Sustainability

Making ourselves (re)useful

Both on the ground and in the air, we focus on reusing and recycling materials rather than treating them as trash.

Get onboard with recycling

We're in business to fly people where they want to go, not to transport trash. Our onboard recycling program – launched in 2013 – helps us close the loop on some of our waste. Under the program, inflight crewmembers separate bottles and cans from other waste during flights and our ground crew processes these materials for recycling at the landing destination.

Composting

Thousands of people pass through airport terminals each day, and many stop for a meal or snack. In most terminals, valuable food scraps are sent to landfills, where their nutritional value is lost and they emit GHGs during decomposition. We decided to capture those valuable nutrients so they could be reused. In 2013, we announced a partnership to compost food waste at JFK Airport’s Terminal 5, working with Dunkin’ Donuts and Jamba Juice (through their franchise owner Air Ventures) and Royal Waste Services.

Through our composting partnership with Royal Waste Services, we send thousands of pounds to a composting facility where it is turned into fertilizer and nutrient-rich soil for farms.

After collecting food waste and sending it to be processed, much of the compost is transported by Royal Waste to McEnroe Organic Farm, an 800-acre farm in New York’s Harlem Valley that produces vegetables, fruits, poultry and other organic items. In the program’s first seven months, we composted 9,590 pounds of material.

Reclaiming fabric and electronics

  • There is more to recycling than cans. Other materials need rescuing from landfills, too — including fabric and electronics (e-waste), which can create air and water pollution. To counter this, JetBlue is setting up systems to repurpose these items by donating them or helping others reuse them to make more clothing and electronics.

  • Fabric recycling - Crewmembers at JetBlue have recycled over 37,000 lbs. of uniforms, all of which were donated or reused for fabric — none went to landfills! Watch our uniform recycling storyopens in a new window.
  • Electronics recycling - In our support centers, crewmembers at JetBlue have donated and recycled nearly 1,000 cellphones. At the airport, crewmembers have safely recycled thousands of pounds of batteries, light bulbs, chemicals and fuel oil since 2010. To learn more, view our environmental, social and business responsibility reportopens in a new window.
  • We are working on establishing systems to do more! If you have ideas on how JetBlue can encourage fabric and electronics recycling, please share your ideas and let us know what you thinkopens in a new window!

Building better buildings

Though most of our greenhouse gas emissions and energy use is related to jet fuel and planes, we can't ignore the environmental impact of how many buildings we operate. Our footprint expands beyond the airports we serve to the support centers where our crewmembers work to support the daily operations.

T5 Farm

  • JetBlue is taking farm-to-air to a whole new level with an experiment in urban farming at New York's JFK Airport. On the Departures level of Terminal 5, JetBlue has built the world's first blue potato farm at an airport.
  • The urban farm produces approximately 1,000 lbs. of blue potatoes a season and about 2,000 herb plants, which are grown in recycled milk cartons using organic methods. The organic soil they are grown in partially comes from food waste collected at Terminal 5 which is composted by organic farms in upstate New York in partnership with JetBlue.
  • The blue potatoes produced are taken to TERRA'sopens in a new window nearby factory where they are processed into blue potato chips for research of new flavors and ideas. All other produce is either used by businesses within Terminal 5 or donated to local New York communities through GrowNYCopens in a new window.
  • Customers can view the farm on the Departures level in Terminal 5.
  • See images of T5 Farmopens in a new window.
  • JetBlue crewmembers volunteer each Friday to help plant, maintain and harvest produce

T5 Rooftop

  • Recognizing the calming effect of green spaces, JetBlue built the only post-security outdoor space at a New York airport. The area is free for any customer (and pet) to use.

More natural light, less energy

Pictures of T5
Pictures of Long Island City Support Center

Terminal 5 is our home at JFK, which gives us the freedom to use smart building techniques. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Strategic use of natural light, including T5's glazed landslide facade, glazing and light monitors, daylight sensors and an open light shaft allow for abundant natural light.
  • The use of fresh-air economizers with air handling units and revolving doors which help save energy and maintain a consistent temperature.
  • The reduction of heat via a light colored roof that reflects solar radiation.

In 2012, we moved approximately 1,000 crewmembers into our new Support Center in Long Island City, New York (LSC). Here are a few ways that we reduce waste there.

  • The office features an open plan design, which allows natural light to permeate into the floors. Glass fronts on all office and conference rooms in the interior of the building further increase the flow of sunlight.
  • LSC is in a building holding a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED EB) Silver certification.
  • All appliances are Energy Star-certified and the HVAC system uses high-efficiency motors with economizers.
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