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I’m proud of American Airlines’ belief that part of flying responsibly includes making sure we minimize the environmental impacts associated with our operations. From preflight planning to well after our aircraft have delivered customers to their destinations, we are constantly managing our environmental performance. We’re committed to safeguarding the environment by taking steps to reduce and recycle waste, conserve energy, lower emissions and preserve our planet’s valuable resources.

Our recycling efforts span back to 1989, when flight attendants implemented the industry’s first onboard recycling program. Funds raised from the in-flight collection of aluminum cans are donated to the Wings Foundation National Disaster Relief Fund, a fund that provides immediate short-term relief to flight attendants whose primary residence is damaged or destroyed by a catastrophic event or natural disaster.

Last year, flight attendants recycled approximately 14 million cans. To put this into perspective, that’s more weight than four Boeing 737 aircraft! Want to see what happens to millions of in-flight beverage cans? Watch the video at www.aa.com/environmentalfootprint. Our 2011 waste-minimization goal is to implement additional recycling opportunities across operations and facilities that will annually reduce waste by 326,800 pounds — the equivalent of the weight of a Boeing 777 aircraft.

We even keep the environment in mind through our complimentary onboard-beverage service. Java City coffee is offered to all customers in-flight, and the ecofriendly, hand-roasted blend is 100 percent Rainforest Alliance Certified, grown on sustainably managed farms.

A full airplane is a heavy vessel, and the heavier it is, the more energy it takes to get from place to place. Flying on a Boeing 767 from New York to Los Angeles? That consumes more than 7,400 gallons of fuel. An average Boeing 777 flight from Dallas/Fort Worth to Narita, Japan, consumes more than 26,000 gallons. That’s a lot of fuel!

The Fuel Smart program was established in 2005 to encourage employees to find fuel-saving opportunities across every aspect of our business. Our employees have consistently ?affected our fuel savings through many ideas that have already been implemented.

One example is the single-engine taxi. When safe and operationally feasible, American pilots use only one aircraft engine while taxiing, saving 2.8 million gallons of fuel. Thanks to another employee idea, American recently retired 19,000 catering carts and replaced them with lighter models that reduce the average aircraft weight by 124 pounds and save 1.9 million gallons of fuel annually. Another suggestion led American mechanics to increase the frequency of washing engine components, allowing engines to operate at the highest efficiency level, saving 7.2 million gallons of fuel annually.

Although aviation emissions account for only 2 percent of all man-made carbon dioxide, the same employee recommendations mentioned earlier have a huge impact on our emissions. The single-engine taxi reduces carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 60 million pounds annually. Lighter catering carts reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 40 million pounds annually, and the engine wash reduces carbon dioxide ?emissions by 152 million pounds annually. Our Fuel Smart initiatives save more than 128 million gallons of fuel and reduce emissions by 2.7 billion pounds of carbon dioxide annually.

Upgrading our fleet with more fuel-efficient jets that also offer you more comfort and amenities is one of our primary goals. Since 2005, we’ve implemented initiatives that cut our carbon dioxide emissions by one million metric tons per year. Our long-term goal is to improve our fuel efficiency by 30 percent within 20 years.

American has begun retiring our inventory of MD-80 aircraft. By the end of 2010, we had taken delivery of 76 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which are 35 percent more fuel-efficient than the MD-80s they replaced. In October 2008, we entered into an agreement to purchase an initial 42 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with an option to buy up to 58 additional 787s. The technologically advanced 787, due to begin service during fourth quarter 2014, will use 20 percent less fuel than today’s airplanes of comparable size.

We take our role in the environmental community seriously. For more information, please visit www.aa.com/corporateresponsibility to read our corporate-responsibility report and to learn about how we strive to make a positive impact in the lives of our customers, employees, shareholders and in the communities we serve.

As we continue to focus on minimizing our environmental impacts, I welcome your suggestions at corporate.environmental@aa.com as to how we can further improve. You can learn more about American’s efforts to reduce its global environmental footprint and get fun factoids along the way by following us socially on Twitter (@AmericanAir) and at Facebook.com/AA.

Craig S. Kreeger
Senior Vice President – Customer Experience
American Airlines