Winner (Large Company): Alaska Airlines
Ninth-largest commercial airline in the U.S., with a fleet of 117 Boeing 737 jetliners.
GREEN ACTIONS The airline pioneered use of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) and is the only American carrier with a 100 percent RNP-equipped fleet. RNP allows aircraft to fly with pinpoint accuracy, especially in weather-challenged Alaska, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The company created an inflight recycling program and contracts with a national vendor to collect recycling at 95 percent of the locations where it offloads waste material. The airline’s 737 fleet has also maintained the youngest and, therefore, most fuel-efficient planes in the industry. All eligible aircraft equipped with winglets, which reduce drag and improve lift, enhance fuel efficiency by 3 to 5 percent.
RESULTS Alaska Airlines’ greenhouse gas emissions intensity has decreased steadily by 29 percent during the past seven years. Department of Transportation data from 2009 shows Alaska was No. 1 in fuel efficiency per available seat mile among all U.S. carriers. The airline boosted its in-flight recycling rate from 28 percent in 2009 to 46 percent in 2010, putting it on track to meet its goal of capturing 60 percent of material that can be recycled by the end of 2011.
Winner (Small Company): Sage Environmental Services
Provider of green janitorial and maintenance services.
Julie Pond, founder and president of Sage Environmental Services. Photo by Adam Reitano
GREEN ACTIONS Last year, Sage launched Zero Waste Facilities, an effort to eliminate routine garbage services and provide a model for companies to get as close as possible to zero waste. Sage produced a documentary for customers highlighting waste reduction programs throughout the Northwest. Sage also started placing reuse and recycle stations in facilities that divert recyclables and reusables not currently picked up by municipal curbside services, such as corks, plastic cards, clothes, cell phones, batteries and medical equipment.
RESULTS Based on data collected over a five-month period, Sage has diverted from the landfill on an annualized basis: 432 cubic yards of Styrofoam, 126 cubic yards of food waste, 264 pounds of batteries, 564 electronic items and 2,232 energy bar wrappers. In addition, Sage diverts 11,526 gallons per month of fluid previously washed into storm drains.