Alaska Airlines' New Programme Promotes Sustainable Aviation Fuels Through Corporate Collaborations and Shared Learning

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Alaska Airlines is advancing sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) as part of its Ever Green environmental sustainability initiative.

Alaska started a programme to get its corporate customers involved in reducing carbon emissions by buying SAF credits and continuing to educate and raise awareness about ways to make business travel more environmentally friendly, such as by using SAF. The programme builds on a first-of-its-kind programme in the US that was started with Microsoft in 2020. The goal is to reduce the emissions from business travel by working with other companies.

Diana Birkett Rakow, Senior Vice President, Public Affairs and Sustainability with Alaska Airlines, said: 

"Launching this programme is another step toward our net zero goal and an important step to bringing SAF to scale. While SAF is imperative to aviation’s decarbonisation journey, there are multiple barriers we must overcome to make SAF commercially viable at scale. We believe these barriers are best addressed when we work together within the aviation community and across sectors. Our goals with this programme are to support our customers’ sustainability goals by providing SAF credits, to continue increasing awareness of the barriers and opportunities to advancing SAF, and to leverage the knowledge of this growing community to accelerate our collective progress.”

Microsoft, Boeing, and Washington State University participate in the programme. Microsoft has pledged to reduce scope 3 emissions from Alaska business travel. Participants will deepen their experience with the pilot book and claim systems to educate corporate customers on sustainable travel.

Sheila Remes, Boeing's vice president of Environmental Sustainability, said: 

"We are proud to build on our long-standing partnership with Alaska, along with other corporate and academic leaders like Microsoft and WSU, to help catalyse the scaling of sustainable aviation fuel. We will need a 700-1,000 fold increase in the amount of SAF if we are to meet the industry’s commitment to net zero by 2050, and partnerships and new ideas like these are critical to meeting that goal.”

Alaska's programme includes Boeing and Washington State University as aviation and academic value chain partners to share sustainable business travel knowledge and innovations with corporate participants. Collectively, the participants will improve sustainability in business travel, increase education and awareness, and identify and act upon opportunities for collective action.

Kirk Schulz, president of WSU, said: 

"WSU has long been a national leader in climate and sustainability research, including in the development and adoption of SAF. We look forward to supporting this coalition of forward-looking companies committed to decarbonising air travel.”

SAF accounts for less than 1% of overall fuel use, but it's a safe, verified fuel that meets all jet fuel criteria and can reduce carbon emissions by 80%. Through the programme, Alaska aims to address feedstock accessibility, facilities, transportation and storage, pricing, engine infrastructure, and operation and consumer demand. Participants may also discuss travel sustainability.

Alaska declared last year its commitment and five-part pathway to decrease carbon emissions to net-zero by 2040, with SAF as the greatest significant opportunity over the next few decades. Alaska has 2025 goals for carbon, waste, and water.

Source: Alaska Airlines

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