Fuel efficiency and reducing emissions

in Environment

While aviation accounts for only 2 percent of global CO2 emissions, United recognizes that climate change is a significant global concern.

2016 goals

  • Improve fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent vs. 2015, in line with the airline industry goal
  • Continue to expand conversion from fossil fuel to electric ground service equipment (eGSE)
  • Expand availability of electric vehicle charging stations to employee parking lots to encourage adoption of low-or-zero-emissions vehicles

At United we’re proud of our track record of improving fuel efficiency by 35 percent since 1994 through significant fuel efficiency initiatives and fleet upgrades, but we recognize there’s more work to be done. United is committed to the common set of goals established by the aviation sector for taking climate action:

  1. 1.5 percent per year average fuel efficiency increase until 2020, followed by:
  2. Stabilizing net CO2 emissions from aviation from 2020 forward; and
  3. Cutting net CO2 emissions by 2050 to half of what they were in 2005

These targets are ambitious and robust, particularly for a sector that is growing to meet the needs of the world’s economies and society.

United’s 2015 fuel efficiency highlights include:

2015 key initiatives 2015 fuel savings vs. 2014 in gallons 1 CO2 emissions reductions in metric tons

Weight reductions

We constantly review virtually everything on the aircraft for lighter-weight alternatives, as lighter aircraft burn less fuel and produce fewer emissions

7,111,569 68,965

Reduced engine taxi

Because of increased awareness and enhanced checklists, the reduced-engine taxi initiative continues to reduce fuel burn across all fleets

1,757,920 17,122

Engine washes

We routinely wash aircraft and engines to reduce drag and emissions

1,319,513 12,852

APU savings

Where possible, we provide aircraft parked at the gate with air conditioning and electric power via alternative, emissions-reducing methods rather than using the aircraft’s own auxiliary power unit (APU)

2,210,406 21,529
  1. Gallons savings compares 2015 to 2014

Learn more about our fuel efficiency initiatives.