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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 02-Sep-2021

Analysis

oneworld alliance outlines path to net zero emissions by 2050

Denver International Airport announces five year sustainability initiatives plan

Charles M Schulz - Sonoma County Airport joins Good Traveller Programme

New European Partnership for Clean Aviation to launch in late 2021

Mitsubishi Power to participate in commercial scale SAF consortium in Japan

This CAPA report features a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news, selected from the 300+ news alerts published daily by CAPA. For more information, please contact us.

oneworld alliance outlines path to net zero emissions by 2050

oneworld published (31-Aug-2021) an outline of the alliance's path to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, reiterating its commitment to sustainability across its 14 member airlines.

oneworld stated its member airlines will reach the target through various initiatives, including fleet modernisation, improvements in operation efficiencies, advancing the use of sustainable aviation fuel certified by ICAO-approved schemes, and carbon offsets and removals.

Member airlines are actively collaborating on several environment and sustainability initiatives, through the oneworld Environment and Sustainability Board chaired by Jonathon Counsell, group head of sustainability at IAG, with details to be announced in course. [more - original PR]

Original report: oneworld outlines path to net zero emissions by 2050

The oneworld® Alliance has outlined its path to achieving net zero emissions by 2050, reiterating its commitment to sustainability across the alliance’s 14 member airlines.

The initial oneworld carbon roadmap unveiled today illustrates how the alliance will meet its net zero emissions target that was first announced in September 2020, establishing oneworld as the first global airline alliance to commit to a common carbon neutrality goal. oneworld member airlines will reach the target through various initiatives, including fleet modernisation, improvements in operation efficiencies, advancing the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certified by ICAO-approved schemes, and carbon offsets and removals.

On behalf of member airlines, oneworld is calling on government and industry stakeholders for their support and partnership in decarbonising aviation. As aircraft technology evolves and the availability of SAF continues to develop, the roadmap will be updated to reflect the alliance’s approach towards reaching its net zero emissions target by 2050.

oneworld member airlines are actively collaborating on several environment and sustainability initiatives, through the oneworld Environment and Sustainability Board chaired by Jonathon Counsell, Group Head of Sustainability at IAG (the parent of oneworld member airlines British Airways and Iberia). Details on these initiatives will be announced in due course.

oneworld Alliance Chairman and Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “It’s an honour to reaffirm our commitment and leadership to tackle climate change. Even as we continue to navigate through the complexities of the pandemic, outlining our ‘path to net zero emissions by 2050’, demonstrates that we remain steadfast with our responsibility to care for the environment and promote a sustainable air transport. Today, oneworld establishes another milestone and call to all the industry stakeholders and governments to play their role and collaborate with airlines; we need a strong commitment to improve airspace inefficiency, incentivise the commercial use of recognised sustainable aviation fuels and accelerate the development of new propulsion and airframe technologies. Now is the time for industry and governments to work together towards our shared climate goals.”

oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said: “The carbon roadmap that we have released today demonstrates our alliance’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Despite the uncertainty faced by the industry, we remain focused on playing our part in reducing emissions. We are thankful to our member airlines for their support and to IAG for their leadership in this important collaboration and look forward to our continuing partnership in advancing sustainability.”

Several oneworld member airlines have continued to prioritise environmental sustainability initiatives, furthering their commitment to reducing emissions. For example:

·  Alaska Airlines, which joined oneworld as its newest member in March 2021, has announced a commitment to net zero emissions by 2040.

·  American Airlines has committed to set an intermediate, science-based target for reducing emissions by 2035.

 ·  IAG (parent of British Airways and Iberia) plans to power 10% of its flights with SAF by 2030 and has extended its net zero emissions target to its supply chain.

·  Cathay Pacific has pledged to cut their ground emissions by 32% from their 2018 baseline before the end of 2030, through enhancing energy-saving measures and exploring renewable energy options in its premises and ground operations as part of its net-zero carbon emissions commitment.

·  Finnair is committed to carbon neutrality by 2045 and to halving its net emissions by 2025 from 2019 levels.

·  Japan Airlines committed to use SAF at 10% of its total fuel consumption, reducing total emissions in 2030 by 10% compared to 2019.

· The Qantas Group has committed to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and investing A$50 million in developing a sustainable aviation fuel industry.

·  Qatar Airways has further enhanced environmental sustainability education for its employees, including engaging with IATA on additional sustainability training.

·  S7 Airlines recently launched its Green Steps edutainment programme. It includes short lessons in the S7 Airlines mobile app on how to make travel more environmentally friendly and users could earn S7 Priority miles when they pass tests after lessons. S7 Airlines uses blankets on board which are made from recycled plastic bottles and has reduced the packaging for business-class travel kits.

·  SriLankan Airlines is continuing its sustainability commitments through its aviation fuel efficiency enhancement programme, conservation through education programme and waste upcycling project.

Denver International Airport announces five year sustainability initiatives plan

Denver International Airport announced (31-Aug-2021) a five year sustainability initiatives plan in response to growing climate change concerns and recent wildfire-related air quality challenges in Colorado.

The airport plans to undergo the following infrastructure projects:

  • Accelerating existing plans to permanently cease oil and gas operations at the airport by plugging the wells which have been inactive since 2018;
  • Implementing deep energy and water retrofits across the existing airport facility including LED lighting upgrades, heating and cooling improvements and water reduction across airport restrooms;
  • Opening four sustainably designed concourse expansion projects which are certified to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold level;
  • Construction and use of additional solar arrays, as well as investigation of battery storage opportunities to power the airport's growth with low carbon electricity;
  • Planning for transition to electric vehicles and installation of additional charging stations;
  • Improving recycling and composting infrastructure to make reducing trash easier for customers and business partners;
  • Construction of a new closed-loop aircraft deicing fluid recycling plant to localise and strengthen the supply chain and reduce costs and environmental impacts.

The plan will support targets set by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock to achieve an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, continue transportation system electrification and transition the city to 100% renewable electricity by 2030. [more - original PR]

Original report: DEN Outlines Sustainability Initiatives for the Next Five Years to Reduce Carbon Footprint

In light of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on climate change and the recent wildfire-related air quality challenges in Colorado, Denver International Airport (DEN) has developed initiatives to help reduce the environmental impacts of airport operations over the next five years.    

“DEN has always been committed to sustainability and has many great programs already in place, but we can do more,” said DEN CEO Phillip Washington. “Our five-year plan focuses on a variety of new efforts that supplement the work we are already doing, support Mayor Hancock’s climate action agenda, and continue to improve environmental performance across all aspects of our operations. This is part of our new Vision 100 plan to take our sustainability efforts to the next level and become one of the greenest airports in the world as we plan for 100 million annual passengers in the future.” 

  • Accelerate existing plans to permanently cease oil and gas operations at the airport by plugging the wells that have been inactive since 2018
  • Implement deep energy and water retrofits across the existing airport facility, including LED lighting
    upgrades, heating and cooling improvements, and water reduction across DEN restrooms
  • Open four sustainably designed, high-performance concourse expansion projects that are certified to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold level. Learn about some of the sustainability features being incorporated here
  • Construct and energize additional solar arrays and investigate battery storage opportunities to power the airport’s growth with electricity that is low-carbon, cost-effective, reliable, and resilient
  • Plan for the transition to electric vehicles and install additional charging stations for passengers,
    employees, transportation providers, and the DEN fleet
  • Improve recycling and composting infrastructure to make reducing trash easier for customers and
    business partners, which may include things such as new recycling bins, better signage and additional
    partnerships with our concessionaires
  • Build a new closed-loop aircraft de-icing fluid recycling plant to localize and strengthen the supply chain and reduce costs and environmental impacts. Currently, DEN collects and recycles approximately one million gallons of deicing fluid each year to save money and reduce wastewater generation

These new initiatives will support the goals and policies set by Mayor Hancock to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions 80% by 2050, further electrify our transportation system to reduce the impact of cars on climate
change and transition the city to 100% renewable electricity by 2030, including all city government buildings and facilities by 2025.

Denver International Airport works hard to be a sustainability leader within the aviation industry,” said DEN
Senior Vice President of Sustainability Scott Morrissey. “We’re excited to announce these proposed initiatives that reduce costs, improve environmental performance, and support the communities we serve. They will also allow us to build upon our existing success as we grow to improve economic competitiveness and create value for our residents and neighbors.”

DEN’s existing sustainability efforts include:

  • One of the largest and most diversified solar energy programs of any airport in the world, including
    Community Solar Gardens, solar purchasing agreements, and hosting four solar arrays that directly interconnect to DEN’s electric meters and generate over 15 million kilowatt-hours of electricity – 8% of DEN’s annual use  
  • Over 50 electric vehicle charging stations for passengers and employees
  • Liquid dumping stations pre-security and water bottle filling stations post-security to reduce the need for single-use water bottles
  • Single-stream recycling bins in all public areas of the airport
  • Over 40 concessions certified through the City of Denver’s Certifiably Green Denver business program
  • Passenger loading gates are equipped with power and pre-conditioned air equipment to prevent aircraft engine idling and reduce emissions
  • An award-winning program that facilitates the donation of thousands of pounds of food from DEN
    concessions to a local non-profit, to reduce waste and support food-insecure Denver families

In addition to these programs, DEN was also the first commercial service airport in the U.S. with an ISO 14001-certified Environmental Management System covering all operations and is a long-time Gold Level leader within the state of Colorado’s Environmental Leadership Program. DEN currently has four-LEED certificated facilities including the LEED Platinum Hotel and Transit Center, and the LEED Gold Concourse C West expansion and Fire Station 35.

Charles M Schulz - Sonoma County Airport joins Good Traveller Programme

Charles M Schulz - Sonoma County Airport joined (01-Sep-2021) the Good Traveller Programme, an initiative which allows passengers to purchase carbon offsets as part of their ticket.

Programme partners have collectively contributed to the reduction of over 86,000 metric tons of carbon, the equivalent of neutralising over 554 million passenger flight miles. [more - original PR]

Original report: Charles M. Schulz — Sonoma County Airport (STS) Partners with ‘The Good Traveler’ to Offer Carbon Offsets

The Sonoma County Airport (STS) proudly announces today our partnership with The Good Traveler; a first-of-its kind carbon offset program that allows passengers to reduce the carbon footprint of their travels. The Good Traveler is managed by Jet-Set Offset, an aviation-focused startup with a mission to decarbonize travel. Jet-Set Offset's technology tools make it easy for individuals and businesses to reduce, track, and mitigate their travel-based carbon emissions.

As the newest member of The Good Traveler program, we're excited to provide an option for passengers to offset their carbon emissions when traveling through STS," said Airport Manager, Jon Stout. "Thanks to The Good Traveler, we have a new easy-to-use tool that can help reduce the footprint of the Airport’s greenhouse gas emissions.”

According to The Good Traveler, STS will stand with nearly 20 industry-related partners, including Alaska Airlines, that, to date, have collectively contributed to the reduction of more than 86,000 metric tons of carbon, the equivalent of neutralizing over 554 million passenger flight miles. Other California-based airport members include Los Angeles World Airports (LAX, VNY), Long Beach Airport (LGB), San Diego International Airport (SAN), and San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

“It’s critical that we take seriously our responsibility to offset carbon emissions from air travel,” said Board of Supervisors Chair, Lynda Hopkins. “Our partnership with The Good Traveler is a step in the right direction.”

To offset the carbon emissions from their flights, travelers can visit http://www.TheGoodTraveler.org, enter the origin and destination cities of their flights, and purchase offsets. Some of these projects involve growing living things to capture carbon, while others use various strategies and technologies to prevent greenhouse gases from escaping in the first place. By doing things like producing clean wind energy instead of coal-fired energy or capturing the methane from landfills, we can help reduce our collective carbon footprints.

“We’re thrilled that Sonoma County Airport is joining The Good Traveler as an invested partner in supporting carbon offset projects in reforestation, conservation, renewable energy, carbon capture, and more,” said Co-founder and CEO of Jet-Set Offset, Anna Ford. “In championing a more sustainable aviation future for their passengers, they’re ensuring that every traveler has the opportunity to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and support local communities when they fly.”

All carbon offset purchases provide capital funding for accredited carbon offset programs throughout the country. While projects exist throughout the United States, the STS team will work with The Good Traveler towards identifying and certifying a local project that STS travelers can directly support.

“With the forecasted growth in aviation worldwide over the next 20 years, the challenge of reducing greenhouse emissions produced by the industry will require a variety of solutions,” said Jane Elias, Division Manager Energy and Sustainability Division of the County of Sonoma’s General Services Department. “The Sonoma County Airport and The Good Traveler partnership offers a simple solution for passengers who care about the environment, recognize their part in the climate crisis, and want to take action to mitigate their impact.”

New European Partnership for Clean Aviation to launch in late 2021

Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking executive director Axel Krein reported (01-Sep-2021) the initiative will launch the new European Partnership for Clean Aviation later in 2021.

The new programme will be based on three key topic areas: hybrid electric and full electric concepts; ultra-efficient aircraft architectures, and, disruptive technologies to enable hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Mr Krein said the project will "culminate in a new breed of regional, short haul and short/medium haul airliners which we anticipate will be ready for a commercial launch by 2030 for an entry into service by 2035".

He estimated that these new aircraft are likely to constitute 75% of the world's commercial airline fleet by 2050, having a major impact on aviation emissions. [more - original PR]

Original report: EASN 2021: Universities are home to the next generation of young innovators

At the 11th EASN Virtual International Conference on Innovation in Aviation and Space to the Satisfaction of the European Citizens, Axel Krein, Executive Director of the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking, underlined how important universities are in fostering a future populated with sustainable aircraft.

“Today’s young students are tomorrow’s aviation engineers, and we want to ensure that we can work together to solve the most pressing environmental challenges for aviation,” he said. “Universities are the birthplace of ideas.”

Axel then went on to speak about Clean Sky 2’s technological success stories to date, including the Tech TP demonstrator and the MultiFunctional Fuselage Demonstrator.

He also outlined the new European Partnership for Clean Aviation, due to launch later this year.

The new programme will be based on three thrusts: hybrid electric and full electric concepts, ultra-efficient aircraft architectures, and disruptive technologies to enable hydrogen-powered aircraft.

“The three thrusts will culminate in a new breed of regional, short haul and short/medium haul airliners which we anticipate will be ready for a commercial launch by 2030 for an entry into service by 2035,” said Axel.

“These new aircraft are likely to constitute 75% of the world’s commercial airline fleet by 2050 and thus will have a major impact on aviation emissions and climate impact.”

Axel stressed that fast, fearless investment is needed to make climate-neutral aviation a reality.

“The time for a slow, gradual move towards carbon-neutral aviation is past. The time for action is NOW!” he said.

“We need to propel climate-neutral aircraft into the airline fleet by 2035, which means that we have time between now and the end of this decade to develop, mature and demonstrate the most essential technologies. We urge you to support us in exploring the most promising research avenues, and quickly. Work with us on this challenge which I believe is also a huge opportunity!”

Mitsubishi Power to participate in commercial scale SAF consortium in Japan

Mitsubishi Power announced (30-Aug-2021) the launch of a project to develop a commercial-scale supply chain for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) derived by wood biomass gasification integrated with Fischer-Tropsch (FT) process synthesis technology.

  • Project support: The project has been selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) following its call for participation in its 'Biojet Fuel Production Technology Development Project', which also targets construction of a demonstration supply chain model;
  • Consortium partners: The project will be carried out jointly with JERA Co, Toyo Engineering Corporation and ITOCHU Corporation. Mitsubishi Power, JERA and Toyo have already demonstrated continuous SAF production by gasification FT synthesis on a pilot scale under a NEDO-commissioned project, supplying fuel to Japan Airlines;
  • Scope: The consortium partners will jointly study the conditions, measures and technical issues necessary to achieve early supply of wood biomass-derived aviation fuel, to support future SAF supplies in the domestic market. A two year feasibility study will commence in FY2021. The consortium will then move on to preparation phase for a demonstration plant and the establishment for supply chain after evaluating the result of the feasibility study. The project will run from FY2021 to FY2024. [more - original PR]

Original report: Mitsubishi Power to Participate in a Joint Study for the Establishment of a Commercial-scale SAF Production Technology and the Creation of a Supply Chain

Entrained Bed Gasification Technology will Contribute to Decarbonization in Aviation Industry

  • NEDO-supported project - in consortium with JERA, TOYO and ITOCHU - looks to promote widespread use of SAF
  • Target on commercial-scale demonstration of entrained bed gasification technology suitable for liquefied fuel synthesis

Mitsubishi Power, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) Group, is embarking on a project to develop a commercial-scale supply chain for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) derived by wood biomass gasification integrated with FT synthesis technology(Note1). The project will be carried out jointly with JERA Co., Inc., Toyo Engineering Corporation (TOYO), and ITOCHU Corporation.

The project has been selected by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) following its call for participation in its “Biojet Fuel Production Technology Development Project”, which also targets construction of a demonstration supply chain model. The four consortium partners will jointly study the conditions, measures and technical issues necessary to achieve early supply of wood biomass-derived aviation fuel, to support future SAF supplies in the domestic market. The entire project period is about 4 years from FY2021 to FY2024. The consortium will conduct a feasibility study for approximately 2 years from FY2021. Then it will move on preparation phase for a demonstration plant and the establishment for supply chain after evaluating the result of the feasibility study.

Mitsubishi Power, JERA and TOYO have already demonstrated continuous SAF production by gasification FT synthesis on a pilot scale under a NEDO-commissioned project(Note2). carried out from FY2017 through FY2021, and the produced SAF was supplied for use on a Japan Airlines commercial flight on June 17, 2021. Going forward, the knowledge accumulated in the demonstration project will be applied toward establishing the entire supply chain, including feedstock procurement, production technology and product supply.

Main roles of the consortium members

Mitsubishi Power, Ltd. Basic design of commercial-scale gasification facilities
JERA Co., Inc. Study of commercial-scale applications, applicable laws and regulations, feedstock procurement, methods for mixing neat SAF and petroleum-derived jet fuels, SAF market research, business feasibility
Toyo Engineering Corporation Basic design of commercial-scale FT synthesis (including distillation) facilities
ITOCHU Corporation Research into (i) supply logistic of SAF and by-products, and (ii) by-product markets

Mitsubishi Power has technologies and expertise in coal and biomass gasification accumulated since the 1980s. Applying these assets, the Company has already demonstrated its ability to utilize normobaric oxygen / steam-blown entrained bed gasification - the core technology in the pilot-plant demonstration phase - to stably and efficiently supply gas ideally suited for liquefied fuel synthesis on a long-term basis. Moreover, because the gasification furnace features a simple structure, expansion to commercial scale can be achieved easily.

Going forward, Mitsubishi Power will continue working closely with its three consortium partners toward demonstration of biojet fuel production technology and the establishment of a supply chain model. By achieving reduction in greenhouse gas emissions caused by jet fuels, the Company will contribute to mitigating the aviation industry's impact on the global environment.

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