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Airlines for America (A4A) Hires Chief Sustainability Officer: 4 Things to Know

August 15, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Airlines for America (A4A) has hired Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) veteran Kevin Welsh as VP of environment and chief sustainability officer (CSO).

Here are four things to know about Welsh and the aviation industry's sustainability goals.

1. A4F's Focus: A4A advocates on behalf of U.S. airlines -- including passenger and cargo carriers. Key members include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, FedEx, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and UPS. Also of note: Air Canada is an associate member.

2. Opportunities and Challenges: The FAA is striving to build a net-zero sustainable aviation system by 2050. Major U.S. airlines have aligned with the 2050 net-zero carbon emissions goal, while developing and deploying sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Still, the journey to sustainable aviation will be challenging, and some experts believe the aviation industry will fall short of its sustainability goals.

3. Kevin Welsh's Experience and Expertise: Welsh previously was executive director of the Office of Environment & Energy for the FAA. While there, he led the development of aviation environmental and energy policies, goals, and priorities. He also oversaw research, engineering and development projects and initiatives. Earlier, he was a director at the National Security Council in the White House.

And earlier in his career, Welsh was a member of the Environmental Affairs team at Airlines for America where he represented U.S. airlines in addressing environmental laws and policies related to aircraft noise, climate change, local air quality and sustainability.

Nicholas E. Calio, CEO, Airlines for America

4. Executive Perspectives: In a statement about hiring Welsh, A4A President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio said: "Kevin's extensive private and public sector experience will be a tremendous asset for our carriers. Achieving our sustainability goals is a critical priority, and we are thrilled that Kevin will lead these efforts at such a pivotal juncture. Kevin brings years of extensive experience and global connections which will be incredibly valuable to A4A's environment team and to the sustainability initiatives of our member carriers."

Airlines for America (A4A) Names Chief Sustainability Officer: Why Technology Partners Should Care

By 2027, 25% of Global 2000 companies will have assigned a chief sustainability officer (CSO) responsible for meeting their organization’s ESG goals and making ESG-related IT purchasing decisions, according to IDC.

Technology partners need to extend their sales, marketing, engagement and support strategies to successfully fulfill those CSO needs, Sustainable Tech Partner believes.

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