With the business aviation industry’s focus on increasing the uptake and utilization of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) despite its currently limited geographical distribution, Avfuel (Booth 945) has announced the launch of its book-and-claim program.
The book-and-claim process allows customers who wish to use SAF but are not in an area where it is available at the pump (in the U.S., mainly West Coast locations near SAF production facilities) to purchase the fuel and receive credit for it under the various emission accounting programs. The fuel is then dispensed into and ultimately burned by another aircraft elsewhere.
“Sustainable aviation fuel is the most effective way to reduce a flight’s carbon footprint, and book-and-claim is the single most effective way to make SAF attainable for customers no matter where they fly,” said Keith Sawyer, Avfuel’s manager of alternative fuels. “Trucking the fuel to the opposite end of the country where a customer may want SAF is not only less efficient and costlier but also affects the lifecycle emissions reduction benefit of SAF. Rather than move the SAF molecules, it makes far more sense to move the accreditation."
To ensure that only the customer who purchases the book-and-claim SAF—which currently comes at a premium compared with standard SAF—receives the environmental credit for it, a strict accounting system is in effect to prevent double-counting.
“It’s not unlike carbon offsetting where you can pay to invest in green projects and receive credit toward carbon emissions reductions,” Sawyer said. “The difference is that emissions are already being directly reduced by an operation through the use of SAF, rather than simply offsetting emissions that have already been produced.”
Avfuel will continue to operate its carbon offset program, which it debuted last year, and has announced a new partnership with carbon credit provider CBL Markets, which will assist the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company with back-end processes such as sourcing verified green projects, carbon credit accreditation, and certificate retiring.
“While the customer-facing component of Avfuel’s carbon offset program will remain the same, our new partnership with CBL Markets will allow for greater efficiencies for a more robust offering,” explained Muneeb Ahmed, the fuel provider’s director of trading and logistics.
The voluntary offset program uses a small per-gallon surcharge to help customers reach their net-zero ambitions by purchasing carbon credits that invest in green projects. Each credit offsets approximately 100 gallons of fuel, the emissions of which are calculated using an industry standardized formula. Customers can either designate a specific number of gallons they wish to offset through the purchase of credits or simply apply credits to all fuel purchased through the company on a continuous basis.
Avfuel’s first transaction with CBL Markets was to offset its own 2020 emissions, part of its new companywide sustainability pledge introduced this year at NBAA-BACE. It will offset its own scope 1 and 2 activities among other emissions, including those from its fleet of fuel delivery transport trucks and more than 700 customer-leased airport refuelers, on an annual basis going forward. For 2020, that involved the offset of 8,164 tonnes of carbon emissions.
“We recognize the responsibility we have—especially as a fuel supplier—to operate with a sustainable mindset,” said v-p of marketing Marci Ammerman. “After carefully reviewing the emissions we produce as a company with third-party sustainability consultants, we felt it imperative to do our part in reducing our net carbon footprint.”