Alphabet Organizations Launch SAF Oversight Body

 - April 15, 2021, 2:00 PM
The newly-launched Council on Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accountability aims to provide clarity, transparency, and accuracy to the accounting practices documenting the use of SAF in multi-party transactions. (Photo: World Fuel)

With the availability and adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) slowly but steadily increasing, and more and more companies becoming involved in its sale, distribution, and ultimate use, several aviation organizations today announced the launch of the Council on Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accountability (CoSAFA). The group—which includes NATA, NBAA, EBAA, IBAC, GAMA, and Airlines for America as members—aims to provide clarity, transparency, and accuracy to the accounting practices documenting the use of SAF in multi-party transactions.

They launched the council to ensure the scale-up of SAF production will be enabled by well-designed protocols for SAF chain of custody through the supply chain life cycle, allowing for product and transaction tracing, a means of verifying relevant data, and proper accounting or claiming of environmental benefits.

The organizations are concerned that double-counting of emissions savings through measures such as book and claim, along with other potential accounting questions, could undermine market confidence and investments in the developing SAF production market. Under book and claim, the fuel is purchased by one operator and it is then pumped into an entirely different aircraft at another location where the SAF is available.

"Before significant SAF scale-up can occur, investors need confidence that producers and SAF purchasers will be able to reliably capture environmental premiums from lower carbon fuels, and that SAF carbon intensity and other sustainability data can be consistently reported, auditable, and traceable," the group noted.

As a result, the council will establish standards of practice that will be available for voluntary use by companies within the aviation industry, particularly those entities that supply fuel to the sector.

“SAF provides a viable means of decarbonizing the majority of aviation operations both now, and for the foreseeable future,” said NATA president and CEO Timothy Obitts, who will also serve as CoSAFA’s board chair. “The formation of CoSAFA is a critical step toward the aviation industry further reducing its carbon footprint and achieving its sustainability goals. The movement toward a cleaner future is continuing to gain traction and make inroads, unifying every sector of the industry.”