Flying high on sustainability: Boeing pushes for greener skies at COP28

Boeing is intensifying its worldwide initiatives to expand the adoption of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), recognized as the aviation industry’s most impactful tool for reducing emissions both presently and in the long term.

The primary areas of focus encompass Boeing’s endeavors to stimulate cooperation, conduct research, and contribute to policy development related to SAF. These fuels have the potential to decrease lifecycle CO2 emissions by up to 85%.

“We’re deepening our collaborative work across the globe in pursuit of a world with more SAF,” said Chris Raymond, Boeing Chief Sustainability Officer. “SAF holds the greatest potential to reduce aviation’s emissions, and we are focused on continuing to innovate and collaborate to unlock the production of sustainable aviation fuel around the world.”

The key challenges to greater use of SAF are the limited supply and high cost. Current use of SAF represents 0.1% of global jet fuel demand.

In the lead up to COP28, Boeing worked together to:

•             Bring energy producers and aviation leaders in the UAE together to form a consortium called Air-CRAFT to accelerate the research, scaling and production of renewable and advanced aviation fuels in the country and beyond.

•             Launch an initiative with the United States to catalyze the development and use of SAF among Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member countries.

•             Announce a collaboration with Zero Petroleum for testing and analyzing the next generation of technologies to accelerate the supply of SAF.

•             Support discussions at ICAO’s Third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels, where governments from over 100 countries set a goal that aviation fuel in 2030 should be 5% less carbon intensive than conventional jet fuel.

•             Join the Corporate Coalition for Innovation & Technology toward Net Zero (CCITNZ), a cross-sector business alliance dedicated to helping countries meet decarbonization and climate change goals through innovation and technology.

•             Provide technical expertise on the first 100% SAF flight across the Atlantic on a commercial jetliner – a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. This was a Virgin Atlantic-led project, supported by funding from the UK Department for Transport.

•             Sign an agreement with Masdar, the Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company, to advance and support the development and adoption of SAF policies in the UAE and beyond.

Boeing aims to capitalize on its current momentum at COP28 and sustain its commitment to advancing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) on a global scale. The company’s approach involves:

Industry Collaboration and Policy Advocacy: Boeing continues its collaborative efforts with consulting firms, academic institutions, and non-profit organizations. This collaborative approach spans over a dozen countries, where studies are conducted to identify viable pathways for locally produced SAF, utilizing indigenous feedstock solutions. An exemplary collaboration with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials explores SAF feedstock opportunities in Southeast Asia, Ethiopia, South Africa, and Brazil.

Investments in Product Compatibility: Boeing is actively mobilizing its supply chain to conduct the necessary testing. The goal is to ensure that all Boeing commercial airplanes achieve 100% compatibility with SAF by the year 2030.

SAF Purchases: Since 2022, Boeing has secured agreements to purchase 7.6 million gallons of SAF for its U.S. commercial airplane operations.

These initiatives are part of Boeing’s strategic approach to support the decarbonization goals of the commercial aviation industry. In addition to advancing renewable energy, Boeing is concurrently focusing on three other strategic levers: fleet renewal, advanced technology, and operational efficiency.

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