Tech giant Google has joined one of the world’s largest sustainable aviation programmes, in collaboration with Shell Aviation and American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT).

Launched in 2022 with one million gallons of SAF available for corporate customers, the SAF program brings together major corporations such as Google, Aon, Bank of America, Delta, Cathay Pacific, JetBlue and Japan Airlines to drive the aviation industry’s transition to net zero by 2050. The program is powered by Avelia, one of the world’s first blockchain-powered digital SAF book-and-claim solutions for business travel.

Andrew Crawley, president, Amex GBT, explained, “Business travel is a crucial passenger segment for aviation, accounting for around 15% of air travel globally and generating around 40% of revenues. To have Google join our growing SAF program demonstrates how corporate collaboration can accelerate aviation’s transition to net zero and enable more sustainable travel.”

Supply and demand

According to IATA, using neat SAF can reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by as much as 80% when compared to traditional fossil-based fuels and is currently the aviation industry’s best method to decarbonise air travel.

However, SAF represents less than 0.1% of available aviation fuel and is either time mores expensive than traditional fuel. The aim of Shell and Amex GBT’s SAF programme is to address these issues. Bringing together Shell Aviation’s airline customers and the purchasing power of Amex GBT’s 19,000+ corporate customers across 140 countries will hopefully result in the capital investment needed for the additional production facilities and technologies required to achieve economies of scale, helping the nascent SAF industry take off.

Commenting on Google’s commitment to SAF, Jan Toschka, president, Shell Aviation said, “It’s great that through the Avelia program Shell Aviation will supply SAF to support Google in cutting emissions from its corporate flying. Considering Google’s stature and prominence this announcement represents an important milestone for decarbonising aviation. As scaling the uptake of SAF will only be possible if all parts of the aviation value chain work together, we’re thrilled to work with such an influential and forward-thinking company.”

Sustainable news

Discover more about the sustainability initiatives being undertaken by the aviation industry here.

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