Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 09-Jul-2020


Amazon Air secures sustainable aviation fuel under 12 month deal with Shell and World Energy

Air North modifies checked baggage policy to increase efficiency, reduce emissions

Edmonton International Airport to develop largest airport based solar farm

San Francisco Airport receives first batch of sustainable aviation fuel from Neste Oil

European Commission launches new EU hydrogen alliance

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.

Amazon Air secures sustainable aviation fuel under 12 month deal with Shell and World Energy

Amazon Air secured (08-Jul-2020) up to six million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplied by Shell Aviation and produced by World Energy, under a 12 month agreement. The blended fuel includes feedstock of inedible agricultural waste fats and oils and can potentially reduce carbon emissions by up to 20%.

The SAF will be added to the existing fuel supply at select airports, to be used by Amazon's partners and other carriers. Amazon aims to achieve net zero carbon by 2040 and Amazon Global Air VP Sarah Rhoads said development of more efficient air cargo solutions is critical to reaching this goal. [more - original PR]

Original report: Promoting a more sustainable future through Amazon Air

Amazon Air has secured up to six million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplied by Shell Aviation and produced by World Energy.

Amazon’s commitment to The Climate Pledge means that we are focused—first and foremost—on decarbonizing our operations and sending strong signals that we are in need of new solutions and technologies to help accelerate our path to net zero carbon by 2040. Air cargo is an important part of Amazon operations, but also a highly carbon-intensive part of the global supply chain. Finding sustainable alternatives and working with all industries to accelerate the transition to more sustainable products and services is one of the most important, yet challenging, elements of our work to meet The Climate Pledge.

We are proud to announce that Amazon Air has secured up to six million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) supplied by Shell Aviation and produced by World Energy. With this twelve-month deal, Amazon Air, in our short history, is prioritizing sustainability by bringing SAF into our air operations. This commitment also makes Amazon Air a key enabler of SAF production, building demand as the fuel industry seeks to increase access to low-carbon aviation fuel.

Sustainable aviation fuels are derived from renewable resources and generate fewer carbon emissions than standard aviation fuel. The blended fuel we secured includes feedstock of inedible agricultural waste fats and oils and has the power to reduce carbon emissions by up to 20 percent.

SAF is produced by World Energy, one of the largest and longest-serving advanced biofuel suppliers in North America. World Energy and Shell collaborated to develop a SAF solution to enable businesses to decarbonize aviation. Amazon Air then worked with Shell Aviationto secure the fuel, which will be added to the existing fuel supply at select airports where we operate, to be used by our partners and other carriers. When SAF is used, it has the power to reduce carbon emissions by replacing up to six million gallons of conventional aviation fuel with a sustainable alternative. Amazon Air's investment in SAF will help to reduce carbon emissions from our operations, while also building confidence in the sustainable fuel industry.

"Development of more efficient air cargo solutions is critical to achieving our goal of net-zero carbon across Amazon by 2040," said Sarah Rhoads, vice president of Amazon Global Air. "We're already reducing carbon across our air network, from our ground operations—where we were the first to use electric main deck loaders in North America—to our fleet and network design. Using sustainable aviation fuel is a natural next step, and one that calls for continued action. We encourage other companies to join us in the effort to engage with suppliers to create more fuel alternatives."

Earlier this year, Amazon trialed SAF on two flights originating from Washington, to Arizona and Connecticut. The lessons we learned helped us expand the use of SAF within Amazon Air. The team places importance on exploring and trialing new technologies that can reduce carbon emissions, with the goal of that having a ripple effect through the industry.

Sustainability is already a focus at our Amazon Air Regional Air Hubs, with investments in leading-edge electric ground service equipment to replace diesel-powered alternatives, and solar rooftop panels atop new air cargo facilities. Amazon Air will continue to explore more ways to make our dedicated air operations—both in the air and on the ground—even more sustainable.

As the co-founder and first signatory of The Climate Pledge, Amazon will continue to deploy sustainable modes of transportation across operations and delivery, including the purchase of 100,000 electric vehicles from Rivian. We have also committed to 100 percent renewable energy by 2025, reporting our carbon footprint annually, implementing decarbonization strategies in line with the ParisAgreement through real business changes and innovations, and neutralizing any remaining carbon emissions through a $100 million Right Now Climate Fund. Amazon also launched the Climate Pledge Fund, a $2 billion fund to back visionary companies whose products and services will facilitate the transition to a zero-carbon economy.

Air North modifies checked baggage policy to increase efficiency, reduce emissions

Air North announced (25-Jun-2020) modifications to its policy for overweight, oversized and excess checked baggage, in order to become more efficient and to reduce emissions, effective 25-Jun-2020. Specifically, a CAD40 (USD29.49) fee will apply to baggage that exceeds the stated weight on Boeing 737 and ATR 42 equipment, and baggage exceeding the maximum dimensions of 62in will be subject to a CAD40 fee as well.

Air North will continue to offer two complimentary checked bags, and each additional checked bag will incur a fee of CAD40, with passengers entitled to up to four pieces of luggage each. A fee of CAD80 (USD58.98) will apply to passengers who bring an additional bag that is oversize and overweight. [more - original PR]

Original report: Air North, Yukon’s Airline Modifies Overweight, Oversized, and Excess Checked Baggage Policy

Air North, Yukon’s Airline announces a change in fee structure for overweight, oversized, and excess checked baggage

Air North, Yukon’s Airline has made modifications to its overweight, oversized, and excess checked baggage policy effective 25 June 2020. We are pleased to continue offering our passengers the flexibility to fly with up to four checked bags. In an effort to move towards becoming a greener operation, fees for overweight, oversized, and/or excess baggage are incurred due to the higher costs associated with operating a heavier aircraft. An aircraft that is loaded with less luggage will operate more efficiently, reducing overall emissions and fuel consumption.

Overweight Baggage

A $40 CAD fee will apply to checked baggage that exceeds the stated weight limit on the respective aircraft.

On the Boeing 737 aircraft, any one item exceeding 50lbs will be subject to the $40 CAD fee. On the ATR-42 turboprop aircraft, checked baggage exceeding the combined 44lbs weight limit will be charged the $40 CAD fee. The maximum weight of a single piece accepted at the check-in counter remains 70lbs. Heavier items are still required to be shipped via cargo and are subject to the applicable cargo rates.

Oversized Baggage

The maximum dimensions (length + width + height) for checked baggage is 62 inches or 158 centimeters. Checked baggage exceeding this total will be subject to the $40 CAD fee.

Excess Baggage

We are pleased to continue to offer two complimentary checked bags across all of our fare classes. Each additional checked bag is subject to a fee of $40 CAD. Passengers are entitled to up to four pieces of luggage each, including excess bags.

If all three fees apply to a single bag, where a passenger has brought an additional bag that is both oversize and overweight, the passenger will be charged a maximum fee of $80 CAD. Overweight, oversized, and excess baggage fees are applicable on all scheduled flights, across tickets purchased in all fare classes.

As always, we thank you for choosing Air North, Yukon’s Airline, and we look forward to seeing you onboard in the future.

Edmonton International Airport to develop largest airport based solar farm

Edmonton International Airport announced (07-Jul-2020) plans to develop a 627 acre, 120 megawatt solar farm through an agreement with Alpin Sun. The Airport City Solar is expected to begin construction in early 2022 and will be operational by the end of 2022.

The facility will generate approximately 200,000 MWh per year and will result in an annual offset of an estimated 106,000 tonnes of CO2. The approximately 340,000 solar panels will produce enough electricity to power between 27,000 and 28,000 homes. It will be the largest airport based solar farm in the world. [more - original PR]

Original report: World’s-largest airport solar farm arriving at EIA

Edmonton International Airport (EIA) is welcoming a new large-scale investment that will create the largest airport-based solar farm in the world.

Airport City Solar will dramatically transform the west-side of EIA’s lands, create jobs and bring in a potential new power source for airport operations and the Edmonton Metro Region. An agreement with Alpin Sun will see the company develop a 627-acre, 120-megawatt solar farm. All available information shows this will be largest development of its kind at an airport anywhere in the world. The new solar farm reflects EIA’s on-going commitment to economic development and diversification, along with its core value of being dedicated to sustainability.

The European-based company, Alpin Sun, is a global developer of utility scale renewable projects and is proposing to locate Airport City Solar on land leased on the west side of the EIA.  Airport City Solar is expected to begin construction in early 2022 and be operational by the end of the year. The project will bring in an estimated $169 million in foreign direct investment to the Edmonton Metro Region. Power generated by Airport City Solar will feed into Fortis Alberta and airport distribution systems.

“One of our core principles is being dedicated to sustainability. With Airport City Solar and Alpin Sun we’re creating something the whole world will notice. We’re Canada’s largest airport by land size so we have the space to do something very special – the largest solar farm at an airport in the world. This will create jobs, provide sustainable solar power for our region and shows our dedication to sustainability.”

Tom Ruth, President and CEO Edmonton International Airport.

Quick facts about Airport City Solar:

  • Construction will employ 120 workers for a year, with up to 250 workers at its peak
  • The 120Mwh facility will generate approximately 200,000 MWh per year
  • Alpin Sun estimates that annual production of 200,000 MWh will result in an annual offset of an estimated 106,000 tonnes of CO2.
  • Airport City Solar will consist of approximately 340,000 solar panels
  • The facility will produce enough electricity to power between 27,000-28,000 homes
  • The facility area of 627 acres will equal roughly 313 CFL football fields
  • The panels will be constructed in two main groupings
  • East grouping will be 367 acres that would accommodate 72 MW
  • West grouping will be 259 acres that would accommodate 48 MW

“It has been a pleasure working with EIA Vice-President Myron Keehn and Director Geoff Herdman to bring this opportunity to the EIA, and their support was key to our location decision.”

- Adrian Ioance, Vice President of Alpin Sun

“We want to add to Alberta’s recovery momentum and be in a position by 2022 to not only support existing industries and communities in the area but also serve as a catalyst for new investment in advanced technology and logistics.”

- Fred Null, Director of Project Development, Alpin Sun

“This fully private-sector investment in the world’s largest airport solar farm will create hundreds of jobs and represents an investment of nearly $170 million. The project, when combined with other recent exciting investments in renewables, shows that Alberta is the most attractive place in Canada to invest, not just in renewable energy, but across all sectors of the economy.”

- Tanya Fir, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Tourism

“Leduc County welcomes Alpin-Sun to the region. Within Leduc County, EIA is a regional leader in diversification and innovation. Alpin-Sun will not only bring business diversification, but new development and employment opportunities to Leduc County residents and the region.”

- Tanni Doblanko, Mayor of Leduc County

"This exciting project demonstrates the growing role of solar energy in Alberta's economy. Private sector investments like this show the strength of Alberta's solar resource across much of the province, including in and around Edmonton. EIA is demonstrating leadership by harnessing the competitive economics of solar to establish the airport and surrounding transportation corridors as a hub for the solar value chain in this part of North America. This bodes well for jobs and economic benefits in the region well into the future."

- Benjamin Thibault, Executive Director, Solar Alberta

"EIA runs one of the world’s most innovative airports and in recent years has attracted more than $1 billion in investment and thousands of quality jobs through Airport City and economic diversification. Alpin Sun’s major investment combined with EIA’s focus on innovation will create significant value for airlines. Welcome to our region Alpin Sun, we look forward to seeing this investment begin construction.”

- Malcom Bruce, CEO Edmonton Global

EIA is dedicated to sustainability and continuing its record of environmental initiatives. Other examples of how EIA supports environmental sustainability see:

  • Testing new water filtration initiatives with Alberta-based Swirltex
  • Absolute Combustion International and EIA’s more efficient aircraft heater
  • Measuring and reporting on Energy and Carbon targets
  • LEED Certification of Central Tower and terminal expansion
  • Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) program participating with 288 airports worldwide
  • BOMA Best Gold for a corporate facility, The Outstanding Building of the Year, 2016

Over the next year, the Alpin Sun team will conduct extensive studies and seek approvals from the required local, provincial and federal regulatory agencies, including NAV Canada. Field Law of Edmonton assists Alpin Sun on legal matters related to this project and others in Alberta, and DNV-GL of Calgary assists on environmental studies and permitting.  Colliers International - Edmonton's YEG Team, led by Evelyn Stolk & Rod Connop as well as Colliers International - Philadelphia brokered this transaction.

San Francisco Airport receives first batch of sustainable aviation fuel from Neste Oil

San Francisco International Airport received (07-Jul-2020) the first batch of sustainable aviation fuel delivered by Neste Oil, to be used by major carriers aiming to reduce carbon emissions.

San Francisco International Airport director Ivar C Satero stated: "This is a major milestone in our goal to make San Francisco International Airport a hub for the use of sustainable aviation fuel in our pursuit of carbon neutrality...By focusing on the entire supply chain process, achievements like this one have the power to transform the landscape of our entire industry".[more - original PR]

Original report: Neste delivers sustainable aviation fuel to San Francisco International Airport – first company to deliver it via pipeline

Neste, the world's largest producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) produced from waste and residue raw materials, has delivered its first batch of sustainable aviation fuel to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) via pipeline, where it will be used by major airlines committed to reducing carbon emissions. 

Neste is the first company to deliver sustainable aviation fuel, under its brand name Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel™, to SFO using existing multi-product pipeline infrastructure. The same pipelines are originally designed to carry fossil fuels and other oil products.

“This is a major milestone in our goal to make San Francisco International Airport a hub for the use of sustainable aviation fuel in our pursuit of carbon neutrality,” says SFO Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “By focusing on the entire supply chain process, achievements like this one have the power to transform the landscape of our entire industry. I am grateful for our partnership with Neste to make this climate quantum leap a reality.”

“The aviation industry is essential for global business, generating growth and facilitating economic recovery. But if we are to address aviation-related emissions, we need to utilize all the available solutions. We are extremely happy to have partnered with San Francisco International Airport, a forerunner with a concrete emission reduction strategy, to address climate change and support them in achieving those climate targets,” says Thorsten Lange, Executive Vice President for Renewable Aviation at Neste.  
Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel is a sustainable aviation fuel that in neat form and over the lifecycle reduces GHG emissions up to 80% compared to fossil jet fuel. It can be easily delivered in a multi-product pipeline, which should become a standard process in the future,” Lange continues.

Neste MY Renewable Jet Fuel can be used as a drop-in fuel with existing aircraft engines and airport infrastructure, requiring no extra investment. It is made from sustainably sourced, 100% renewable waste and residue materials, like used cooking oil or animal fats.

In 2018, SFO signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Neste and a group of eight airlines and fuel producers to expand the use of SAF at the airport. The agreement was the first of its kind to include fuel suppliers, airlines, and airport agencies in a collaborative effort to accelerate the global transition to SAF. The deal is part of SFO’s five-year strategic plan of becoming a “triple zero” campus, achieving not just carbon neutrality but also net zero energy and zero waste.

European Commission launches new EU hydrogen alliance

European Commission launched (08-Jul-2020) the 'European Clean Hydrogen Alliance', an initiative aimed at developing and deploying hydrogen as a viable and globally competitive energy source in Europe. It will look to support the implementation of the hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe by working towards developing a full and accessible hydrogen value chain.

The alliance is open to all stakeholders wanting to engage and contribute to the deployment of renewable and low carbon hydrogen in terms of supply, demand and distribution, as well as those willing to use hydrogen in an effort to decarbonise industrial processes and economic sectors as a whole.

The use of hydrogen is targeted in particular at "hard to-decarbonise" industrial and transport sectors such as aviation, where direct heating or electrification is unfeasible, inefficient or bears higher costs, within an integrated energy system based on hydrogen and other low emission energies. [more - original PR] [more - original PR - II]

Original report II: Powering a climate-neutral economy: Commission sets out plans for the energy system of the future and clean hydrogen

To become climate-neutral by 2050, Europe needs to transform its energy system, which accounts for 75% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions.  The EU strategies for energy system integration and hydrogen, adopted today, will pave the way towards a more efficient and interconnected energy sector, driven by the twin goals of a cleaner planet and a stronger economy.

The two strategies present a new clean energy investment agenda, in line with the Commission's Next Generation EU recovery package and the European Green Deal. The planned investments have the potential to stimulate the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. They create European jobs and boost our leadership and competitiveness in strategic industries, which are crucial to Europe's resilience.

Energy System Integration

The EU Strategy for Energy System Integration will provide the framework for the green energy transition. The current model where energy consumption in transport, industry, gas and buildings is happening in ‘silos' - each with separate value chains, rules, infrastructure, planning and operations - cannot deliver climate neutrality by 2050 in a cost efficient way; the changing costs of innovative solutions have to be integrated in the way we operate our energy system. New links between sectors must be created and technological progress exploited.

Energy system integration means that the system is planned and operated as a whole, linking different energy carriers, infrastructures, and consumption sectors. This connected and flexible system will be more efficient, and reduce costs for society. For example, this means a system where the electricity that fuels Europe's cars could come from the solar panels on our roofs, while our buildings are kept warm with heat from a nearby factory, and the factory is fuelled by clean hydrogen produced from off-shore wind energy.

There are three main pillars to this strategy:

  • First, a more ‘circular' energy system, with energy efficiency at its core. The strategy will identify concrete actions to apply the ‘energy efficiency first' principle in practice and to use local energy sources more effectively in our buildings or communities. There is significant potential in the reuse of waste heat from industrial sites, data centres, or other sources, and energy produced from bio-waste or in wastewater treatment plants. The Renovation Wave will be an important part of these reforms.
  • Second, a greater direct electrification of end-use sectors. As the power sector has the highest share of renewables, we should increasingly use electricity where possible: for example for heat pumps in buildings, electric vehicles in transport or electric furnaces in certain industries. A network of one million electric vehicle charging points will be among the visible results, along with the expansion of solar and wind power.
  • For those sectors where electrification is difficult, the strategy promotes clean fuels, including renewable hydrogen and sustainable biofuels and biogas. The Commission will propose a new classification and certification system for renewable and low-carbon fuels.

The strategy sets out 38 actions to create a more integrated energy system. These include the revision of existing legislation, financial support, research and deployment of new technologies and digital tools, guidance to Member States on fiscal measures and phasing out of fossil fuel subsidies, market governance reform and infrastructure planning, and improved information to consumers. The analysis of the existing barriers in these areas will inform our concrete proposals, for instance the revision of the TEN-E regulation by the end of 2020 or the revision of the energy taxation directive and the gas market regulatory framework in 2021.

Hydrogen strategy

In an integrated energy system, hydrogen can support the decarbonisation of industry, transport, power generation and buildings across Europe. The EU Hydrogen Strategy addresses how to transform this potential into reality, through investments, regulation, market creation and research and innovation.

Hydrogen can power sectors that are not suitable for electrification and provide storage to balance variable renewable energy flows, but this can only be achieved with coordinated action between the public and private sector, at EU level. The priority is to develop renewable hydrogen, produced using mainly wind and solar energy. However, in the short and medium term other forms of low-carbon hydrogen are needed to rapidly reduce emissions and support the development of a viable market.

This gradual transition will require a phased approach:

  • From 2020 to 2024, we will support the installation of at least 6 gigawatts of renewable hydrogen electrolysers in the EU, and the production of up to one million tonnes of renewable hydrogen.
  • From 2025 to 2030, hydrogen needs to become an intrinsic part of our integrated energy system, with at least 40 gigawatts of renewable hydrogen electrolysers and the production of up to ten million tonnes of renewable hydrogen in the EU.
  • From 2030 to 2050, renewable hydrogen technologies should reach maturity and be deployed at large scale across all hard-to-decarbonise sectors.

To help deliver on this Strategy, the Commission is launching today the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance with industry leaders, civil society, national and regional ministers and the European Investment Bank. The Alliance will build up an investment pipeline for scaled-up production and will support demand for clean hydrogen in the EU.

To target support at the cleanest available technologies, the Commission will work to introduce common standards, terminology and certification, based on life-cycle carbon emissions, anchored in existing climate and energy legislation, and in line with the EU taxonomy for sustainable investments. The Commission will propose policy and regulatory measures to create investor certainty, facilitate the uptake of hydrogen, promote the necessary infrastructure and logistical networks, adapt infrastructure planning tools, and support investments, in particular through the Next Generation EU recovery plan.

Quotes from members of the College of Commissioners

Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, said: “The strategies adopted today will bolster the European Green Deal and the green recovery, and put us firmly on the path of decarbonising our economy by 2050. The new hydrogen economy can be a growth engine to help overcome the economic damage caused by COVID-19. In developing and deploying a clean hydrogen value chain, Europe will become a global frontrunner and retain its leadership in clean tech.”  

Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, said: “With 75% of the EU's greenhouse gas emissions coming from energy, we need a paradigm shift to reach our 2030 and 2050 targets. The EU's energy system has to become better integrated, more flexible and able to accommodate the cleanest and most cost-effective solutions. Hydrogen will play a key role in this, as falling renewable energy prices and continuous innovation make it a viable solution for a climate-neutral economy.”

Commissioner for Internal Market, Thierry Breton, said: “The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance launched today will channel investments into hydrogen production. It will develop a pipeline of concrete projects to support the decarbonisation efforts of European energy intensive industries such as steel and chemicals. The Alliance is strategically important for our Green Deal ambitions and the resilience of our industry.” 


The European Green Deal is the new growth strategy of the EU, a roadmap to make our economy sustainable by turning climate and environmental challenges into opportunities across all policy areas and making the transition just and inclusive for all. A better-integrated energy system is essential in order to move to climate neutrality by 2050, while also creating jobs, ensuring a fair transition and strengthening innovation in the EU and industrial leadership at a global level. The sector can make a key contribution to Europe's economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, as outlined in the Next Generation EU recovery package presented by the Commission on 27 May 2020.

Today's energy system is still built on several parallel, vertical energy value chains, which rigidly link specific energy resources with specific end-use sectors, wasting a significant amount of energy. For instance, petroleum products are predominant in the transport sector and as feedstock for industry. Coal and natural gas are mainly used to produce electricity and heating. Electricity and gas networks are planned and managed independently from each other. Market rules are also largely specific to different sectors. This model of separate silos cannot deliver a climate neutral economy. It is technically and economically inefficient, and leads to substantial losses in the form of waste heat and low energy efficiency.

One way to deliver sector integration is by deploying renewable hydrogen. It can be used as a feedstock, a fuel or an energy carrier and storage, and has many possible applications across industry, transport, power and buildings sectors. Most importantly, it emits no CO2 and almost no air pollution when used. It therefore offers a solution to decarbonise industrial processes and economic sectors where reducing carbon emissions is both urgent and hard to achieve. All this makes hydrogen essential to support the EU's commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and for the global effort to implement the Paris Agreement.

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