We also share our LUV for the Planet by communicating with and engaging our Stakeholders in being green.
Our Stakeholders are integral to our environmental stewardship efforts, so what better way to celebrate our 40th Anniversary than to invite our Stakeholders to join us for a special conservation service project, Conservation in Action: 40 Projects for 40 Years (Tour 40). We teamed with the Student Conservation Association on 40 conservation projects in 25 communities. Southwest Airlines and AirTran Employees, our Customers, and the general public were all invited to participate in the conservation projects at each location. Projects included building trails and boardwalks; removing dangerous, invasive plants; and planting new trees. Those who gathered at each tour stop brought their LUV of the outdoors, energy for community service, and passion for the organization they represent to get dirty for a good cause—cleaning up our Planet.
One of the key objectives of Tour 40 was to bring Employees and communities together to volunteer for a project that focused on environmental stewardship. We selected volunteer opportunities that resonated with our Employees. In our 2010 Companywide Employee survey, 78 percent of Employees shared that it’s important for Southwest Airlines to invest in environmental stewardship. More information on the Employee volunteerism can be found in Communities.
“This was a great project to be part of. I was able to do this in Dallas, and it was so worth
it. We planted 500 trees. When this RV comes to your town, sign up to be part of it. It is worth your
– Jocelyn Sala, Ground Operations Safety Specialist at Southwest Airlines
“Being a part of one of the Tour 40 projects last year was amazing! Helping to clear,
preserve and clean-up Pine Log State Forest in Florida so that others can enjoy the wilderness
on beautiful trails was an unforgettable experience. Giving back and sharing with others to
achieve the cleaning up of the forest is something that our Team here in ECP will never forget!”
– KJ Rice, Panama City Beach, Fla., (ECP) Station Leader at Southwest Airlines
“It felt great to be able to give back to the community I have worked in for nearly 25 years.
What was most awesome was that our CEO was right there, picking up trash, alongside us. How many
companies as large as SWA does that happen at?”
– Robin McElroy, Phoenix Customer Service & Support Center Administrative Leader at Southwest Airlines
Tour 40 was an unprecedented effort to deliver on-the-ground conservation awareness and action nationwide and engage thousands of Southwest Airlines Employees, Customers, and other supporters in conservation service. The tour hosted multiple service days so more Customers had the opportunity to participate and make a difference. Customers who joined us for these events experienced nature in a new and meaningful way, while giving their time to care for national, state, and local parks, forests, and environmental preservation areas in their communities.
Through Tour 40, we offered volunteer opportunities in the backyards of Southwest Airlines’ airports. This allowed us to strengthen community relationships and further our positive environmental impact across our system. Our goal for the tour was to inspire volunteers with a project that not only offered immediate benefits to the communities we visited but also yielded long-term rewards by encouraging ongoing environmental stewardship, sustainability, and volunteerism. More information on the community aspect of Tour 40 can be found in Leading the Way.
“It’s fun to be offline and give back to the community,
so you can be a part of something bigger.”
– Jessica Wilson, Tour 40 volunteer1
An added benefit of Tour 40 was the visibility and brand awareness it generated for our Company. Each community on the tour recognized Southwest Airlines as a strong advocate for the environment and a Company who cares about the health of the communities where we operate and supports the interests and passions of our Employees and Customers. At each tour stop, the Conservation in Action Tour promotional items—including T-shirts, water bottles, temporary tattoos, seed cards, and reusable shopping bags—generated enthusiasm among the volunteers. Along the route, a custom-designed biodiesel RV not only transported volunteers, but also generated awareness of the tour wherever it went. In addition, the tour reached thousands of Southwest Airlines Customers and community members through the media, online marketing, and social media. Tour 40 made its debut in lights when it was featured on American Eagle Outfitters’ 15,000-square-foot LED billboard display in Times Square in New York. The billboard reached millions who would not otherwise have known about the tour.
Part of operating with a green filter is working with suppliers and vendors that share in our passion for environmental stewardship. Contributing sponsors for the tour included American Eagle Outfitters, Sony Electronics Inc., and The Coca-Cola Co. Some of our vendors, such as VML, our digital advertising agency, even took part in the hands-on environmental conservation activities.
When it comes to continually improving our environmental stewardship efforts and Stakeholder involvement, feedback is critical. We’d love to hear from you! Contact Southwest Airlines with your suggestions for going green at email@example.com.
LUV Story: Our Stakeholders Take Part in Tour 40
In summer 2011, Southwest Airlines and the Student Conservation Association (SCA) teamed up to celebrate Southwest’s 40th Anniversary by completing 40 conservation projects in 25 cities across the country. These hands-on volunteer opportunities engaged Southwest Airlines and AirTran Employees, Customers, vendors, and our communities systemwide. The Conservation in Action: 40 Projects for 40 Years initiative, also known as Tour 40, took Southwest’s commitment to volunteerism and its passion for conservation on the road, literally! An SCA team of seven young adults traveled from coast to coast in a custom-designed biodiesel RV, and with the aid of Southwest Airlines Employees and others, conducted conservation service projects in national, state, and local parks from Dallas to Detroit and Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.
Throughout the summer, Tour 40 engaged thousands of local volunteers and completed meaningful conservation work to the great benefit of local parks, forests and preserves, and other green spaces in their communities. Along the way, our Stakeholders in the 25 cities we visited supported the conservation activities. One such example of Stakeholder support happened on July 20, 2011, when Tour 40 stopped in Kansas City, Mo. Southwest Airlines and AirTran Employees, Customers, and several volunteers from VML, our digital advertising agency, came together to volunteer at Weston Bend State Park. Volunteers installed 20 water bars on a trail, removed overhanging branches on 2.5 miles of trail, and stained a wooden overlook. Volunteers completed in one morning what would have taken the employees of the park more than a month to complete.
“You enhanced the quality, safety, and aesthetics of the park. You completed 3 to 4 weeks
of work for our staff. It was great to see you all come out and take pride in your work. Thank
you so, so much.”
– Weston Bend State Park Staff Member
At Southwest Airlines, we strive to be much more than a business. We are a neighbor in the communities where our Customers live. Tour 40 allowed us to give back to 25 of the communities we serve and develop relationships with local conservation organizations.