Southwest Airlines Wins Seal Award for Innovation In Sustainability and Focus on Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Media Release

Award recognizes carrier for leadership in sustainability and investment in sustainable aviation fuel project

DALLASSouthwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has been named a 2023 Sustainability, Environmental Achievement, and Leadership (SEAL) Business Awards winner in the Environmental Initiative category for its investment in SAFFiRE Renewables, LLC (SAFFiRE1), a pilot project supporting the development and production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The SEAL Awards recognize and honor individual programs and initiatives that move the needle on environmental progress and demonstrate leadership toward a sustainable future.

"For Southwest®, SAF is the most critical lever we have to achieve our climate goals, which is why we're supporting initiatives like SAFFiRE," said Helen Giles, Director Environmental Sustainability at Southwest Airlines®. "In hard-to-abate sectors like the airline industry, driving meaningful progress on environmental sustainability requires every possible tool available. We're grateful to be recognized by the SEAL Awards for our innovative approach to decarbonization."

Spotlight on SAF

SAF is instrumental in Southwest's environmental sustainability plan and path to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and Southwest has announced multiple offtake agreements and memoranda of understanding with SAF producers. By 2030, the carrier has set a goal to replace 10% of its total jet fuel consumption with SAF.

In June 2022, Southwest announced its investment in SAFFiRE, a company formed by D3MAX LLC, as part of a Department of Energy (DOE)-backed project to develop and produce scalable SAF. The project is expected to utilize technology developed at the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to convert corn stover, a widely available agricultural residue in the U.S., into renewable ethanol that would then be upgraded into SAF. According to NREL, this could produce significant quantities of cost-competitive SAF.

Southwest also recently launched the 2022 One Report highlighting its refreshed climate strategy, including goals to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 20352. The comprehensive report includes information on the carrier's sustainability goals and initiatives and provides a snapshot of its efforts across its four-pillar strategy to Reduce, Replace, Offset, and Partner. To view the 2022 One Report, visit

# # #

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to (i) the Company's environmental sustainability and carbon emissions plans, expectations, goals, and projections; (ii) the Company's expectations with respect to scalability, cost-competitiveness, and the feasibility of technology, with respect to converting corn stover to renewable ethanol that would then be upgraded to SAF; and (iii) the Company's plans and beliefs about the amount of SAF that may be produced or that may be used by the Company, including by 2030, as well as the opportunity to scale beyond then.  Forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) any negative developments in any phase of SAFFiRE's business development from current concept to commercialization, including limitations on the availability of feedstock, transportation, and refinery availability; (ii) the continuation of government support for SAFFiRE's objectives and renewable fuels generally, including SAF; (iii) the Company's dependence on third parties, in particular with respect to the production, transport, storage, blending, and distribution of sustainable aviation fuel, and the impact on the Company's goals and plans of any third party delays or non-performance; (iv) the Company's ability to timely and effectively implement and maintain the necessary processes to support the utilization of sustainable aviation fuel; (v) the consequences of competition with other existing and new sources of aviation fuel, whether or not sustainable; (vi) the ability to obtain and protect intellectual property rights relating to the development and commercialization of technology to convert corn stover to renewable ethanol; (vii) the impact of governmental regulations and other governmental actions on the Company's business plans and operations, including with respect to carbon emissions, sustainable aviation fuel, sustainable aviation fuel tax credits, environmental compliance requirements, and other sustainability matters; (viii) the impact of economic conditions, climate-related conditions and weather events, fuel prices, actions of competitors, socio-demographic trends, consumer perception, and other factors beyond the Company's control, on the Company's business plans, expectations, and goals; and (ix) other factors, as described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022. Caution should be taken not to place undue reliance on the Company's forward-looking statements, which represent the Company's views only as of the date this release. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Southwest Airlines Co.operates one of the world's most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline3. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its nearly 70,0004 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among more than 126 million Customers carried in 2022. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years5 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting As the airline with Heart, Southwest has set a goal to work toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Southwest has also set near-term targets and a four-pillar strategy to achieve its environmental goals. Learn more by visiting

  1. Sustainable Aviation Fuel From [i] Renewable Ethanol
  2. Southwest's carbon emissions intensity reduction goals are compared against a 2019 baseline on a revenue ton kilometer basis [including Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 Category 3 emissions (upstream emissions of jet fuel)] and includes the use of sustainable aviation fuel and excludes the use of carbon offsets.
  3. U.S. Dept. of Transportation most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded      
  4. Fulltime-equivalent active Employees      
  5. 1973-2019 annual profitability    

Media Contacts:  
Visit the Southwest Newsroom at for multimedia assets and other Company news.  

Media Relations Team: (214) 792-4847, option 1

Stay Connected

For Journalists Seeking
Answers to Questions

Phone 214-792-4847, Opt. 1


Additional Contacts