September 29, 2008

SAS Joins Cross-Industry Players to Develop Sustainable Aviation Fuels

The Scandinavian Airlines System, with other air carriers, Boeing and Honeywell refining technology subsidiary, UOP, have established a group to accelerate the development and commercialization of sustainable new aviation fuels.

With support and advice from the global environmental organizations, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group makes commercial aviation the first global transportation sector to voluntarily drive verifiable sustainability practices into its fuel supply chain.

The group's charter will enable the commercial use of renewable fuel sources which can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while lessening commercial aviation's exposure to oil price volatility and dependence on fossil fuels.

Airlines supporting the sustainable fuels initiative include Air France, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Cargolux, Continental Airlines, Gulf Air, Japan Airlines, KLM, SAS Scandinavian Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Collectively, they account for more than 15% of commercial jet fuel use.

All group members subscribe to a sustainability pledge stipulating that any sustainable biofuel must perform as well as, or better than, kerosene-based fuel, but with a smaller carbon lifecycle.

The user's group pledged to consider only renewable fuel sources with minimal impacts to the biosphere including fuels that require minimal land, water and energy to produce, and that do not compete with food or fresh water resources. In addition, cultivation and harvest of plant stocks must provide socioeconomic value to the local communities.

Jean-Philippe Denruyter, WWF Global Bioenergy co-ordinator and steering board member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, said: "We welcome the aviation sector's will to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, and appreciate their efforts to ensure the sustainability of their biofuels sourcing. By teaming up with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels, the aviation sector can build on an existing solid multi-stakeholder process that will reinforce this initiative."