Lover of all things garbage, Oscar the Grouch appointed Chief Trash Officer of United Airlines
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Posted: 17 March 2023 | International Airport Review | No comments yet
United Airlines has named Sesame Street’s Oscar the Grouch as its first Chief Trash Officer in a joint celebration of his love of trash. It comes as part of the airlines broader campaign of spreading awareness to consumers of the benefits of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The Sesame Street character and his five decades of trash experience will help shows how garbage can fuel the future of air travel.
Oscar the Grouch has been named United Airlines Chief Trash Officer to promote the airlines sustainable campaign.
United Airlines has named Sesame Street‘s Oscar the Grouch as its first Chief Trash Officer in a joint celebration of his love of trash. It comes as part of the airlines broader campaign of spreading awareness to consumers of the benefits of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The Sesame Street character and his five decades of trash experience will help shows how garbage can fuel the future of air travel.
The new campaign – which features Oscar in more than 30 pieces of original video, digital, social and out-of-home content – follows the iconic character’s journey from job listing to c-suite office starring alongside real United Airline 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.† To date, United Airlines has invested in the future production of over three billion gallons of SAF – the most of any airline in the world.*
Consumers can take action too – in a first among U.S. airlines, United Airlines now shows an estimate of each flight’s carbon footprint on a per economy seat passenger basis on its app and website. Travellers have the option to supplement the airlines 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 Airline employees. The integrated campaign includes interactive social-first elements, colourful 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:
- Film Series: Across multiple videos, the airline highlights Oscar’s work in his new role, such as a “BINtro” film showcasing his first day on the job. The film is part of a series that focuses on the importance of SAF. In an additional 90-second film, United Captain Tomica Adams breaks down how things like waste can help fuel air travel.
- Out of Home: United Arline’s out-of-home content introduces the airline’s new hire in a larger-than-life format. The playful imagery features Oscar in aviation settings – from tarmac to onboard. The photos will pique people’s interest about how trash could one day help us fly toward a lower carbon future.**
- Digital/Social: Providing surround sound to the campaign, storytelling continues on social channels with bite-size edutainment videos, engaging Instagram Story features, emoji-filled Twitter threads and more to raise awareness of the SAF nitty-gritty. The social campaign will live on owned and paid social and digital channels.
As a part of the collaboration, United Airlines is supporting Sesame Workshop through a donation to the non-profit educational organisation’s Welcome Sesame initiative. Sesame Workshop will also be included in United Airlines’ Miles on a Mission, where travellers 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, Vice President of 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.”
The airline will continue to bring this relationship to life for our customers and for the communities we serve, with more to come in the months ahead.
United Airline’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050
United Airline 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, the airline 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.
The Federal Government Recognizes the Value of SAF
The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act includes the largest governmental climate change investments in U.S. history – a new blender’s tax credit specifically for SAF along with other critical incentives for clean energy and carbon capture – that will help spur an increase in SAF infrastructure and supply while lowering costs for SAF consumers.
The U.S. military currently uses nearly five billion gallons of jet fuel annually and the Department of Defence will use a jet fuel blend containing at least 10% SAF by 2028 because of the 2023 National Defence Authorization Act.
And according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the country’s vast feedstock resources are enough to meet the projected SAF demand of the entire U.S. aviation industry.
*Based on publicly announced airline offtake agreements for future purchases of SAF.
† SAF currently must be blended with conventional jet fuel to meet regulatory requirements for use within the aircraft.
** The use of SAF in combination with conventional fuel in accordance with current blending requirements results in lower carbon emissions on a lifecycle basis than conventional fuel alone. SAF is less than 0.1% of United’s overall fuel use.
Emissions, Social responsibility, Sustainability, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
Eco-Skies Alliance, Nasdaq, Sesame Street, Sustainable Aviation Fuel, U.S. Department of Energy, UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, United Airlines Ventures (UAV)