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Fuel efficiency and carbon footprint management

United eco-skies

Carbon footprint management and fuel efficiency improvement are critical to our commitment to operate an environmentally sustainable airline. In an effort to maintain this commitment, United has made significant investments in a modern, fuel-efficient fleet while implementing operational and procedural changes to drive fuel conservation.

Improvements in fuel efficiency

Since 1994, we've improved our fuel efficiency by more than 34 percent. United has more than 370 aircraft with winglets that deliver 3 to 5 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. In addition, United is the first airline to fly with the new fuel efficiency Split Scimitar winglets that deliver up to a 2 percent additional reduction in carbon emissions and noise over standard winglets. See all of our fuel efficiency measures and calculations in our annual Corporate Responsibility Report

Carbon reduction

We support a global approach to addressing greenhouse gas emissions in the airline industry. Together with other airlines, engine and airframe manufacturers, fuel suppliers, airports and governments, we're working toward collective industry goals, including a 1.5 percent average annual fuel efficiency improvement through 2020, carbon-neutral growth beginning in 2020, and a 50 percent reduction in airline CO2 emissions by 2050 relative to 2005 baseline levels.

United Eco-Skies CarbonChoice

United also offers our customers the opportunity to reduce the carbon footprint associated with their air travel by purchasing carbon offsets or donating their miles toward the purchase of carbon offsets. Learn more about United’s carbon offset program

Noise reduction

United works in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration, international air navigation service providers and our airport partners to improve the noise levels around our airports. Our top noise-reduction tactics include investing in new, quieter, more fuel efficient aircraft and supporting the Next Generation Air Transport System (NextGen), which includes implementing quieter flight procedures.

Additionally, in 2016, we began installing vortex generators on our Airbus 319/320 fleet to reduce the unique whistling sound that occurs at slower speeds due to wing design.

United has also been involved in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) since 2006 and was the first U.S. carrier to fully participate. You can view our 2014 CDP questionnaire response for additional information on United Airlines' carbon footprint and climate change strategy.