Continental Airlines has received an award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Design for the Environment (DfE) Program in recognition of the airline's use of an environmentally friendly, non-chromium surface pretreatment for its aircraft. Continental is the first commercial air carrier to use this technology on its aircraft, using a product called PreKote, produced by Pantheon Chemical.

"Continental is pleased to be acknowledged by the EPA for our part in using a more environmentally friendly product," said Mark Moran, Continental's executive vice president of operations. "Continental is always looking for 'green' alternatives, which support not only our Commitment to the Environment, but also ensure our employees have a great place to work."

Benefits of using this technology include the elimination of toxins and hazardous chemicals used in pre-treating aircraft prior to repainting, improved worker health and safety conditions, and the reduction of waste water as a result of the process.

"We applaud Continental Airlines for its leadership in health and environmental stewardship," said EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene. "This is an important national effort to safeguard human health and protect the environment."

"Continental's decision to use PreKote Surface Pretreatment is shifting the industry to reduce toxins in aircraft painting," said Pantheon Chemical CEO, Laura Roberts. "We commend their corporate stewardship and commitment to sustainability."

This is Continental's second EPA award. The carrier has also been recognized by NASA and FORTUNE magazine for its environmental leadership.

Continental's use of the PreKote product is part of a company-wide commitment to environmental responsibility. The airline has achieved a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption per mainline revenue passenger mile flown over the past 10 years, due in large part to the efforts of its employees in streamlining operational procedures and to an investment of more than $12 billion to acquire 270 fuel-efficient aircraft and related equipment. Continental remains committed to investing in a fuel-efficient fleet, and has also partnered with Boeing and GE Aviation to conduct a biofuels demonstration flight, planned for the first half of 2009, in an effort to identify sustainable fuel solutions for the aviation industry.

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