Climate Action

Southwest Airlines, Earth Day Network Team Up In Support of Environmental Conservation for Earth Day 2016

For Immediate Release June 8, 2016 Washington, DC – Today, Earth Day Network and Southwest Airlines announce the results from their first ever Billion Acts of Green employee challenge. Over the course of the two week event, Southwest employees from 54 of its locations participated in the challenge and completed and logged 79,092 Acts of Green. In 2011, Earth Day Network launched the Billion Acts of Green campaign to highlight that every individual act of green is valuable and makes a difference on the planet. This year, from April 22-May 6, Southwest employees participated for the first time and completed a wide variety of green, environmentally-friendly acts, both in the workplace and at home. Employees performed simple green acts such as collecting excess shower water to water plants, using reusable coffee cups and water bottles, conserving paper as much as possible, and carpooling to work. In addition, Southwest’s annual spring companywide volunteer effort had employees lend their hearts and hands to assist with environmental and Earth Day service events across the country, further contributing to their Billion Acts of Green challenge. “Over a relatively short period of two weeks, the volunteers at Southwest Airlines were able to accomplish a stunning amount. Acts large and small, from riding bikes to work to starting recycling programs at the office, are small down payments toward the larger goal of sustainability. We believe that Earth Day is a great introduction point to the environmental movement, and thousands of Southwest employees learned something new about the environment last month,” explained Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers. In what became a competition between 54 Southwest locations, the Southwest employees in San Jose, California, claimed the top spot, with Wichita, Kansas; Rochester, New York; Nashville, Tennessee; and Minneapolis, Minnesota, rounding out the top-five. The prize for the winning city is a special tree planting at a local school, which will take place in San Jose later this year. “The Billion Acts of Green challenge helped generate a conversation among our employees, gave our Green Ambassadors something to activate and rally around, and allowed everyone to get involved with Southwest’s environmental efforts on a personal level,” said Debra Benton, Southwest Airlines’ Director of Community Programs and Engagement. Southwest enlisted the help of its Green Ambassadors, 137 employees who volunteer to lead Southwest’s environmental initiatives, to motivate and encourage throughout the challenge. From decorating breakrooms green to offering the chance to win recyclable bags for logging their Acts of Green, only the sky was the limit when it came to inspiring participation and engagement with this challenge. “We’re so appreciative of our partnership with Southwest Airlines and their help spreading the word about green lifestyles and how small changes can make a big impact. The Billion Acts of Green challenge was a success and we can’t wait to see how Southwest continues to engage its Employees in its environmental efforts as we work toward a common goal of improving our environment for the generations to come,” said Rogers.