Delta Striving toward Carbon Neutral Status

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) has exciting news for its passengers, investors and the planet.

The carrier’s CEO told the media on Friday that the company is going "fully carbon neutral" on a global basis starting March 1.

Delta is committing at least $1 billion over the next decade to reduce environmental impact, Bastian said. That’ll focus on clean technological investments for engines and carbon removal, he added.

"There’s no greater challenge that I know of that we need to be investing in and innovating in as environmental sustainability," said Ed Bastian.

The company, which has made environmentally-conscious moves in the past, will still continue to rely on jet fuel.

Though Bastian stressed the company won’t rely on carbon-offset programs, though it has purchased some in the past.

"Carbon offsets are not the solution, we need to be investing in projects that make a difference," he said. "That’s not really helping our planet."

Airlines specifically account for roughly 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and many have set plans to achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020. Though Delta’s announcement on Friday is the largest commitment of that scale.

Delta’s move comes at a time when many companies are reducing their environmental footprint to combat climate change.

In January, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) unveiled an ambitious green plan aimed at making the company “carbon negative” this decade. By 2050, the company hopes to have removed as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere that it’s emitted since being founded in 1975.

DAL shares docked two cents to $59.11