SABA's Efforts to Decarbonise Aviation

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Image courtesy of https://www.flysaba.org/

The Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) is bringing together companies like Bank of America, Boom Supersonic, Boston Consulting Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Meta, and clean energy nonprofit RMI to collectively purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certificates for the first time.

This collective purchase of SAF certificates by corporations represents a significant advance over their previous individual purchases and sends a stronger demand signal to the SAF market from aviation customers.

SAF is a renewable or waste-based drop-in fuel that can substantially lower flight-related carbon emissions. Despite its potential, SAF currently accounts for less than 0.1% of the world's jet fuel supply and is sold at a considerable premium compared to fossil jet fuel.

World Energy produces the SAF involved in the SABA transaction, which can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by 84% compared to regular jet fuel. SABA members are buying SAF certificates connected to 850,000 gallons of this high-quality SAF, which will fuel JetBlue flights this year.

JetBlue's Director of Sustainability & ESG, Sara Bogdan, stated that SAF is the most effective way to decarbonise the aviation industry. However, meeting net-zero objectives will require the cooperation of many stakeholders to improve the supply and cost of SAF. Bogdan added that JetBlue has already made notable SAF commitments as an organisation, but the joint efforts and investments of SABA member companies will accelerate the shift to SAF by enabling the airline to increase its uptake while also helping these businesses meet their sustainability targets.

Adam Klauber, World Energy's VP of Sustainability & ESG, expressed his gratitude for being chosen as the fuel producer for SABA's initial collective SAF purchase. He emphasised the significance of SABA's efforts in promoting trust in SAF and facilitating corporate actions to decarbonise aviation during this crucial moment.

To ensure that the fuel met SABA's objective of expanding the market for high-quality SAF, a competitive procurement process was undertaken, which was available to leading US and global airlines.

Proposals were required to demonstrate that the fuel complied with essential sustainability criteria. ENGIE Impact, a worldwide consultancy that focuses on sustainability transformation, provided professional assistance in overseeing the process and determining the winning bid.

When companies buy SAF certificates, they cover some or all of the premium linked to SAF, allowing for direct emissions reductions in the aviation industry as part of their decarbonisation initiatives. Additionally, SAF certificates provide the emerging market with:

  • Standardisation and transparency in terms of accounting and reporting certified GHG reductions.

  • Crucial funding to boost SAF purchases.

  • A demand signal for fuel producers to create more high-quality SAF, which can help increase the competitiveness of SAF costs versus conventional jet fuel.

SABA, consisting of prominent names in corporate travel, was established by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and RMI to hasten the path to net-zero aviation by creating the necessary infrastructure to credibly expand investment in and adoption of SAF.

After the successful completion of its inaugural collective procurement, SABA has launched its second competitive procurement process, which seeks to acquire SAF certificates over five years. This process is available to all airlines and fuel providers. It intends to raise its annual collective demand by more than 10 times compared to its first process.

SABA members will also be piloting a new registry to enhance transparency, consistency, and integrity in the emerging SAF certificate market. Building trust in the certificate system is critical to persuading more businesses to purchase SAF certificates.

To view and compare company ESG Ratings and Sustainability Reports across sectors, follow our Company ESG Profiles page.

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Source: Bank of America

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