JetBlue Capturing Consumers with Carbon Neutral Approach

Flying has come under fire for contributing to environmental damage, and the industry response has been swift. Carbon offsetting programs by Delta and United set the pace and now JetBlue is taking it one step further, committing to a carbon neutral approach. And it has consumers and investors talking, while creating a host of opportunities for the airline. Social listening reveals all . . .

Carbon Neutral Business Impact

JetBlue is the first U.S.-based airline to set this goal, though UK-based EasyJet threw its hat in the ‘carbon neutral ring’ first, this past November. And its announcement was significant.

Beyond its goal to become carbon neutral on all domestic flights by July 2020, the company has also shared that it will:

  • Offset up to 17 billion pounds of carbon by investing in projects focused on initiatives like forest conservation and renewable power.
  • Begin using sustainable aviation fuel this year on flights from San Francisco International Airport.

Consumer response shows definite signs of approval:

cconsumer sentiment around JetBlue's carbon neutral news

As does the stock market:

JetBlue interactive stock market tracking

Which makes sense, as the largest asset management company in the world, BlackRock, has made its intentions around sustainability clear:

Blackrock's commitment to investing in sustainability

And it plans to direct its investments toward companies that demonstrate a commitment to the effort:

Opinion piece elaborating on Blackrock's sustainability stance

So, outside of the ability to time travel and get this done ahead of climate change week, the timing for JetBlue couldn’t be better. And looping back to the consumer impact, we see lots of opportunity there as well . . .

Carbon Neutral Consumer Impact

Having made this move first is something that will be remembered by consumers. And it may very well win them some long-term loyalty as well:

It was tagged in CES tweets, so the announcement’s release was was very auspiciously timed in that respect! There’s a focus on sustainability at the popular technology conference as well. It’s a smart way to latch on to a relevant –and extremely viral- trending event:

JetBlue's carbon neutral news released and noted during CES week

But its goodwill and good timing goes beyond that. It also acts as an effective brand health measure, as it comes at a time when flight shaming has just hit cruising altitude . . .

Flight Shaming               

Fortunately for JetBlue, its “announcement comes as consumers are increasingly focused on the environmental impact of flying. A movement known as “flight shaming” has gained traction, and Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg in August took a widely-followed boat ride across the Atlantic due to the high carbon impact of flying.”

Climate strike hashtags

So, this announcement was timely in lots of ways, that’s for sure! We see mentions around JetBlue’s carbon neutral news resulted in an initial spike in mentions, of course – and additional reverberations are still being felt almost a month later. And likely to continue, as the environment is top-of-mind in many corners:

summary metrics tracking sentiment around JetBlue's carbon neutral online conversation

Why are those spikes happening? This is where a transparent tool with easy-to-investigate results is so important.

Brands can track a trend back to its source to find out what is being said specifically, by whom – and to find the “why” behind it. This informs strategic, in-the-moment decision-making, when needed. And in today’s digital world, real-time responses are required more and more often.

Examining the small jump on February 5, for example, is easy. The corresponding fluctuation report tells us exactly why the jump happened –and who was behind it:

fluctuation summary detailing source of sentiment peak

Knowing that its good news isn’t enough though. JetBlue can use this insight to reach out to these super relevant reporters – Josh Ocampo, from LifeHacker and Jimmy Tomson from The Walrus. And this could form a piece of a wider media relations strategy.

Connecting with Other Sustainability Influencers

Following these influencers, and others, in NetBase Quid, JetBlue could see what sort of topics each is talking about in the sustainability and other related areas. This could lead to JetBlue’s media team making much more knowledgeable pitches with story ideas for coverage.

And then see who else is talking with them. Why? They’re undoubtedly connected to other notable voices in the space.

capturing other sustainability influencers

Fortunately, brands can get as granular as they’d like with the insight, so creating a robust and highly relevant influencer list with these findings would be wise. From there, they could monitor social media conversations they’re having and see what other topics come up – making those pitches (and campaigns) even more fine-tuned and amazingly timed!

It’s all gravy, really. Once you start digging in to the social listening insight available for exploration in a next generation AI-powered social listening and contextual analysis tool, connecting meaningfully with influential folks who drive the narrative in your space becomes exciting – instead of anxiety producing.

But we’re getting ahead of things, as this barely scratches its surface potential. You really need to see it to understand it. So, be sure to reach out for a demo! The next sustainability trend is heading your way, after all. Don’t get “flight shamed” unaware.