Money Talks: The Bottom Line of Our Shorelines

Jul 21, 2017 9:45 AM ET

“More than one-third of our travel is to the Caribbean and Latin America, much of it leisure travel, driven by demand to see the unique beauty of these areas, which is why protecting the nature of the areas in turn protects tourism and our business.”

—Sophia Mendelsohn, Head of Sustainability, JetBlue

No one gains from polluted oceans and shorelines. Yet the problem persists, so how do we inspire change? Like it or not, money talks. That’s why JetBlue has converted the value of environmental health into dollars.

In 2015, we published a joint report with The Ocean Foundation linking JetBlue’s main economic measure – revenue per available seat mile – to healthy ocean ecosystems. Unsurprisingly, revenue was stronger across destinations with clean, beautiful beaches, but we needed more data to validate the model.

In 2016, we analyzed satellite data measuring sargassum, the decaying seaweed found on Caribbean beaches. By quantifying profitability risk, these insights allow JetBlue to stay sharp and foster collective action by government and tourism representatives to protect the remaining pockets of paradise.

To learn more about JetBlue’s long-term responsibility platform and to view the full report, visit