SMBC Aviation Capital Introduces Sector-Leading Sustainability Solution for Airlines

Published on: 21 September 2022
by KnowESG
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SMBC Aviation Capital, one of the world's leading aircraft leasing companies, announced the launch of a sustainability solution for its airline customers, including a $53.3 million initial investment in high-quality carbon credit programmes aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Through its innovation hub, SMBC Aviation Capital collaborated with airlines to develop an initiative to assist its customers in meeting their net-zero targets. Furthermore, it is the first major global leasing company to provide a carbon credit programme to assist airlines in meeting their CORSIA responsibilities.

This initiative will also assist airlines in implementing their ESG objectives by offering access to a portfolio of carbon credits certified by the world's leading carbon standards in the least developed countries (LDCs).

Carbon credits can be obtained from SMBC Aviation Capital as part of a lease agreement or independently. This can provide considerable benefits to airlines, including access to high-quality carbon credits, increased certainty over accreditation, and a more predictable, fixed-cost supply of credits.

The credits are based on Gold Standard and Verra-certified energy-efficient cookstove projects in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. These initiatives align with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, such as excellent health and well-being, gender equality, and climate action. A portion of the funds will also go toward local community initiatives in LDCs, such as irrigation systems and microfinance opportunities for women.

Peter Barrett, CEO of SMBC Aviation Capital, said: 

SMBC Aviation Capital is committed to playing a leading role in helping our customers achieve their sustainability targets. We have worked to understand how we can be a significant driver of the airline industry’s transition to net zero, with today’s announcement being our first initiative ahead of developing further solutions for airlines.

"In a hard to abate sector, carbon offsetting is an interim measure, however, it also enables a strong positive environmental and social impact in Africa, Asia and South America. Our industry is prepared to face up to the environmental challenge. By taking action and by working together, we can make positive change.”

With 157 narrowbody, new technology aircraft, SMBC Aviation Capital has one of the most fuel-efficient fleets in the aircraft leasing market. 

The company is collaborating with its shareholder Sumitomo Corporation to investigate ways to enhance the supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to the worldwide aviation industry, and it is also collaborating with Aircraft Leasing Ireland (ALI) on initiatives to scale up SAF production. 

It has created its own framework for achieving net zero emissions in its own operations by 2050 and has offset all of its operational emissions since 2019.

Source: SMBC Aviation Capital

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