Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance
As the end of the COVID-19 pandemic draws closer, the aviation industry is poised to reemerge as an essential contributor to our economies and our daily lives.
At the same time, the urgency of the climate crisis has never been clearer: we have less than a decade to halve global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change.
Nearly 2.5% of today’s emissions are a result of global air travel – a figure that is projected to rise rapidly in coming years, especially as jet fuel demand is expected to reach double pre-pandemic levels by 2050.
That’s why now is the time for leadership and innovation from companies in the aviation sector and beyond – especially as investors, customers, and employees increasingly demand net zero commitments, climate risk disclosure, and stakeholder capitalism as business imperatives.
Introducing the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA)
Spearheaded by RMI and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) will work to accelerate the path to net zero aviation by driving investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), catalyzing SAF production and technological innovation, and supporting member engagement in policy-making efforts. SAF has the potential to reduce the carbon intensity of flying by more than 80%, but SAF currently represents less than 0.1% of global aviation fuel due to insufficient, disaggregated demand and cost barriers.
To address these issues, founding companies Bank of America, Boeing, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, McKinsey and Company, Meta, Microsoft, Netflix and Salesforce will work in collaboration with EDF and RMI to develop a rigorous, transparent system that expands SAF investment opportunities to all businesses, organizations and even individuals interested in reducing the climate impacts of air transport. It will accelerate the use and bring down the costs of SAF, to help drive aviation emission reductions at the scale and pace that the science demands.
SABA is intentionally starting small but will engage a limited number of additional companies in the next few months and eventually open to all companies and organizations interested in reducing their aviation-related emissions.
SABA’s mission is to accelerate the path to net zero aviation by driving investment in high quality sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), catalyzing new SAF production, technological innovation and supporting member engagement in policy-making efforts.
Key aspects of SABA’s work:
- Education and Policy Support: SABA will help members navigate the technical aspects of SAF and the SAF market, aviation emissions accounting, and the SAF regulatory and SAF policy-making landscape.
- Technology Innovation: SABA will assess emerging SAF technologies and work with like-minded organizations to help address barriers to scale and cost reduction.
- Investment Opportunity: SABA will establish a rigorous, transparent SAF certificate system enabling air transport customers – not only aircraft operators – to invest in high quality SAF to meet their ambitious climate goals.
About Sustainable Aviation Fuel
SAF has the potential to dramatically reduce aviation emissions, but low demand and high costs have prevented its wider use. SABA hopes to generate the demand needed to bring SAF to scale.
Unlike fossil jet fuel, SAF is produced from renewable sources or waste feedstocks, including crops like switchgrass or poplar, or waste materials such as cooking oil, corn stalks and cobs, or municipal solid waste. SAF can include: (1) fuels of biogenic origin; (2) fuels derived from hybrid feedstocks such as municipal solid waste; (3) liquid hydrogen; (4) recycled-carbon-based fuels; and (5) electrofuels. SAF provides an environmental benefit when its lifecycle emissions, which encompass all direct and indirect emissions from production to combustion, are lower than those of fossil jet fuel.
The benefits of investing in SAF will go beyond the aviation sector, creating vast new clean energy jobs and new, sustainable revenue sources for farmers and tech innovators.
With expert support from