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Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, CAPA 26-Nov-2020

Analysis

IATA launches aviation carbon offsets trading platform, with JetBlue completing first trade

IATA calls on governments to support SAF development

Embraer and EDP enter partnership for electric aircraft research

Lufthansa Cargo commits to five sustainability goals under United Nations framework

United Airlines reports consumers more mindful than ever of environmental impacts

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

IATA launches aviation carbon offsets trading platform, with JetBlue completing first trade

IATA launched (25-Nov-2020) the Aviation Carbon Exchange (ACE), a tool to help airlines meet their climate commitments. ACE is the first centralised, real time marketplace that is integrated with the IATA Clearing House (ICH) for the settlement of funds on trades in carbon offsets.

Connection to the ICH ensures ACE can offer a seamless and secure settlement system which guarantees payment and delivery of the carbon credits. The platform will be a key tool for airlines in fulfilling their obligations under CORSIA, which was agreed by governments through ICAO in 2016. 

JetBlue Airways completed the historic first trade on ACE platform, purchasing credits in the first phase of the Larimar wind farm project in the Dominican Republic which began development in 2015.

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac stated: "Airlines are serious in their commitment to reduce emissions. And they need a reliable tool to access quality carbon credits in real time. ACE will be a key tool helping airlines efficiently manage these important transactions". [more - original PR]

Original report: IATA Launches New Exchange for Offsets Trading

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has launched the Aviation Carbon Exchange (ACE), an important new tool to help airlines meet their climate commitments.  
 

  • ACE is the first centralized, real-time marketplace that is integrated with the IATA Clearing House (ICH) for the settlement of funds on trades in carbon offsets.
  • IATA’s Clearing House ensures that ACE can offer a seamless and secure settlement system which guarantees payment and delivery of the carbon credits. 
  • JetBlue Airways is the first airline that made the historic transaction in the ACE platform.


“Airlines are serious in their commitment to reduce emissions. And they need a reliable tool to access quality carbon credits in real time. ACE will be a key tool helping airlines efficiently manage these important transactions,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.  

Airlines reiterated the industry’s commitment to cut net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050 in a resolution of the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM). A key step is the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) which will deliver carbon neutral growth for international emissions from 2021. Airlines are also buying carbon credits as part of individual carrier commitments or to offset domestic operations.  

First Transaction 

JetBlue completed the historic first trade on the ACE platform today. It purchased credits in the first phase of the Larimar wind farm project in the Dominican Republic which began development in 2015. When the entire project is completed it will reduce average emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. 

“Our planet is physically changing, as are the expectations of our customers, crew, members and investors,” said Robin Hayes, CEO of JetBlue and Chair of the IATA Board of Governors, noting the importance of addressing the climate change challenge. 

“While our industry’s short-term priorities are focussed on COVID-19 recovery, now is the time to rebuild operations in more sustainable ways such as adopting Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and setting clear strategies to reduce net aviation CO2 emissions. The Aviation Carbon Exchange will help us continue to meet our climate commitments by providing simplified and transparent access to legitimate, third-party certified carbon offsets,” said Hayes.  

About ACE 

ACE, which has been developed in conjunction with commodities trader Xpansiv CBL Holding, provides airlines and other aviation stakeholders (such as airports and aircraft manufacturers) the opportunity to offset their carbon footprint by purchasing credits in certified projects that reduce carbon emissions. Carbon reduction programs on ACE include forestry projects, clean wind energy operations, protection of eco-systems and remote community-based projects to cut emissions. 

The platform will be a key tool for airlines in fulfilling their obligations under CORSIA which was agreed by governments through the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2016. After a baseline adjustment to account for COVID-19 disruptions, CORSIA will effectively ensure that aviation’s net carbon emissions will not grow above 2019 levels. This will be achieved through the purchase of high-quality carbon offsets and closely monitored by governments.  

ACE will also be open to airlines wanting to invest in voluntary offsets outside CORSIA, for example those who have set net zero emissions targets, and those wishing to offset domestic operations. 

“ACE gives airlines access to top quality carbon offsetting schemes in real-time with full transparency. CORSIA is a key enabler of our long-term strategy to reduce emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050, and this new platform will be of enormous benefit to our members and other industry stakeholders,” said Sebastian Mikosz, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Member and External Relations

IATA calls on governments to support SAF development

IATA called (25-Nov-2020) on governments worldwide to support the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) as a critical step to achieving its target to cut net emissions to half of 2005 levels by 2050.

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the transition to SAF needs government support and the COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to address the high cost and limited supply of SAF.

Mr de Juniac said economic stimulus for the development of a large scale, competitive SAF market "would be a triple win - creating jobs, fighting climate change and sustainably connecting the world". [more - original PR]

Excerpt from original report: IATA Calls on Governments to Support Industry Move to SAF

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) called on governments worldwide to support the development of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) as a critical step to achieving its target to cut net emissions to half 2005 levels by 2050. This target was reinforced by a resolution at IATA’s 76th Annual General Meeting yesterday which also commits the industry to exploring pathways to net zero emissions.

“We have long known that an energy transition to SAF is the game-changer. But energy transitions need government support. The cost of SAF is too high and supplies too limited. This crisis is the opportunity to change that. Putting economic stimulus funds behind the development of a large-scale, competitive SAF market would be a triple win—creating jobs, fighting climate change and sustainably connecting the world,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA

Government stimulus packages could help promote SAF through direct investment, loan guarantees and incentives for the private sector, as well as regulations that channel feedstock towards hard-to-abate sectors such as aviation rather than to other low-carbon transport industries.  

The aim of stimulus funds would be to create a competitive market. Currently SAF is on average between 2-4 times more expensive than fossil fuels with current global production of about 100 million litres a year which is just 0.1% of the total amount of aviation fuel consumed by the industry. IATA estimates that stimulus investments could help boost SAF production to the 2% (6-7 billion litres) needed to trigger a potential tipping point to bring SAF to competitive price levels against fossil fuels. 

SAF was recently highlighted in the cross-industry report Waypoint 2050 by the Air Transport Action Group as the most important pathway to achieving the aviation industry’s climate goals. The report also noted the potential for electric and hydrogen powered aircraft in aviation’s climate action but said that commercially applicable solutions are at least a decade away and offer the greatest potential for short-haul aircraft. Long-haul operations are likely to remain dependent on liquid fuels for some time to come. 

SAF is the industry’s preferred solution for its unique properties: 
 

  • SAF has impact. Over its lifecycle, SAF reduces CO2 emissions by up to 80%. 
     
  • SAF is a proven technology. SAF has been safely used on more than 300,000 flights to date. 
     
  • SAF is scalable and ready to use in today’s fleet. No engine modifications are needed. And it can be blended with jet kerosene as supplies increase.  
     
  • SAF has strong sustainability criteria. All raw material (feedstock) used to produce SAF is sourced only from sustainable sources. Currently SAF is being produced from waste materials including used cooking oil and non-food crops, with municipal waste and off-gasses likely to be included in feedstock soon.


“As the world looks to re-boot the economy, let’s not waste this opportunity to create jobs and an industry that will yield huge dividends for the public good. If we can drive SAF prices down as we drive production volumes up, we will be able to sustainably connect the post-COVID-19 world,” said de Juniac.

Embraer and EDP enter partnership for electric aircraft research

Embraer and EDP entered (20-Nov-2020) a partnership for electric aircraft research. The EDP Smart division announced a financial contribution for the acquisition of energy storage and battery charging technologies for Embraer's all electric demonstrator aircraft project, utilising the EMB-203 Ipanema as its test bed. The prototype is scheduled to complete its inaugural flight in 2021.

The investment is part of a cooperation agreement aimed at advancing shared knowledge of energy storage and battery charging technologies for aviation.

The partnership aims to investigate the applicability of high voltage batteries for the electric propulsion systems of small aircraft, in addition to evaluating the main operating characteristics, such as weight, efficiency and power quality, thermal control and management, cycling loading and unloading and operational safety. [more - original PR]

Original report: Embraer and EDP announce joint efforts in electric aircraft research

Cooperation agreement aims to advance energy storage and battery charging technologies for aviation; first flight of prototype is scheduled for 2021 

Embraer and EDP, a company that operates in all segments of the Brazilian energy sector, have signed a partnership for electric aircraft research. Through its EDP Smart division, the Portuguese-based multinational announced a financial contribution for the acquisition of energy storage and battery charging technologies for Embraer’s all-electric demonstrator aircraft project, utilizing the EMB-203 Ipanema as its test bed. The prototype, which is already in development, is scheduled to complete its inaugural flight in 2021. 

The investment is part of the cooperation agreement signed by both companies to advance their shared knowledge of energy storage and battery charging technologies for aviation - one of the main challenges of the project. The partnership aims to investigate the applicability of high voltage batteries for the electric propulsion systems of small aircraft, in addition to evaluating the main operating characteristics, such as weight, efficiency and power quality, thermal control and management, cycling loading and unloading, and operational safety.

Embraer’s history of creating strategic partnerships through agile cooperation makes us one of the most recognized Brazilian companies for stimulating global knowledge networks, which in turn significantly increases the country's competitiveness,” said Luís Carlos Affonso, Vice President of Engineering and Corporate Strategy. “It is a pleasure to welcome EDP into this scientific research endeavor designed to build a sustainable future. Innovation is one of the pillars of Embraer's new strategy for the coming years.”

“EDP aims to lead the energy transition to a low carbon economy. Our partnership with Embraer in the development of the company’s first 100% electric demonstrator aircraft represents a new frontier for our investment in electric mobility, which helps to position Brazil as a leading player in this market,” says Miguel Setas, President of EDP in Brazil.

Technological Cooperation

This proposal for the technological development of aeronautical electrification was initially created as a cooperation between Embraer and WEG, in May 2019. The project was developed as an effective and efficient instrument for training and for the maturation of technologies prior to their application in future products.

The scope of the partnership with EDP is to develop shared research in the storage of high voltage energy, complementing Embraer’s ongoing research. These research and development initiatives seek to accelerate the combined knowledge of the technologies necessary for the use and integration of batteries and electric motors in order to increase the energy efficiency of the propulsion systems of aircraft.

For the evaluations, a small single-engine aircraft is being used as the test bed to perform a primary assessment of electrification technologies. Ground tests have taken place at Embraer’s facilities in Botucatu, in the interior of São Paulo, in preparation for the first flight, which will take place at Embraer’s Gavião Peixoto unit.

Electrification is just one project in a series of initiatives being developed by Embraer and the entire aeronautical industry aimed at ensuring the commitment to environmental sustainability, as already exemplified by biofuel developments to reduce carbon emissions.

EDP has a global commitment to electrify 100% of its fleet by 2030, as well as to develop new offers and commercial solutions that promote the energy transition. Last year, during Aneel's Public Call on the topic of Efficient Electric Mobility, the Company approved an investment of about R$ 50 million in projects, via a Research and Development Fund consisting of both corporate and partner resources.

Lufthansa Cargo commits to five sustainability goals under United Nations framework

Lufthansa Cargo announced (24-Nov-2020) plans to focus on five sustainability goals as part of a commitment to the United Nations' Agenda 2030.

Among the goals, the carrier will support innovation and infrastructure and implement measures to mitigate climate change, including investments in new aircraft and lighter equipment to decrease CO2 emissions.

Lufthansa Cargo AG chairman of the executive board Peter Gerber stated: "We take our corporate responsibility very seriously and have set ourselves the goal of bundling our wide-ranging social activities in the future in five areas that are particularly closely related to the business activities of Lufthansa Cargo" [more - original PR]

Original report: Lufthansa Cargo commits to UN sustainability goals

Entrepreneurial commitment is focused on five fields of action

Lufthansa Cargo is aligning its corporate responsibility commitment to the sustainability goals of the United Nations (UN). Within the framework of its Agenda 2030, the United Nations had adopted 17 concrete sustainability goals, covering economic, ecological and social aspects. The Agenda 2030 aims to end hunger and poverty on earth over the next ten years, combat inequality, strengthen education, health care and the economy and counteract climate change. Lufthansa Cargo has committed itself to anchoring five selected sustainability goals in its corporate activities and to making a substantial contribution to achieving these goals by 2030.

"Lufthansa Cargo actively supports the sustainability goals of the United Nations. We take our corporate responsibility very seriously and have set ourselves the goal of bundling our wide-ranging social activities in the future in five areas that are particularly closely related to the business activities of Lufthansa Cargo. This will make our past and future commitment even more comprehensible," explained Peter Gerber, Chairman of the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo AG. The five sustainability goals (SDG) are the focus of Lufthansa Cargo:

  • No Poverty: The fight against poverty is one of the highest goals of the global community. This is a challenge that can only be met by sustainably improving living conditions and future prospects. Lufthansa Cargo opens up access to the world market for all regions and thus makes a very concrete contribution to local economic development, especially in emerging and developing countries.
  • Good Health and Wellbeing: Health is a valuable commodity. Lufthansa Cargo pursues the goal of promoting a healthy life and the well-being of people by ensuring the worldwide supply of sensitive medical goods - especially in times of crisis. Through extensive investments in pharmaceutical hubs and close partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry, the company is continuously expanding its expertise in the fight to preserve health and wellbeing.
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth: Lufthansa Cargo stands for sustained and broad-based economic growth, thus enabling productive and decent work. The company's history shows that Lufthansa Cargo has always planned and acted for the long term in a volatile market. Phases of high turnover have always been used to make wise investments that paid off in times of crisis. Instead of short-term profit-taking, solid growth is the declared and provable goal of the company.
  • Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure: Lufthansa Cargo is committed to sustainable industrialization, supports innovation and is involved in building a crisis-resistant infrastructure.
  • Climate Action: Lufthansa Cargo is committed to protecting the environment with measures to mitigate climate change and its effects. Massive investments in new aircraft and lighter equipment as well as participation in CORSIA result in a win-win situation - for the environment and for Lufthansa Cargo: efficiency is increased on the one hand and fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are reduced on the other.

Lufthansa Cargo considers the focus on the five sustainability goals to be an integral part of its business activities. Together with all employees, but also customers and partners, Lufthansa Cargo wants to bundle all activities and successes in the field of sustainability in a targeted manner. "We are proud to have made our contribution to countless large and small projects over the past decades. This has resulted in initiatives such as "Cargo Human Care", "Cargo Social Care", "Cargo Crisis Care" and "Cargo Climate Care", which underpin and demonstrate our commitment to corporate responsibility: Sustainable commitment is part of us and part of our DNA," says Peter Gerber. "But we want to continue to make a difference in the future and look for new solutions to develop our industry in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. We also want to tackle where help is needed to promote equal opportunities." Lufthansa Cargo also supports the other twelve sustainability goals of the United Nations and helps them in their daily operations.

The Global Gate which is currently being erected on the Lufthansa Cargo premises at Frankfurt Airport, symbolizes in an impressive way the UN's declared goal of contributing to better economic, ecological and social development with the help of sustainability goals. At 24 meters wide and 20 meters high, it is the largest mobile work of art in the world, created by the well-known young German artist of the contemporary era, the 22-year-old Leon Löwentraut. Its design is based on the Brandenburger Tor.

United Airlines reports consumers more mindful than ever of environmental impacts

United Airlines MD of global environmental affairs and sustainability Lauren Riley, via a Global Business Travel Association webinar, stated (19-Nov-2020) consumers are now more mindful than ever of the environmental impact of their flights and there is a "need to engage with these consumers on how to drive sustainability forward and take responsibility for our industry's role in carbon emissions".

According to Ms Riley, it is critical to reduce carbon emissions, rather than just offset, when meeting passenger expectations around airlines and the environment.

The move to sustainability will involve airlines shifting to alternative fuel sources, such as sustainable aviation fuels, which are is less carbon intensive than traditional petroleum based fuel. [more - original PR]

Original report: How the Airline Industry Can Tackle Climate Change and Drive Sustainability, Even in a Pandemic

United Airlines environmental affairs and sustainability executive shares innovative ideas on addressing climate change 
Global Business Travel Association (GBTA); 
As part of its Collaboratory 2020 webinar series, the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) – the world’s largest business travel association – welcomed Lauren Riley, Managing Director of Global Environmental Affairs and Sustainability for United Airlines to discuss implementing strategies and practices that produce tangible sustainability results, and why this pandemic provides an important opportunity for this work.

“Now more than ever consumers are being thoughtful when they fly about the environmental impact, and we need to engage with these consumers on how to drive sustainability forward and take responsibility for our industry’s role in carbon emissions,” said Riley, during her discussion with GBTA’s Interim Executive Director Dave Hilfman. Highlights from their conversation included:

Cutting Carbon Emissions – Not Just Offsetting – is Critical: The overwhelming majority of airline carbon emissions comes from the use of conventional jet fuel. While carbon offsets have been an attractive offering in the airline industry for years, truer sustainability will also come from airlines shifting to alternative fuel sources, like sustainable aviation fuel that is less carbon-intensive than traditional petroleum-based fuel.

Global Advances Continue to Be Made: In 2009, the global travel industry came together and agreed on three incremental goals that became policy under the United Nations. The first, to increase fuel efficiency by 1.5% year over year from 2009-2020, has been met and exceeded. Airlines continue to work towards the remaining two goals: to cap emissions at the 2019 rate moving forward, and to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2050.

Corporate Partnerships Provide a Path to Achieving Sustainability: To accelerate adoption of low-carbon options, United Airlines is piloting a program to engage their corporate partners. United is offering corporate accounts the opportunity to use flight credit to purchase sustainable aviation fuel. This partnership allows United to scale its use of alternative fuels, while their corporate partners can reduce their carbon footprint and achieve their own corporate sustainability goals.

There is a Sustainability Silver Lining of the Pandemic: Like in many other organizations, the pandemic has allowed United to think about how it can thrive as a business while bringing its core values to life for customers. “The pandemic has brought to the forefront the discussion of how travel, climate and sustainability intersect, and the role that human activity plays in temperature rise,” said Riley. “Sustainability and decarbonizing aviation are central to United’s mission and the buy-in starts at the top, with CEO Scott Kirby, who is very passionate about sustainability.” Added Riley, “At the end of the day, relationships are still about personal interactions, and flying is going to continue. As an industry, we all benefit from working together to accelerate these solutions to tackle emissions in a sustainable way.”

This webinar, “Sustainability – The Clock is Ticking,” sponsored by United Airlines, is one of many being presented by GBTA as part of the Collaboratory 2020 series. For the recording of this session and more information on future webinars, visit gbta.org.

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