Air France-KLM Advances its Environmental Goals by Signing Multi-Year Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Procurement Agreements

Published on: 29 October 2022
by KnowESG
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As a leader in the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), the Air France-KLM Group reaffirms its commitment to making the aviation industry more environmentally friendly and takes a big step forward by signing the first set of long-term supply agreements to cover the SAF needs of its airlines for the next few years.

Between 2023 and 2036, the agreements call for the supply of 1.6 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel. Compared to fossil fuels, this will save 4.7 million tonnes of CO2 over the lifecycle of the fuel.

Neste is one of Air France-KLM's partners, supplying 1 million tonnes from 2023 to 2030. The other partner is DG Fuels, supplying 600.000 tonnes from 2027 to 2036.

Partnership talks are underway to add more suppliers to gradually develop a diverse network capable of satisfying global supply needs.

Air France-KLM Group is committed to lowering its environmental impact and has filed a target with SBTi to reduce CO2 emissions per passenger/kilometre by 30% by 2030 compared to 2019. As part of its carbon-reduction strategy, it plans to use 10% SAF by 2030, replace its fleet, and train its pilots to be environmentally friendly. These contracts represent the Group's first step toward meeting its 10% SAF inclusion targets by 2030 and will cover roughly three of the 10% SAF needs.

By making plans for long-term fuel purchases now, Air France-KLM helps the SAF production business grow. Because this business is currently in its early phases around the world (in 2021, SAF production accounted for only 0.01% of global jet fuel use), it costs three to four times as much as ordinary kerosene.

By increasing use and demand, Air France-KLM hopes to help make commercial SAF production bigger so that it can be used in more places by 2030.

Air France-major KLM's off-take agreements are critical to the Group's decarbonisation commitments. Additional environmental promises will be made in the next years (new SAF contracts, R&D on e-fuels or hydrogen, Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage (DACCS), and so on). 

To reach the global goal of zero net emissions by 2050, however, both the public and private sectors will need to work together. This could include incentive mechanisms similar to those already in place in the United States, most notably in California.

Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, said: 

"Decarbonisation is the biggest challenge the aviation industry has ever faced. Air France-KLM is activating all available levers to reduce its environmental impact: fleet renewal, eco-piloting, and the increased use of certified Sustainable Aviation Fuels. The contracts we've signed show that we're committed to the long-term growth of SAF production around the world, which is good for the whole industry. We look forward to working with Neste and DG Fuels, with whom we have established solid partnerships that will pave the way to the creation of a global network of providers capable of meeting our future needs.”

Source: Air France-KLM

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