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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 09-Jun-2022

Analysis

This regular CAPA report provides a summary of recent aviation sustainability and environment news. This latest issue features:

Universal Hydrogen and Connect Airlines Announce Firm Order for Conversion of 75 ATR 72-600 Regional Aircraft to Be Powered by Green Hydrogen

Singapore Airlines to launch SAF credits in Jul-2022

Air New Zealand creates chief sustainability officer role

Hawaiian Airlines and Par Hawaii to study commercial viability of locally produced SAF

Dubai Airports launches new sustainability initiative for food waste at DXB

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.

Connect Airlines signs firm order for conversion of 75 ATR 72-600s to be powered by green hydrogen

Connect Airlines and Universal Hydrogen announced (08-Jun-2022) a firm order for the conversion of 75 ATR 72-600 aircraft to be powered by green hydrogen.

The agreement includes purchase rights for an additional 25 aircraft conversions.

Universal Hydrogen will also provide fuel services to the Connect fleet, enabling operating unit economics that are equivalent or better than those of hydrocarbon powered ATR 72s.

Converted aircraft deliveries are scheduled to begin in 2025.

Connect Airlines CEO John Thomas stated: "With this technology and its economics, we easily anticipate our appetite growing to over 800 airplanes in this class to support the growth of our route network across North America". [more - original PR]

Original report: Universal Hydrogen and Connect Airlines Announce Firm Order for Conversion of 75 ATR 72-600 Regional Aircraft to Be Powered by Green Hydrogen

Agreement, which also includes purchase rights for 25 additional aircraft conversions, places Connect Airlines on trajectory to be the world’s first zero-emission passenger airline

Universal Hydrogen and Connect Airlines Announce Firm Order for Conversion of 75 ATR 72-600 Regional Aircraft to Be Powered by Green Hydrogen Agreement, which also includes purchase rights for 25 additional aircraft conversions, places Connect Airlines on trajectory to be the world’s first zero-emission passenger airline (Photo: Business Wire)

"We are building Connect Airlines from the ground up as a smarter, more sustainable travel option for North American travelers,” said John Thomas, CEO, Connect Airlines. “We have committed to being the world’s first true zero-emission airline and the only way to accomplish this in the near term is with hydrogen.” Today at the UP.Summit, an annual gathering of leaders in air transport innovation hosted by venture capital firm UP.Partners, Universal Hydrogen Co. and Connect Airlines, a division of Waltzing Matilda Aviation, announced that the airline has placed a firm order to convert 75 ATR 72-600 regional airplanes to hydrogen powertrains, with purchase rights for an additional 25 conversions. Deliveries will start in 2025. The agreement follows an initial letter of intent (LOI) between the companies announced in 2021.

“This order places Connect firmly in the vanguard of the march to get aviation on a path to meeting Paris Agreement emissions targets,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen. “This march will very soon need to turn into a sprint if the industry has any hope of decarbonizing in time without having to curtail the growth in passenger volumes. We will need to convert most of the regional fleet in the 2020s and ensure that the new narrowbody aircraft built in the 2030s are hydrogen-powered—there is no other way to get there.”

In addition to a hydrogen conversion kit for the ATR 72-600, the most popular in-production regional turboprop on the market, Universal Hydrogen offers hydrogen fuel services to airports using a modular capsule technology that enables the transport and handling of hydrogen using the existing intermodal freight network and cargo handling equipment. This eliminates the need for costly and lengthy airport infrastructure upgrades and makes nearly every airport in the world hydrogen-ready. As part of today’s agreement, Universal Hydrogen will provide fuel services to the Connect fleet enabling operating unit economics that are equivalent or better than those of hydrocarbon-powered ATR 72s from the very first delivery in 2025.

“We see the partnership with Universal Hydrogen as the fastest path to zero-emission operation because they offer both an affordable retrofit solution for the existing airplane fleet, as well as a pragmatic approach to delivering hydrogen to any airport in our route network,” said Thomas. “With this technology and its economics, we easily anticipate our appetite growing to over 800 airplanes in this class to support the growth of our route network across North America.”

Singapore Airlines to launch SAF credits in Jul-2022

Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced (08-Jun-2022) plans to launch sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) credits in Jul-2022, in partnership with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and Temasek Holdings.

1000 SAF credits will be available for sale, generated from 1000 tonnes of neat SAF which is blended, delivered and uplifted from Singapore Changi Airport.

SIA's corporate customers and freight forwarders can purchase SAF credits directly from SIA, mitigating carbon emissions related to their flights.

Freight forwarders can also sell credits to their downstream clients to reduce carbon emissions from their business operations.

From 4Q2022, all SIA customers will be able to purchase a mix of SAF credits and carbon offsets as part of the SIA Group Voluntary Carbon Offset Programme.

SIA will also partner with Climate Impact X to introduce a bundled portfolio consisting of SAF credits and carbon credits.

Temasek’s MD sustainable solution Frederick Teo stated: "The SAF pilot laid the foundation for SIA and the broader aviation community to operationalise SAF uptake in Singapore.

"With SAF credits, we can more effectively crowd in financing from corporates and travellers to reduce the cost premiums of SAF.

"This can help accelerate the adoption of SAF, which is an important pathway for the decarbonisation of the aviation sector in the medium to long term”. [more - original PR]


Original report: CAAS, Singapore Airlines And Temasek To Launch Sustainable Aviation Fuel Credits In July 2022

The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Singapore Airlines (SIA), and Temasek will launch the sale of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) credits in July 2022. The sale of the SAF credits is part of a CAAS-SIA-Temasek pilot announced in November 2021 to advance the use of SAF in Singapore.

A total of 1,000 SAF credits will be available for sale. These are generated from the 1,000 tonnes of neat SAF which are blended, delivered, and uplifted from Singapore Changi Airport, and are expected to cut carbon dioxide emission by 2,500 tonnes. Every credit purchased will help to reduce 2.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.

The launch of the SAF credits provides customers including corporate and individual travellers, as well as freight forwarders an avenue to do their part for the environment, and reduce their carbon footprint. By purchasing these credits, they can also help to stimulate demand for SAF, support the development of the nascent SAF industry, and advance the adoption of SAF for aviation sustainability. 

The SAF credits will be registered as part of a pilot project within the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB)1 Book & Claim System to ensure that the SAF credit transactions are conducted in a trusted and transparent manner, with no double counting of credits. The Book & Claim System is enabled by the RSB which is one of the global leaders in sustainability certification standards.

SIA’s corporate customers and freight forwarders can purchase the SAF credits directly from SIA, mitigating carbon emissions related to their flights. Freight forwarders can in turn also sell the credits to their downstream clients to reduce carbon emissions from their business operations.

From the fourth quarter of 2022, all SIA customers will be able to purchase a mix of SAF credits and carbon offsets, as part of the SIA Group Voluntary Carbon Offset Programme. SIA will also partner Climate Impact X (CIX), a global exchange for quality carbon credits, to introduce a bundled portfolio consisting of SAF credits and carbon credits. The product will be designed to meet corporate demand for SAF while balancing affordability.

Mr Han Kok Juan, Director-General, CAAS, said: “The creation of a trusted and vibrant marketplace for the sale and purchase of SAF credits in Singapore will help support the adoption of SAF which is essential for the decarbonisation of the aviation sector and a key element of the Singapore Sustainable Air Hub Blueprint which CAAS is developing.”

Ms Lee Wen Fen, Senior Vice President Corporate Planning, Singapore Airlines, said: “As we progress with the SAF pilot in Singapore, we can now offer more opportunities for our corporate customers and travellers to mitigate their carbon emissions using SAF credits, which are registered and accounted for within the RSB Book & Claim System. This will help to accelerate and scale up the collective adoption of SAF, reinforcing our commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”  

Mr Frederick Teo, Temasek’s Managing Director, Sustainable Solutions, said: “The SAF pilot laid the foundation for SIA and the broader aviation community to operationalise SAF uptake in Singapore. With SAF credits, we can more effectively crowd in financing from corporates and travellers to reduce the cost premiums of SAF. This can help accelerate the adoption of SAF, which is an important pathway for the decarbonisation of the aviation sector in the medium to long term.”

Ms Arianna Baldo, Programme Director, RSB, said: “We are excited to be working with Singapore Airlines on this innovative pilot project, which will enable their customers to access credible claims that are generated through a robust and independent Book & Claim system built by the RSB. Singapore Airlines’ participation highlights how this innovative approach can add value for companies who are serious about decarbonising the aviation sector. We look forward to further supporting Singapore Airlines’ decarbonisation efforts in line with RSB’s trusted sustainability standards.”

Mr Mikkel Larsen, Chief Executive Officer, Climate Impact X (CIX), said: “The current lack of incentives for the adoption of green fuels has meant that prices continue to remain high and economically unviable. SAF credits can help to spur adoption by enabling competitive price discovery, and channelling finance towards projects that can drive the use of sustainable fuels at the scale necessary to support decarbonisation in the aviation sector. Through CIX’s ongoing efforts to curate verified projects for our platforms, we aim to increase access to quality carbon credits worldwide and drive environmental impact at scale.”

1 The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials is a global membership organisation that drives the sustainable transition to a bio-based and circular economy.

Air New Zealand creates chief sustainability officer role

Air New Zealand appointed (07-Jun-2022) Kiri Hannifin to the newly created role of chief sustainability officer.
 
The new executive position recognises the importance of sustainability across all aspects of the company's operation and increased focus the airline is placing on addressing its environmental impact.
 
Ms Hannifin is presently the director of corporate affairs, quality, health and safety and sustainability at Countdown and will join Air New Zealand on 05-Dec-2022.
 
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran stated: "As we rebuild Air New Zealand, we need to advance the extensive work already undertaken to become a truly sustainable airline"
 
Mr Foran added: "Kiri’s experience in driving change across the supply chain, engaging customers via tangible measures such as removing plastic bags from stores and diverting food waste from landfill will help our efforts move to a new level". [more - original PR]
 
Original report: Air New Zealand Appoints Chief Sustainability Officer

Kiri Hannifin has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Sustainability Officer, an executive position recognising the importance of sustainability across all aspects of the company’s operation and increased focus the airline is placing on addressing its environmental impact.

Kiri Hannifin

Ms Hannifin is the Director of Corporate Affairs, Quality, Health & Safety and Sustainability at Countdown. Since 2017 she has spearheaded the company’s programme to reduce emissions, managed the health, safety and wellbeing of the company’s 21,000 staff and led its internal and external stakeholder management activity.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says sustainability is the biggest issue facing the airline’s future and requires increased focus from a leader who will be a passionate public advocate for the changes all stakeholders need to make to deliver real change.

“As we rebuild Air New Zealand, we need to advance the extensive work already undertaken to become a truly sustainable airline. Kiri’s experience in driving change across the supply chain, engaging customers via tangible measures such as removing plastic bags from stores and diverting food waste from landfill will help our efforts move to a new level,” says Mr Foran.

Kiri Hannifin will join Air New Zealand on December 5. She holds an LLB and BA in Political Science from Canterbury University.

Hawaiian Airlines and Par Hawaii to study commercial viability of locally produced SAF

Hawaiian Airlines and Par Hawaii signed (08-Jun-2022) an MoU to study the commercial viability of locally produced sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).

The partnership aims to achieve the following:

  • Jointly evaluate the potential to convert two of Par Hawaii's processing units at its Kapolei refinery to produce renewable fuels, including SAF;
  • Explore the production of locally grown, oil yielding crops;
  • Study the feasibility of importing sustainable feedstocks to produce SAF and other renewable products;
  • Convene stakeholders to continue to support and identify federal and state policies and programmes that accelerate Hawaii based renewable fuel production.

Hawaiian Airlines president and CEO Peter Ingram stated: "SAF is an integral part of decarbonising aviation, and we hope to be able to make joint investments in SAF production here in Hawaii, which will benefit both the environment and our economy… We look forward to engaging with partners across the community to build a more sustainable future for travel to, from and within the islands". [more - original PR]

Original report: Hawaiian Airlines and Par Hawaii Announce Plan to Jointly Explore Sustainable Aviation Fuel in Hawaiʻi

Hawaiian Airlines, the state’s largest and longest-serving air carrier, and Par Hawaii, LLC (“Par Hawaii”) an affiliate of Par Pacific Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: PARR) that is Hawaiʻi’s largest supplier of energy products, announced plans today to join forces to study the commercial viability of locally produced sustainable aviation fuels (“SAF”) — to replace all or a percentage of traditional kerosene-based jet fuel with fuel that is made with sustainable feedstocks.   

This is a major step for both organizations to reduce carbon emissions, to address climate change and to create a more sustainable energy future for Hawaiʻi.

Based on a memorandum of understanding signed by both companies, Hawaiian Airlines and Par Hawaii will jointly evaluate the potential to convert two of the processing units at Par’s Kapolei refinery to produce renewable fuels, including sustainable aviation fuel; explore the production of locally grown, oil-yielding crops; study the feasibility of importing sustainable feedstocks to produce sustainable aviation fuel and other renewable products; and convene stakeholders to continue to support and identify federal and state policies and programs that accelerate Hawaiʻi-based production of renewable fuels.

“We have over 260 employees at our Kapolei refinery engaged in high quality manufacturing work,” said William Pate, president and CEO of Par Pacific. “We’re excited to be partnering with Hawaiian Airlines to innovate and position our business for the future. Aviation fuel represents approximately 40% of Hawaiʻi’s fuel demand, and our work with Hawaiian is an important step in addressing these emissions.”

"This is the first step in what we hope will be a long and productive relationship that reflects both parties' unwavering commitment to the environment and to these islands we call home," said Peter Ingram, president and CEO of Hawaiian Airlines. "SAF is an integral part of decarbonizing aviation, and we hope to be able to make joint investments in SAF production here in Hawaiʻi, which will benefit both the environment and our economy.”

Ingram added: “We know that it will take more than just our companies to accomplish this ambitious objective, and we look forward to engaging with partners across the community to build a more sustainable future for travel to, from and within the islands.”

In 2019, Par Pacific invested $27 million in a distillate hydrotreater at its Kapolei refinery to produce more jet fuel and ultra-low sulfur diesel. This relatively new processing unit, along with the refinery’s distillate hydrocracker – which produces high value transportation fuels by converting heavier, lower value products under high temperature and pressure – are the two primary units being considered for renewable fuels production. 

“We believe we’re headed in the right direction by collaborating with Hawaiian Airlines to explore the shift from petroleum to biofuels at our Par Hawaii refinery,” said Eric Wright, president of Par Hawaii.

Dubai Airports launches new sustainability initiative for food waste at DXB

Dubai Airports launched (04-Jun-2022) a new sustainability initiative in line with its target of diverting 60% of waste from Dubai International Airport away from landfills by 2023.

The new programme includes installation of a series of biodigester compost systems throughout the airport, which are expected to capture and compost over 2000 tonnes of food waste p/a from F&B outlets, lounges and hotels.

Dubai Airports' waste diversion strategy has achieved a better than 40% waste reduction in partnership with Sharjah-based waste management partner BEEAH Group.

Dubai Airports VP of safety and sustainability Jamal Zaal stated: "Capturing and diverting all forms of waste from landfills is a strategically important component of our waste management programme".

Mr Zaal stated: "While airport operations contribute a very small percentage of the overall waste generated at DXB, we are working in close partnership with airlines, F&B facilities, and all other partners across the airport to make a unified commitment to achieving and surpassing our 60% waste reduction objective". [more - original PR]

Original report: DA to divert 60% of all DXB waste from landfills by mid-2023

Dubai Airports is marking the World Environment Day by kicking off a new waste management initiative that will play an integral role delivering on its commitment to keep 60% of all waste from Dubai International (DXB) from entering landfills by the middle of 2023.

As part of the new programme, the operator has implemented an innovative food waste treatment plan which is expected to capture and compost more than 2,000 tonnes of food waste annually from food and beverage outlets, lounges and hotels across DXB terminals and concourses. Decomposing food waste in landfills results in the emission of methane gas which is 72 times more harmful to the environment than CO2.

The innovative new food waste plan was created in partnership with Dubai Airports’ waste management partner BEEAH Group, the Sharjah-based sustainability pioneer. It uses a special high-tech biodigester compost system installed in multiple locations across DXB that dramatically increases the speed at which food waste breaks down and becomes reusable compost and clean wastewater.

The DXB waste diversion strategy is designed to sustain a resilient waste management system that identifies the least economic, environmental, and social impact methods to capture, treat, reuse, or recycle all forms of waste. To date, the programme has already achieved greater than 40% reduction in waste, including a special initiative that captures 100% of all cooking oil used in airport F&B outlets and converts it to biodiesel fuel.

“Capturing and diverting all forms of waste from landfills is a strategically important component of our waste management programme. While airport operations contribute a very small percentage of the overall waste generated at DXB, we are working in close partnership with airlines, F&B facilities, and all other partners across the airport to make a unified commitment to achieving and surpassing our 60% waste reduction objective,” said Jamal Zaal, Vice President of Safety and Sustainability at Dubai Airports.

“BEEAH Group is committed to being Dubai Airports’ partner to create a range of innovative new programmes to capture and find a useful purpose for all forms of waste in the most practical and impactful ways possible. Deploying Power Knot technology across all DXB terminals and concourses is a great example of that innovation and will put us on the path to achieve our goal of eliminating food waste and achieving our waste diversion targets,” said Rafael Sanjurjo Lopez, CEO Bee’ah Tandeef.

World Environment Day is led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and is celebrated by millions of people across the world. Held annually since 1974, it has grown into the largest global platform for environmental outreach. The campaign slogan for World Environment Day 2022, hosted by Sweden, is “Only One Earth” and is focused on living sustainably in harmony with nature.

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