Want to Soar in the Skies Sustainably this Summer? Check Out Greenopia’s 2012 Green Airline Guide.

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Today, Greenopia released the annual update of its environmental ratings of the biggest commercial airlines operating domestic flights across America. The greenest overall airline for the fourth straight year was Virgin America. The greenest overall major airline carrier, Alaska Airlines, placed second overall in the study.

Today, Greenopia released the annual update of its environmental ratings of the biggest commercial airlines operating domestic flights across America. The greenest overall airline for the fourth straight year was Virgin America. The greenest overall major airline carrier, Alaska Airlines, placed second overall in the study.

Presently, air travel is estimated to make up approximately 2% of the United States’ total carbon footprint. Although this figure is dispersed amongst the over one hundred US airlines, there is still a wide variability of carbon efficiencies and environmental initiatives between these companies.

”Airlines have been very aggressive in not only trying to make their operations more efficient, but also offering up other green services such as carbon offsets and green food options on flights,” said Gay Browne, Founder of Greenopia. “We hope to see more of this as offsets in particular are a great way to mitigate some of the impact from traveling, but have not really taken off in the US as they have in Europe.”

The most improved airline from last year’s guide was United, who earned three out of four Greenopia leafs and placed third overall.

Greenopia collected data from airline annual reports and other publicly disclosed documents and measured the data against stringent environmental criteria. The criteria included fleet age, fuel consumption practices, carbon offsets, green building design, recycling programs, and organic, local and sustainable food items available on-board. Lastly, a rough life-cycle weighting by environmental impact of each criterion determined their weights in the study.

“Our Airline study is always one of the most interesting of any of our research guides,” said Doug Mazeffa, Greenopia’s Research Director. “Not only have airlines been consistently improving faster than other industries, they are also very transparent with their environmental metrics.”

The other rated airlines were American, Jet Blue, Air Canada, Southwest, and US Airways.

The complete Airline Ratings are available online for free at http://www.greenopia.com.

Greenopia employs its award-winning eco-analysis method to deliver actionable green-assessments to the rapidly growing green consumer market. Green businesses and merchants use Greenopia's range of targeted marketing methods to reach consumers making greener choices.

About Greenopia: The leading online directory for green, sustainable and socially conscious, daily purchase decisions. Greenopia provides the market's only independent rating and ranking of green services and products. Our rankings and ratings are based on our review of publicly available information and reflect our evaluation of such information. To find out more, please visit http://www.greenopia.com.

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