Going Green at Atlas’ Stations, Stores and Warehouses

Here at Atlas, we have a responsibility for the world in which we operate. 

Our commitment to safeguard the environment is reflected in how we manage our aircraft, our facilities and our resources by continuously striving to reduce our natural resource consumption and responsibly managing the lifecycle of the materials we use. 

LED lights installed at Atlas Station in George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH).

Recently, Atlas’ Supply Chain team spearheaded a number of greening initiatives at the Company’s stations, stores and warehouses, where maintenance supplies and materials are stored, in support of our priority of environmental stewardship.  

“As the company further advanced its ESG commitments, this project became front and center for our team,” said Althea Arvin, Senior Director of Supply Chain Operations. “We realized we had an opportunity in our stores and warehouses to reduce waste, repurpose materials, and rethink what resources we use and how we use them.”

Leading the project for Supply Chain Operations was Todd Read, Regional Manager of Material Operations, Americas. With the help of his colleagues, Todd identified and developed initial opportunities for sustainable process improvements. By the end of summer 2021, Todd developed a plan to target three critical areas to reduce waste, and reduce consumption of electricity and fossil fuels. 

“The heart of this project was strategizing how we can improve efficiencies, while making an effort to be greener,” said Todd. “We started looking at our processes in new ways and thinking about how we can handle materials differently, in regard to items being recycled or process improvements that are more environmentally-friendly.”

Mulch made from broken pallets at CVG.

Aligned with this strategy, Todd and his team began implementing several environmental initiatives such as partnering with organizations to transform old airplane galley carts into furniture and art as well as breaking down old wood pallets at our CVG location in Northern, KY, into mulch for landscaping. Additional efforts include installing LED lights in warehouses and replacing gas powered vehicles and forklifts with electric ones. 

“The work is ongoing, and isn’t new. We have always been looking for opportunities to reduce waste and to be more mindful of our environmental impact at all of our locations,” said Todd.

For Althea and Todd, the hope is that these efforts will lead to more sustainable projects in the future, not only for Atlas but for the industry overall.

An electric forklift replacement model that has started to roll out in Atlas facilities.

“As a supply chain organization, we want to ensure that we’re delivering on our commitments to sustainability and are sending a clear message to the rest of the Company and beyond,” said Althea. “We’re very proud of the work that Todd and his team are doing to advance Atlas’ ESG strategy. Understanding where and how our business interacts with the environment has an intangible value. Our expectation is that as we do our part, the spirit of conservation will become contagious beyond our supply chain and station operations.”

For more information about Atlas’ commitment to ESG priorities, view Atlas’ most recent ESG Report here.

Spotlight on Tom Vize, 747 Fleet Captain

Atlas 747 Fleet Captain and Designated Examiner Tom Vize.

The 747 holds a special place in Atlas 747 Fleet Captain and Designated Examiner Tom Vize’s heart.

“As a child, I dreamed of flying the 747 one day,” said Tom. “For me, the 747 is the most iconic airplane and the most spectacular aircraft ever built.”

Tom knows he is not the only one who feels this way. Over the years he has spoken to many pilots who shared the same childhood dream.

Tom has been with Atlas for over 22 years and has flown the 747 his entire career. He has piloted 747s carrying Seal teams, NFL players, Formula 1 race cars, boat and many of holidays gifts.

Atlas 747 Fleet Captain and Designated Examiner Tom Vize in the cockpit.

Tom has traveled all over the world to more than 100 destinations – including South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and many destinations in between. He says his favorite destination is “wherever Atlas takes me next.”

“Flying at Atlas is so unique,” said Tom. “It’s challenging and exciting from the cargo we carry to the places we go. There is no other airline that offers this kind of variety.”

Tom has many fond memories of flying the 747 over the years, but there are two that are particularly memorable.

First there was the time that Tom was part of the crew bringing two Navy Seals, along with all of their equipment from Japan to Guam in 2006.

Captain Tom Vize’s son, Brandon Eastland, during his time as a United States Army Cavalry Scout.

“We invited the Navy Seals to join us in the cockpit, and they thought it was just the coolest thing,” said Tom. “We were so proud to play a role in getting them safely to their next mission.”

The other memory is a bit more personal. In 2010, Tom’s son, Brandon, a United States Army Cavalry Scout stationed in Germany, was deploying with his troop to Afghanistan. Tom was scheduled to pilot a flight into RAM, just as his son was about to depart on that Atlas 747 piloted by a colleague.

“I was so grateful that I was able to see Brandon before he left and tell him face-to-face how proud I was of him,” said Tom.

The two were able to spend a few minutes together before the flight. While onboard, each member of the Atlas flight crew took the time to introduce themselves to Brandon and get to know him. It is a special memory for both father and son.

Captain Tom Vize (left) with Captain Joe Masone touring the Boeing factory to see the final 747s.

As Atlas takes delivery of the final four 747-8 freighters Boeing will produce, Tom is both proud and sentimental.

“To see the last 747-8 freighters being built is a bit poignant,” said Tom. “The aircraft has had a long and impressive career. It is a super reliable airplane and can take passengers and cargo anywhere in the world. To be a part of the celebration of the final aircraft is a great honor.”

Tom recently flew the first and second acceptance flights for N860GT and N861GT with his friend and colleague Captain Joe Masone. Tom piloted the plane while Joe rode on the aircraft overseeing the functional checks and system tests.

Captain Joe Masone (left) and Captain Tom Vize touring the Boeing factory to see the final 747s.

“Joe and I met 25 years ago,” said Tom. “Joe was a Captain and Check Airman, and he conducted my 747 training. Joe left that airline to move to Polar and it was through him that I found my way to Atlas Air. It was a real full-circle moment for me to fly with him on these flights.”