Boeing makes progress on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals

Learn more about the company’s work on “Goals Week 2021,” as outlined in the recent sustainability report.

September 20, 2021 in Environment

This week, Boeing joins more than 8,500 companies across 193 countries to shine the spotlight on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as part of “Goals Week.”

As an active participant in the UN’s “Decade of Delivery” through 2030, Boeing supports this universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and improve the lives and prospects of everyone, everywhere.

“Boeing’s support for the UN SDGs shows that every single day our employees lead with purpose and are part of something bigger,” said Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Raymond. “These goals ensure that the world is moving in the right direction together toward a more sustainable future and it illustrates that Boeing is working hard to earn trust among our stakeholders.”

Boeing is primarily focused on achieving the eight goals outlined below that are most relevant to our internal and external stakeholders and industry. The company first outlined its UN SDG support in the recently published 2021 Sustainability Report.

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

Boeing is committed to ensure healthy lives and to promote well-being for all at all ages. From workplace safety initiatives to paid time off for new parents, Boeing works to ensure healthy lives and promotes well-being. One example of Boeing advancing this goal was during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company adjusted its operations and implemented extensive safety precautions to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, helped deliver more than 4.5 million units of personal protective equipment and produced 40,000 3D-printed face shields at 18 Boeing sites.

Additive Manufacturing teams across the U.S. 3D-printed and assembled 40,000 face shields during the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured here in Mesa, Arizona, is Jared Tompkinson.

Goal 4: Quality Education

Boeing promotes inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. Boeing supports STEM education and seeks to inspire the next generation of innovators, contributing nearly $50 million across 267 grants to support STEM education and workforce development programs in 2020. Through free, online STEM programs around the world such as FUTURE U, FIRST Robotics, Newton Rooms and Soaring With Your Dream, we have introduced millions of young minds to the wonder of aerospace and technology. We have invested more than $1 billion in our employees’ college tuition, books and fees through our industry-leading Learning Together tuition assistance program and continue to do so.

Two students experience real-world aviation concepts at a STEM facility in Neu-Isenburg, Germany.

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Boeing sees the underrepresentation of girls and women in STEM fields as a global challenge. In 2020, we inspired an estimated 3.7 million young women and girls in STEM. Over the past nine years, Boeing and The Boeing Charitable Trust have contributed $232 million toward community initiatives that have had a positive impact on nearly 10 million young women and girls around the world.

The company is engaged in partnerships with community organizations to advance racial equity, promote academic success and build pathways to economic stability.

Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

Boeing is proud to be a vital part of the global aviation community that, in a pre-COVID-19 world, supported over 88 million jobs and $3.5 trillion in global economic activity per year. Boeing and its employees donated more than $234 million and contributed 250,000 volunteer hours to 13,400 community partners in 2020 to help build better communities worldwide. Boeing contracts with approximately 12,000 suppliers globally. In 2020, we spent nearly $48 billion with suppliers from 58 countries and in all 50 U.S. states.

Boeing and its mechanics work to develop a robust production system. Logan Schimon works in 737 Manufacturing.

Goal 9: Industry Innovation and Infrastructure

Safe, sustainable aerospace requires different solutions tailored to the needs, capabilities and constraints of different regions and markets. Boeing has made solid progress in areas where the company sees the biggest potential, including fleet renewal, network operational efficiencies, renewable energy transition – including Sustainable Aviation Fuel, and advanced technology in power systems and platforms. Boeing has invested more than $60 billion over the last 10 years in key strategic areas, including innovative technologies such as digital manufacturing, carbon composite materials, advanced high-bypass-ratio engine designs and other aerodynamic improvements such as natural laminar flow that reduces drag to improve environmental efficiency. Check out Boeing’s innovative firsts.

Boeing has been exploring and developing concepts for advanced aircraft that can meet specific energy-efficiency, environmental and operational goals in 2030 and beyond.

Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities  

Boeing will provide — at a minimum — $25 million to advance racial equity and social justice in our communities by 2023. In 2020, Boeing invested $15.6 million to promote racial equity and social justice programs — including funding aimed at diversifying the aerospace workforce. Boeing established an Equity Action Plan and Racial Equity Task Force in 2020 and committed to a 20% increase in representation of Black Boeing employees in the United States.

The Boeing Institute on Civility at Allen University will become a powerful catalyst for helping to promote thoughtful civil discourse. Empowering students and the broader community to debate public issues with civility and respect is an important step on the journey to developing lasting societal s

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Boeing is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25%, water consumption and solid waste to landfill by 20%, energy use by 10% and hazardous waste by 5% within its operations by 2025 (compared to 2017 levels). Boeing manufacturing, worksites and business travel achieved net-zero CO2 emissions in 2020 through conservation, renewable electricity and responsible offsets. Innovative carbon-fiber recycling at 11 Boeing manufacturing sites is set to divert up to 1 million pounds (454,000 kilograms) of solid waste from landfills annually and is zero waste to landfill at six sites. Boeing announced even more ambitious goals for 2030 in its 2021 Sustainability Report.

Osmin Rodriguez Romero, Quality Assurance, and Hope Gonzalez, Environment, Health & Safety, work to increase recycling volumes at Boeing South Carolina.

Goal 13: Climate Action

Boeing actively supports the industry’s goals to decarbonize aerospace through continued advancements in technology, operations and infrastructure, sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offsets. We have been a leader in collaborating across the industry to pioneer sustainable aviation fuels, which reduce CO2 emissions from flying by up to 80% over the fuel’s life cycle. Our factories in Renton, Washington, and Charleston, South Carolina; sites in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas; and a large data center in Arizona run on 100% renewable electricity.

Boeing achieved net-zero emissions at manufacturing and worksites in 2020 by expanding conservation and renewable energy use long before the pandemic, while securing responsible offsets for the remaining greenhouse gas emissions. This is the Wild Horse facility in Washington that powers facilities i