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Delta Air Lines Names Chief Sustainability Officer: 5 Things to Know

July 12, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Delta Air Lines has named Amelia DeLuca as chief sustainability officer, effective August 1, 2023. DeLuca will succeed Pam Fletcher, who stepped down from the role.

Here are five things to know about DeLuca and Delta's sustainability strategy.

1. Business Scope and Scale: In its March quarter of 2023, Delta operating revenue was $12.6 billion, with an operating loss of $277 million. The results were "in line" with Delta's earlier guidance to Wall Street analysts. The next quarterly results are expected to surface on July 13, 2023.

2. Amelia DeLuca's Expertise and Experience: DeLuca currently leads Delta's cross-divisional efforts for Alliances. Her goal has been to deliver "consistent premium customer experience across Delta’s partners" She also supports development of Delta's partner sustainability strategy. Before joining the Alliances team, DeLuca was VP of sustainability -- leading the airline's enterprise-wide sustainability efforts. While DeLuca was in that role, Delta was recognized as the top airline in the ESG category by Institutional Investor.  

3. Steps Toward Sustainability: In a flight toward sustainability, Delta has been refreshing its airline fleet while ramping up to support alternative fuels. Among the milestones and next moves: The company in 2020 retired more than 200 aircraft and replaced them with aircraft that are 25% more fuel-efficient, Delta said. Moreover, Delta is seeking to replace 10% of its jet fuel refined from fossil fuel with sustainable aviation fuel by the end of 2030, the company has stated.

4. Net-Zero Deadline and Consumer Questions: Overall, Delta expects to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, though the company's journey toward that goal has faced some controversy. Among the challenges: A consumer class action lawsuit, filed in May 2023, alleged that Delta inaccurately billed itself as the world's “first carbon-neutral airline” and should pay damages, according to Seeking Alpha. The green washing complaint, filed in federal court in California, alleges the airline relied on carbon offsets that were largely bogus, SeekingAlpha reported. Dell said the lawsuit was without merit.

5. Executive Perspectives: In a prepared statement about her new role, DeLuca said: “I’m excited to lead the incredibly talented Global Sustainability team and work with the entire Delta family to build on the strong progress Pam’s leadership enabled at Delta. We have an industry-leading strategy for reaching net-zero emissions and a more sustainable future of travel, and I’m looking forward to the work of making sure every Delta employee knows how their work and efforts contribute to our journey.”  

Delta Chief Sustainability Leader: 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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