Shell, Accenture and AMEX GBT launch the SAF blockchain project


Shell, Accenture and American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) Jointly Launch Avelia, One of the World’s First Blockchain-Powered Sustainable Digital Aviation Fuel (SAF) Reservation and Claims Solutions for Business Travel .

It is billed as the largest SAF reservation and claim pilot at launch, delivering around 1 million gallons of SAF – enough to power nearly 15,000 individual business traveler flights from London to New York.

The pilot phase of the program aims to demonstrate the credibility of the book-and-claim model, using blockchain technology to ensure secure allocation of SAF environmental attributes to businesses and airlines after the fuel has been delivered into the network. fuel.

With Avelia, airlines and corporate customers could simultaneously reduce emissions within their respective scopes, while ensuring transparency and accountability by avoiding issues such as double counting.

Developed by Shell and Accenture, with support from the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), Avelia includes travel management services from Amex GBT to aggregate global business demand for SAF, which will increase supply and use of SAF and will contribute to accelerating the aeronautical industry’s path towards net-zero emissions.

But it remains to be seen whether SAFs can be produced on a large scale and, just as crucially, whether sustainable fuels can be cheaper to produce than fossil fuels.

Jan Toschka, chairman of Shell Aviation, said that although SAF is a key catalyst for decarbonization in the aviation industry and is available today, it is currently in short supply and costs more than conventional jet fuel.

“Avelia will help spark demand for SAF at scale, giving confidence to suppliers like us to further increase investment in production, and in turn helping to drive down the price of these fuels,” he said. declared.

Paul Abbott, CEO of Amex GBT, said the partnership means there is a “really viable path” to decarbonizing air travel for businesses.

“We call on all companies to join us and share the costs and benefits of SAF in the travel and aviation sectors. Airlines will have access to corporate purchasing capacity, drawing from the 19,000 Amex GBT customers worldwide.”

Rachel Barton, Head of Europe Strategy at Accenture, believes that every business should be a sustainable business and that sustainability will be one of the most powerful forces for change.

“Our vision for the Avelia platform is to bring together airlines, businesses, cargo players and SAF suppliers in a trusted ecosystem that no single company could build or access on its own,” she said. declared. “Blockchain technology will be tested to help ensure trust through data integrity, validate proof of ownership, and enable transparent tracking of the environmental benefits of SAF to customers.”

Shell has committed to purchasing the environmental attributes equivalent to 100,000 gallons of SAF during the pilot phase of the Avelia program. Shell will increase this commitment as more SAF becomes available, to achieve its ambition of reducing Shell’s business travel emissions by 45% through SAF by 2030.

Scalable co-investment models, which allow companies to co-finance the cost of SAFs, are key to significantly scaling the supply and use of SAFs. An industry-accepted carbon accounting mechanism, such as accounting and claiming, is essential for these programs to develop credibly. The security and credibility of Avelia’s data is critical to building scientific and business consensus on ways to assign SAF environmental attributes and help accelerate the decarbonization of aviation.

Sustainable aviation fuel delivered to New York via pipelines

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) has been delivered to New York’s LaGuardia Airport via the Colonial and Buckeye pipeline systems – two critical components of America’s energy infrastructure. The low-emission jet fuel will power a Delta Air Lines flight, marking a watershed moment in SAF’s ongoing development and distribution in the United States.

“SAF is the most effective tool we have to decarbonize our industry,” said Pamela Fletcher, Delta’s director of sustainability. “These efforts show how existing infrastructure can be used to transport SAF to East Coast airports and reduce emissions – a critical step as we move towards a more sustainable future for air travel.”

This partnership between Delta, Neste, Colonial Pipeline and Buckeye Partners demonstrates the long-term viability of SAF and the airline industry’s journey to net zero. Importantly, it shows that SAF can go anywhere there is an existing pipeline currently carrying fossil jet fuel.

Southwest Airlines Co. recently announced an investment in SAFFiRE Renewables, a company formed by D3MAX, as part of a Department of Energy (DOE)-supported project to develop and produce scalable SAFs.

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and Sasol are undertaking the CARE-O-SENE (Catalyst Research for Sustainable Kerosene) research project, which aims to commercialize the large-scale production of green kerosene from here 2025.

No “quick fix” for sustainable aviation

As the SAF industry innovates, costs will come down. Facilities will evolve, technologies will mature, and inputs such as green electricity will become less expensive, according to McKinsey.

“There is no silver bullet, however – no single feedstock or production route will be practical in all geographies or produce enough SAF to meet all demand,” he says. “Even if costs come down, SAFs will almost certainly still be more expensive to produce than fossil fuels.”

To make SAF production economically viable and on a large scale, several advances will be necessary: ​​a favorable regulatory framework, measures to stimulate demand from businesses and individuals, and innovative ways to finance the transition.

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