Commitment to environmental responsibility

In 2022 we further renewed our focus on sustainability within our operations, strengthening cross-functional teams and standing up initiatives intent on driving sustainable operations while maintaining efficiencies across the business.

We are testing new sustainability opportunities by initiating pilot projects and evaluating impacts with the aim to scale up across our network. And we are doubling down on our stakeholder engagement efforts, collaborating with both external partners and internal stakeholder groups to support sustainability.

Electrifying our Ground Support Equipment

United continues to make significant progress in the electrification of ground service equipment (GSE) across our hubs and stations. As of March 2023, 34% of United’s system wide motorized GSE was electric powered (eGSE) representing a total of nearly 4,200 units. Electrifying our fleet is integral to achieving our long-term sustainability goals, and we remain committed to strategically addressing the GHG emissions from our ground operations. Notably, in early 2023 United took delivery of two Goldhofer AST-E Phoenix electric towbarless tractors for use at LAX. We are the first airline in North America to own and operate such equipment.

Waste Management, Recycling and Landfill Diversion

We continue to seek opportunities to divert waste from landfill, as well as reduce, reuse and recycle where possible. In 2022 we reduced our total waste by over 6000 tons and improved our annual recycling total by more than 1000 tons, diverting waste from landfills. We actively work with our vendors and partners to identify alternatives and will continue to focus on driving down our waste footprint.

In 2022, United partnered with Bag 2 Life, an upcycling company in Germany which takes unusable life vest materials to make new consumer products available for purchase in our United Shops in 2023. Further, United partnered with LooptWorks to repurpose leather seat backs and bottoms from first-class cabins from the Boeing 757 retrofits into backpacks, duffel bags and tote bags. Upcycling material from over 700 seat bottoms, approximately 900 seat backs, and over 1000 headrests conserved 3,436,125 gallons of water and resulted in neatly 813 pounds of landfill avoidance.

In 2022, United also expanded its partnership with Good360, a non-profit organization that finds innovative ways to reuse unwanted items. Through the partnership unopened items from amenities kits were collected repurposed and distributed to charity.

Paper baled
Trash dump

Vendor-provided waste management Data1


Total Tons

Recycling Tons

Landfill Tons

Trees Saved

GHG Emissions Saved: MtCO2e

Water Saved: M-Gal

K-Electricity Saved: K/Kw-Hr

















2022 Tons

Waste – Total


Hazardous and Non-Hazardous Waste


Municipal Waste - Catering


Total - Recycled


Non-Catering - Recycled


Catering - Recycled


Reducing our Noise Footprint

United is committed to working with a variety of stakeholders, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), international air navigation service providers and our airport partners to improve the noise levels surrounding our airports.

Our United Next aircraft order is expected to reduce noise at the airports we serve. For example, the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft is designed to be 40% quieter than the previous generation of 737s. Further, our investments in electric aircraft, such as Archer Aviation, promote technologies expected to reduce our noise profile where in service.


  1. Total data has been provided by a third-party vendor and is not representative of company wide data.