Boeing Unveils "Cascade" for Net Zero Aviation
The Boeing Company
Boeing, in a significant move towards achieving net zero carbon emissions in commercial aviation, has unveiled the Boeing Cascade Climate Impact Model.
This data modelling tool is designed to assess the impact of various sustainability solutions on reducing aviation's carbon emissions. It is now available for public use on Boeing's new Sustainable Aerospace Together hub, www.sustainabilitytogether.aero.
Cascade takes into account the entire life cycle of alternate energy sources for aviation, measuring their effectiveness in reducing carbon emissions. It evaluates fleet renewal, operational efficiency, renewable energy sources, future aircraft, and market-based measures as pathways to decarbonisation.
Chris Raymond, Boeing's Chief Sustainability Officer, emphasised that Cascade serves as a collaborative tool for aviation, energy, finance, and policy sectors. By sharing this model with the public, it aims to foster collaboration, feedback, and alignment in the pursuit of a more sustainable future for aerospace.
Key findings from Cascade's assessments include the following:
Achieving net zero relies on minimising energy and emissions associated with the production, distribution, and storage of fuels, regardless of whether sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), hydrogen, or electricity is used.
SAF holds the greatest potential for carbon emissions reduction, as it can be used in both existing and new commercial airplanes. Given that many airplanes in service today will continue to operate until at least the 2040s, using SAF is crucial for emissions abatement.
The contribution of electric- and hydrogen-powered aircraft to emissions reduction is expected to be limited through 2050 due to the lengthy development and deployment timeframes, as well as the substantial infrastructure changes required for airports and pipelines.
Renewing fleets with fuel-efficient aircraft will have a significant impact on emissions reduction in the coming years.
Neil Titchener, Cascade Programme Leader, highlighted that the tool enables airline operators, industry partners, and policymakers to understand how different fuel sources align with their sustainability goals. Cascade aims to facilitate discussions on decarbonisation pathways and foster a more sustainable future.
Boeing announced the public release of Cascade during its inaugural Sustainable Aerospace Together Forum, a conference bringing together leaders from commercial aviation, government, energy, and finance sectors. The event was live-streamed by FT Live, and recorded sessions will be available for viewing.
To ensure continuous improvement and gather feedback, Boeing established the Cascade User Community. This working group, consisting of organisations such as IATA, NASA, the University of Cambridge's Aviation Impact Accelerator, and the MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment, will provide input on new features and functionalities.
In addition to hosting Cascade, the Sustainable Aerospace Together website offers resources and industry insights on decarbonisation pathways in aviation.
Boeing, a global aerospace company, operates in over 150 countries, developing, manufacturing, and servicing commercial airplanes, defence products, and space systems. As a top U.S. exporter, the company is committed to economic opportunity, sustainability, and community impact. Boeing's diverse team prioritises innovation, sustainability, safety, quality, and integrity. To join their team or learn more, visit boeing.com/careers.
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