How can sustainable aviation fuels achieve mass usage?

By Wineke Haagsma, Corporate Sustainability Director, PwC Netherlands

The race is on across all industries to decarbonise but some face tougher hurdles than others. None more so than aviation which accounts for some 3% of global CO2 emissions annually. Reducing that impact is critical as the world aims to achieve net zero targets. 

One promising innovation that can help is the increased use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). It offers the fastest, most viable in-sector decarbonisation approach, but is two to five times the price of conventional jet fuel. As a result, its widespread adoption is hindered by a “chicken-and-egg” challenge - SAF producers and consumers are either unable or unwilling to shoulder the initial costs of scaling production.

Powering Sustainable Aviation Through Consumer Demand, a World Economic Forum insight report developed in collaboration with RMI and PwC Netherlands, proposed a first of its kind Sustainable Aviation Fuel Certificate (SAFc) to help solve the pricing gap - employing a creative approach used to help renewable wind and solar projects when they were more expensive than fossil fuel energy.

A SAFc allows aviation customers (notably business travelers) to play a key role in reducing the environmental impact of their travel. Fuel producers would sell the fuel and the 'climate credits' for the fuel separately. Companies would then pay to get the climate credits in the form of an Energy Attribute Certificate.  

This exciting innovation is a first for the airline industry. It can help to overcome a barrier to the widespread adoption of sustainable aviation fuel. 

As part of our commitment to help drive demand for higher levels of sustainable aviation fuel we’re one of 60 companies to sign an ambition statement as part of the Clean Skies for Tomorrow coalition.

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How can aviation become more sustainable?

Aviation accounts for 3% of global CO2 emissions annually. Listen to Wineke Haagsma, Corporate Sustainability Director for PwC Netherlands, explain how to overcome the barrier to widespread adoption of sustainable aviation fuel and help reduce aviation’s impact as the world aims to achieve net-zero targets.

Contact us

Wineke Haagsma

Wineke Haagsma

Head of Corporate Sustainability, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 170 13 44