Maui Business

Hawaiian Airlines Issues Report Outlining Environmental, Social and Governance Achievements

December 16, 2020, 10:46 AM HST
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Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines issued its first Corporate Kuleana Report. Photo Courtesy: Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaiian Airlines today published its inaugural Corporate Kuleana Report outlining progress advancing a host of environmental, social and governance initiatives.

According to a company news release about the report, key accomplishments include:

  • lowering carbon emissions even as it increased flight operations from 2018 to 2019
  • continuing to engage travelers in cultural and environmental awareness and protection
  • bolstering efforts by its Team Kōkua employee volunteer and giving program to support communities and care for residents facing hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Hawaiian Airlines aligned its first environmental, social and governance (ESG) report with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) accounting standards, which identify four material areas of disclosure for the commercial aviation sector: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Labor Practices, Competitive Behavior and Accident and Safety Management.

“As Hawai‘i’s hometown airline – with every one of our flights touching the islands – we are committed to help mālama (care for) the environment, natural resources and culture that visitors come to Hawai‘i to experience, and which are inextricably tied to the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of the communities where our employees, families, neighbors and friends live and work,” Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines, said in the report’s welcome message. Below are highlights of the report.

Lowering greenhouse gas emissions:

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From 2018 to 2019, Hawaiian increased Available Seat Miles (ASMs) by 2.1 percent and Revenue Passenger Miles (RPMs) by 3.6 percent while reducing CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by 1.4 percent. When adjusted for the year-over-year growth in flying, as measured by RPMs, Hawaiian reduced its CO2 emissions intensity by 4.8 percent.

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Improving fuel and energy efficiency:

Thanks to multibillion-dollar fleet modernization investments, along with state-of-the-art flight programs and strategies, Hawaiian has lowered jet fuel burn by approximately 8.5 million gallons annually since 2015 – reducing CO2 emissions by 75,540 metric tons, or the equivalent of removing, on average, more than 16,000 cars off the roads every year.

Hawaiian continues to modernize and green its offices. It cut energy use at its headquarters by approximately 5 percent between 2016 and 2018 through motion sensors, LED lighting and tinted windows. In partnership with Carbon Lighthouse, Hawaiian aims to lower energy consumption at its Airport Center building by approximately 24 percent by next year, or 654,000-kilowatt hours per year – the equivalent of powering 80 homes annually.

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In February, Hawaiian became the first US airline to join the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge, committing to a 20 percent reduction in electricity by 2026.

Caring for its people, communities and environment:

Hawaiian continues to embrace its work ‘ohana’s (family) diversity and interests through various employee resource groups, including ASCEND (A Support Community for Employees Nurturing Diverse Abilities), LGBTQA, Network for Black Employees and Allies, Sustainability, Veterans and Wahine (women) in Aviation.

Its diversity efforts include participation in career events and conferences for veterans, people with disabilities, women and underrepresented groups. Hawaiian currently leads the US industry with the highest percentage of women pilots at more than 9 percent, well above the 5.4 percent domestic industry average.

In 2019, Hawaiian expanded an ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language) certification program for crewmembers and made it available for all employees. The certification, which is offered at no cost to employees, broadens Hawaiian’s commitment to honor and perpetuate Hawai‘i’s native culture.

Hawaiian, in collaboration with Raw Elements USA, has taken steps to educate guests onboard flights about the importance of using reef-safe sunscreen so that they are empowered to prevent harmful chemicals from entering the oceans. In a project with Barclays and CPI Card Group, the airline this year began producing Second Wave™ credit cards made with recovered ocean-bound plastic for its Hawaiian Airlines Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard® members.

More than 2,000 Hawaiian Airlines volunteers donated approximately 7,500 hours to social, environmental and cultural initiatives in 2019 through the company’s Team Kōkua program. From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic through November, 1,218 employees have volunteered 5,346 hours to support community organizations.

Hawaiian’s first Corporate Kuleana report, Ingram noted, “is being released as we navigate broad and unprecedented economic challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, social unrest over racial injustice, and an urgent climate crisis – all of which reinforce our focus on efforts critical to addressing these pressing issues, mitigating risk and bolstering our resiliency as both a business and a destination.”

In addition to the achievements listed in its Corporate Kuleana Report, Hawaiian, as a founder of Hawai‘i’s Sustainability Business Forum, is working with member companies in developing and advancing Hawai‘i-specific ESG metrics in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Companies are measuring their collective progress related to local initiatives via the public Aloha+Challenge dashboard.

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