Case study JetBlue

Flying ahead on TCFD reporting

The US airline, JetBlue, is leading by example on TCFD and SASB aligned reporting

Striving for better sustainability reporting

In 2016 JetBlue became the first airline and one of the first US publicly traded companies to incorporate SASB and TCFD disclosures into their Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) reporting.

SASB standards are industry-specific disclosures of ESG issues that affect financial performance. The Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) is a set of recommendations to assist companies to better identify, manage and disclose climate-related risks and opportunities for their investors and stakeholders. Over 500 organizations worldwide, many of them investors, have endorsed these recommendations. Companies are facing growing pressure from the investment community to better account for the risks of climate change. However, companies are still struggling with how they should implement the TCFD and what is expected of them.

Therefore in 2016, JetBlue were leading the way, not just among their industry, but within the wider business community. By 2018 they were already looking to take this progress and make substantial improvements. The EcoAct team is proud to have partnered with JetBlue on this initiative.

Founded at JFK in 1999, JetBlue is now an award-winning travel company. With a strong ambition for the future, it faces the challenges of climate and sustainability head on and strives to lead and innovate not just within the travel industry itself, but in its environmental practices and sustainability reporting.

Circle sky;

Adopting the recommendations of the TCFD is a challenge for any business. However, JetBlue have gotten their TCFD reporting off the ground early, to learn by doing and continually strive for improvements, as the TCFD itself advises.

William Theisen, CEO, EcoAct USA

Improving quality and alignment

JetBlue specifically wanted to maximize both the quality of its disclosures and the alignment between the two reporting standards in their 2018 ESG report. We were able to combine our expertise in SASB and TCFD, and experience in business sustainability to help the airline succeed in their goal. A gap analysis against both the reporting recommendations and their sustainability activities was able to highlight areas where more information or additional strategic measures were needed. This gave the company a clearer view on where they need to focus and what other information they needed to gather. However, we often find that businesses are doing more that counts towards TCFD disclosures than they realize, and the gap analysis identified that JetBlue was already doing more within their business activities than was being including in their disclosures revealing the existing potential for immediate reporting improvements. The company’s footprint was calculated by the EcoAct team, who also supported JetBlue in achieving third party verification. This ensured accuracy of the data being included in the report and improved the quality of their outputs. The 2018 ESG Report was then drafted, moving from two separate disclosures to a combined TCFD & SASB report, integrating the major requirements of the two. The report was structured around the 4 TCFD focus areas: Strategy, Governance, Risk Management and Metrics & Targets, ensuring that guidelines were being covered and that the data required was both as streamlined as possible and clear to any interested stakeholders. To provide clear signposting for this alignment a disclosure matrix was created and placed at the back of the report showing very clearly which parts of the report correspond with specific standards and requirements of TCFD and SASB, whilst also making it easy for stakeholders to find the exact information they are looking for. Adopting the recommendations of the TCFD is a challenge for any business. However, JetBlue have gotten their TCFD reporting off the ground early, to learn by doing and continually strive for improvements (as the TCFD itself advises). The new ESG report has now been released documenting the impressive strategic approach to risk management and innovation at JetBlue. Find out how JetBlue is flying ahead with their TCFD reporting by accessing their brand-new report here.

The result

  • An updated and verified company footprint
  • A new and more integrated sustainability report
  • Improved disclosures incorporating both SASB and TCFD guidelines