United Airlines employees volunteered at hubs across the company's network to assemble more than 15,000 hygiene kits that the airline is donating to charities in its hub markets and communities in the United States impacted by Hurricane Matthew. United is the first airline to partner with Clean the World, which works with hotels around the globe to prevent millions of hygiene-related deaths each year by providing soap and hygiene education to make handwashing a lifelong habit and encourage childhood development. The volunteer events mark the latest step in United's ongoing effort to reduce its impact on the environment and support the communities it serves.
Earlier this year, United teamed up with Clean the World to repurpose items from the airline's international premium cabin amenity kits and donate the hygiene products to those in critical need. United expects to divert more than 60,000 pounds of material that would otherwise go to landfills within the first 12 months of the program. United volunteers are assembling the repurposed items into thousands of new hygiene kits, which include soaps, shampoos, toothpastes and other hygiene products.
"United is committed to playing an active role in the communities we serve, and our employees around our network are working together to help those in need," said Brett Hart, United's executive vice president and general counsel. "Partnering with Clean the World enables us to help further address important issues that matter to our employees while also lessening our impact on the environment."
"The success of Clean the World hinges on the support of great partners like United," said Shawn Seipler, Clean the World's founder and chief executive officer. "As our first airline partner, United sets a precedent for other companies outside the hotel and event management industries. United's amenity kit recycling program – and the volunteer efforts of its employees – will contribute to saving the lives of thousands of individuals in critical need."
United continues to bring more sustainable products and services to its operation, from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified terminals in Houston and San Francisco to sustainably sourced coffee.
In 2015, the airline saved nearly 30 million gallons of jet fuel through emissions reduction efforts, equal to removing more than 60,000 cars from the road. Throughout the past seven years, United has recycled nearly 30 million pounds of aluminum cans, paper and plastic from its flights and facilities. The airline's ongoing upcycling program diverts advertising material from landfills while creating unique travel bags and accessories.
United recently made history by becoming the first U.S. airline to use commercial-scale volumes of sustainable aviation biofuel, which is part of the fuel on all United flights from its Los Angeles hub.