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United Puts More Focus on Environmentally Sustainable Purchasing

CHICAGO, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines is launching a Sustainable Supply Chain (SSC) initiative in an effort to better understand the environmental performance of its suppliers and deepen relationships with its key supply chain partners. The initiative underscores United's effort to lead commercial aviation as an environmentally responsible company and builds on the airline's actions and commitment to environmental sustainability.

"We work with hundreds of suppliers so it's important for us to understand the environmental impact on our supply chain, and this new initiative allows us to be proactive," said Katrina Manning, United's vice president of technical procurement. "Focusing on our supply chain presents us with an opportunity to make responsible decisions to further strengthen our commitment to the environment."

The SSC program involves measuring and evaluating the sustainability of United's current suppliers' products and operations through a comprehensive survey, starting with those suppliers in traditionally high-risk industries as well as members of the airline's strategic supplier community. United will also integrate the environmentally focused questions into its request for proposal (RFP) process. Through implementation of the SSC program, United will evaluate whether the use of its suppliers' product or services would reduce the airline's impact on the environment.

"We are pleased to launch this program that demonstrates our commitment to working with key supply chain partners on environmental issues," said Jimmy Samartzis, United's managing director of global environmental affairs and sustainability. "We will not only incorporate environmental considerations into our purchasing decisions, but will also seek to identify opportunities to collaborate with our suppliers to improve the environmental profile of the products and services we use."  

In 2014, United will seek to establish targets for improvement and begin to communicate those expectations to its suppliers.

The SSC initiative is aligned with the airline's participation in the United Nations Global Compact, which encourages its signatories to promote environmental practices throughout their supply chain. United was the first U.S. airline to join the Global Compact. For more information on United's commitment to environmental sustainability, visit www.united.com/ecoskies.

About United
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,446 flights a day to more than 370 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on nearly 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2012, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United's MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for nine consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 194 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United's parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.

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SOURCE United Airlines

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