635 hours of their own time in 2013.
  • STEM/Aviation Education: JetBlue took its support for STEM education to the next level in 2013. By creating the JetBlue Foundation, the airline will put aviation on the map as a top career choice for students. The Foundation is company-sponsored, but independent from JetBlue. In 2013, the Foundation awarded $25,000 grants to three aviation-focused high school and college programs.

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April 10, 2014

One Thing That’s Green

On April 1st, JetBlue’s Seventh Annual “One Thing That’s Green” campaign launched nation-wide. Throughout the year, and especially during earth month, we are committed to greening our planet. This year, JetBlue is taking a different approach to green.  We are asking our customers to tell us where we should build a green space in 2014 by visiting www.onethingthatsgreencityvote.com

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It is our belief if we all do one small thing that’s green it will make one big difference in our environment.  This year we are getting involved from coast to coast in our, One Thing That’s Green mission by serving neighborhoods throughout the country from Seattle to Boston, New York to Long Beach, California, our crewmembers are taking the initiative of greening it up! With the help of customers, crewmembers we will plant trees, cleanup beaches, beautify parks and plant flowers. These events continue to help JetBlue inspire humanity in the cities we serve.

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In Boston we are happy to be teaming up with the Charles River Watershed Association for the annual 15th Annual Earth Day Charles River Clean up on April 26th.  JetBlue will also be volunteering at the closing celebration at the Hatch Shell with games, entertainment and prizes.

Our Salt Lake City reservations team will be participating in,  One Thing That’s Green with Bend in the River on April 19th. Crewmembers will be cleaning up the neighborhood park, planting trees, pulling weeds, and fertilizing the land.

And all the way on the west coast, our Long Beach crewmembers will be spruced up the El Dorado Nature Center on April 5th.

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Here at home we will also take on the initiative. Who doesn’t love to have a beautiful backyard, as New York’s hometown airline we are proud to participate in our 7th annual tree planting with the New York Restoration project in Woodside, Queens. We invite customers and crewmembers to join as we get our backyard ready for summer as we plant trees and beautify our green spaces. If you want to help make our garden look beautiful don’t miss your chance to volunteer.

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JetBlue is also getting greener in our airports. By composting food scraps instead of throwing them away, we are reusing the good parts and  avoiding the bad – the greenhouse gas emissions like methane that come from putting food into landfills.

We are looking forward to get the ball rolling and are always looking for more locations to inspire humanity. By visiting www.onethingthatsgreencityvote.com, you can tell us where JetBlue can add greenery to the scenery

 

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October 21, 2013

T5 turns five

It seems like only yesterday we were turning out the lights at Terminal 6, our first home at JFK in preparation for our big move to Terminal 5. Moving one door down the street doesn’t seem like such a big deal until you remember we were operating flights at our busiest focus city throughout the entire process. We actually documented the delicate dance of details of our T5 transition in our very first blog posts.

As New York’s Hometown Airline, T5 was designed to make sure we put our best foot forward, and show off the pride we have for our home. We carried many elements of our city into T5. You may not know that the latticed cable work holding the digital ring high atop the Marketplace is a nod to the same elements on the Brooklyn Bridge, and that the grandstands in the Marketplace are meant to evoke the people-watching steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Public Library.

The reviews of our new terminal were stellar, but we’ve never rested on our laurels, and have constantly looked for ways to improve the experience for our hometown customers and crewmembers. So today, in celebration of 5 great years, we present:

The Top Five at T5

Five of the coolest things we brought to JFK Terminal 5, and how we’re taking them into the next five years.

5. Partner Airlines and T5i

Sharing is caring, and whether you’re headed for Hawaii 5-0 or the Emerald Isle, connecting from JetBlue flights on to our partners at Hawaiian Airlines and Aer Lingus has never been easier. Welcoming our partner carriers to T5 been a great addition to the neighborhood!

It’s also getting even better! When our new expansion at T5 (we call it T5i) is complete in 2015, JetBlue customers will arrive and clear customs in our home terminal instead of Terminal 4. Connections on to other JetBlue flights will happen without needing to move between terminals, and we’ll be able to serve more international customers from partner carriers through T5 as well!

4. Tunes at T5

Even before we officially opened the doors at T5, live music was heard in the vaulted ceiling of our central marketplace with a launch party performance by Estelle. In 2009 we launched our Live From T5 concert series which features emerging artists like Icona Pop or Emeli Sandé and diverse power players like Taylor Swift, Goodie Mob, Phillip Phillips, and Robyn. These concerts are for our customers and aren’t open to the general public, so you may want to show up for your flight a little early, you never know who might be setting up on the grandstand!

Music has always been an important part of the T5 experience, and we always hear from customers how they love the set-list heard throughout the day. Now our customers will be able to get in on the act directly. We’ve partnered with Rockbot, an amazing service that will allow anyone traveling through T5 to view the current playlist – and vote on what they want to hear next! Look for the Rockbot kiosk at T5 to learn more, or grab the Rockbot app for iOS or Android before you get to the airport.

 

3. Sustainability

T5 opened with a focus on minimizing our impact. With natural lighting and airflow management to save energy (and costs) on power consumption, to using reclaimed cement for the gravel “ramp” areas. We’re continuing to look for  ways we can make a difference. This summer launched a program for composting food waste collected at T5 for use at a farm in the Hudson Valley, and next week we’ll host our first-ever greenmarket, creating a unique way for New York farmers to connect with those passing through the terminal. We’re even creating a new and improved pet-relief area with real grass and a fire hydrant (hey, everyone’s important!)


2. Airspace Lounge
Looking for free WiFi, plenty of outlets for charging, and a relaxing place to sit? We’ve got that throughout the entire terminal! – but for those customers looking for a little something more, like a business center with printer or scanner, or some plush chairs in a quiet environment, or maybe just a shower after a long shut-eye flight from the West Coast, the Airspace Lounge that recently opened near Gate 24 is a perfect haven.

Operated by Swissport, there’s no need for a secret handshake to enter this lounge, it’s open to any customer for use with entry fees starting at just $25. Sit back, relax and enjoy the oasis within the oasis of T5.

 

1. Concessions

We opened up T5 with an impressive (and award winning) selection of restaurants and concessions, and have spent the last few years listening to our customers and finding even more partners to make our customers’ experience on the ground as satisfying as their JetBlue experience in the air. With additions like Ben and Jerry’s, Baked by Melissa, WhereTraveler Books + More, or the numerous innovative shopping kiosks around the terminal, our customers are sure to be able to find just about anything they might want to grab before their flight.

Want more? We’re not done by any means! There are still a few regular store requests from our T5 customers and we hear you. We’re working on finalizing some plans for some other popular brands to join out T5 team delivering that great experience.

 

We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the last five years at T5. We’ve grown from serving 46 destinations from JFK in 2008 to 62 destination so far this year. We’ve helped more than 50 million customers pass through our doors at T5, but we like we’ve always said, we’re only as good as our last flight, and at T5 it’s no different. Just watch what’s in store for the next 5, 10 years and beyond!

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October 14, 2013

WhereTraveler Books + More store at T5: Making the terminal a little greener

 

The WhereTraveler Books + More retail store, opened in September in our state of the art home at JFK: T5. Inside the store, flat-screen televisions play Where® videos with travel tips specific to New York and information on other destinations served by JetBlue.

 

Our friends at Where designed their space with an ecological eye. Instead of selling disposable bottles of water, the store provides a water filling station that offers cool, clean drinking water for free to all T5 visitors who want to reduce their own environmental impact. The store also sells reusable water bottles decorated with travel themes for those customers who didn’t being their own. The sustainability focus of the WhereTraveler Books + More retail store fits directly with the rest of T5, where we began an innovative composting program this summer.

 

 

Besides quenching the thirst of world travelers, the Where store offers books, magazines and travel products. In addition to national best sellers, shoppers will find museum-quality books of special interest to New Yorkers and visitors alike. The store carries essentials for today’s traveler, from headphones, chargers and other travel tech devices to conveniences like healthful food items and unique gifts.

 

 

The Where store is centrally located in T5’s Marketplace, surrounded by a wide selection of shops and restaurants, and adjacent to the low grandstand where JetBlue’s Live From T5 concerts entertain customers.

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July 19, 2013

Greening It Up

Dear Variety:

It’s not just our famous customers that ask us about recycling, it is all our customers and crewmembers. Because JetBlue gives the whole can of soda and unlimited drinks, we have more recyclables than your average airline. However, recycling what comes off an airplane is not as easy as recycling on the ground. Through careful planning, JetBlue has worked around these obstacles and will soon launch an Onboard Recycling program on our domestic flights.

On July 1, 2013, JetBlue entered the early adopters stage of our Onboard Recycling initiative, creating an open venue for Inflight and other crewmembers to comment on the process and procedure. In the fall of 2013, JetBlue will take this program live on all our domestic routes.

Our Onboard Recycling program consists of two parts: one, collecting recyclables separately during the flight and two, making sure they actually get recycled on the ground at our domestic stations. The first part, collecting the material separately on the plane is a collaborative effort between our Inflight crewmembers and customers. During the cabin service, our Inflight crew will communicate to customers that we are collecting specific recyclable service items separately.

The second part is focused on what happens to the material after it is sorted onboard. JetBlue is creating a recycling network throughout our operations. In many cases, we are bringing recycling to some airports for the first time altogether. In other cases, we will be the first carrier to ensure items from our onboard service are recycled. Other airports already have a robust collection and recycling process. We applaud these airports and will support their efforts by adding pre-sorted recyclables to their system.

JetBlue is a young airline, so call us youthfully optimistic. We believe we can partner with airports and lift up waste programs across our network. We were the first airline to start a composting collection program in our hometown of New York. We are currently looking to expand this program to other airports.

We are doing our part to reduce the amount of waste we generate. For more on JetBlue’s environmental and social responsibility, including our carbon and emissions platform, please visit: jetblue.com/green

Related:
Calling All Leftovers! Composting Program At T5!
Joining New York’s Carbon Challenge
What’s Your One Thing That’s Green
Our New Environmentally Support Center

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