Fortune 500 Companies Back New SAF Group

 - April 20, 2021, 9:30 AM

Two environmental protection groups, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Rocky Mountain Initiative (RMI), today announced the launch of the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA). The new group’s mission—supported by founding members that include Boeing, Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft, Netflix, and Salesforce—is to accelerate the pace towards net-zero carbon emission aviation by supporting investment in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), catalyzing new production and technology innovation, and guiding member engagement in policy-making.

The group’s efforts will include helping members navigate the technical aspects of SAF, including the market and emissions accounting programs; assess emerging SAF technologies and work with other groups to address production hurdles and cost reduction; and establish a transparent “SAF certificate” program that will enable aircraft operators to invest in high-quality SAF to meet their environmental stewardship goals.

"[SABA] adds momentum to existing airline-company partnerships that support the purchase of [SAF]," said Kelley Kizzier, v-p of EDF's global climate program. SABA will build on the work of these early movers—many of whom seek a more scalable, standardized approach—by establishing a SAF certificate system with robust environmental criteria. Working with sustainability certification schemes, this system will verify and track emissions reductions from SAF so that companies, organizations, and even individual travelers can achieve their climate goals.

Many of those concepts to be implemented by the group were developed by ICAO and the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow coalition.

“SABA will build on the foundation of these global efforts and develop a system that enables SAF to grow at the same pace and scale that renewable electricity grew over the past decade,” said Ned Harvey, RMI’s managing director for climate intelligence. “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.”

Organizers say additional founding company members will be announced shortly and the group will be opened up for broad membership at the COP26 climate conference in November.