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Oscar’s five decades of trash experience on full display in original video, digital, social and out-of-home content that shows how garbage can help fuel the future of air travel
United Airlines today named Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch as its first Chief Trash Officer as he and the airline celebrate his love of rubbish. United Airlines’ new, consumer education campaign is designed to promote the expected benefit of using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) more broadly.
The new campaign follows the iconic character’s journey from job listing to c-suite office starring alongside real United employees.
SAF is an alternative to conventional jet fuel that, on a lifecycle basis, reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel compared to conventional jet fuel alone. SAF is being made from used cooking oil and agricultural waste, and, in the future, could be made from other feedstocks including household trash or forest waste.†
Consumers can take action too – in a first among U.S. airlines, United now shows an estimate of each flight’s carbon footprint on a per economy seat passenger basis on its app and website, and travelers have the option to contribute to supplement United’s investment in the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, a first-of-its-kind investment vehicle designed to support start-ups focused on decarbonizing air travel by accelerating the research, production and technologies associated with SAF.
“United has invested in more sustainable aviation fuel production than any airline in the world, by far,” said United Chief Communications Officer Josh Earnest. “Every airline burns jet fuel to run their business, but no airline will solve climate change on its own. So United has enlisted Oscar to help us educate the traveling public of all ages about SAF and rally them to the cause of fighting climate change. From banana peels to fryer grease, Oscar is uniquely qualified to help us explain why trash could be the treasure that fuels the jets of the future.”
Starting today, people can follow Oscar’s journey as he stars in videos alongside real United employees. The integrated campaign includes interactive social-first elements, colorful spreads in Hemispheres® magazine, and a unique film series, all of which were created to simplify a complicated topic in an approachable and entertaining way.
Creative highlights include:
As a part of the collaboration, United Airlines is supporting Sesame Workshop through a donation to the nonprofit educational organization’s Welcome Sesame initiative. Sesame Workshop will also be included in United Airlines’ Miles on a Mission, where travelers will be able to donate miles to help support its global mission to help children grow smarter, stronger, and kinder.
“This campaign provided a special opportunity to showcase an iconic Sesame Street character, Oscar the Grouch, celebrating what he loves best – trash,” said Jennifer Ahearn, VP, Global Strategic Partnerships & Themed Entertainment, Sesame Workshop. “The amazing collaboration helps United Airlines explain in simpler terms the technology of turning trash into fuel in a fun and engaging manner.”
United’s Commitment to Net Zero Emissions by 2050
United aims to be 100% green by reducing its GHG emissions by 100% by 2050, without relying on traditional carbon offsets. In addition to the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, United has launched a SAF purchasing program called the Eco-Skies Alliance and established a venture fund – United Airlines Ventures – to identify and invest in companies and technologies that can decarbonize air travel. These strategic investments include carbon capture, hydrogen-electric engines, electric regional aircraft and air taxis.
United’s shared purpose is “Connecting People. Uniting the World.” From our U.S. hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., United operates the most comprehensive global route network among North American carriers. United is bringing back our customers’ favorite destinations and adding new ones on its way to becoming the world’s best airline.
March 6, 2023