It seems that all profits fuel shareholder activism.
Delta Air Lines announced last month that it has begun a “Capital Commitment,” with the long-term goal of investing in new technologies, increasing the amount of carbon-neutral aviation fuel it uses, and “significantly” reducing the airline’s energy consumption in order to produce emissions-free energy.
For the long haul, the Atlanta-based company aims to “reach a carbon-neutral Airline” by the year 2030. On Wednesday, the company said it intends to invest “billions of dollars” on this vision.
Delta will make these pledges in response to a shareholder resolution passed by the Delaware Court of Chancery, which requires that institutional investors holding 50 percent or more of a company’s stock vote and pass annual shareholder resolutions that encourage their companies to be more environmentally responsible.
Delta acquired Virgin Atlantic in 2010. The company has since diversified its global footprint beyond the continent and has come under increased environmental scrutiny in the U.S. (references to the frequent move of climate change protestors and their small planes onto Delta airplanes in Houston in 2015 drew negative headlines) and abroad.
“Delta Air Lines is taking an unprecedented step toward making our airline a carbon-neutral leader,” Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said in a statement. “With this commitment, Delta joins a small group of globally recognized companies and furthers our strategy to continue to become the most environmentally sustainable airline.”
Delta joined the Climate Action 100+ alliance, a multi-national group of top companies committed to addressing climate change, in January 2018.