Amex GBT urges companies to join pilot SAF programme

Business travel can play a large role in leading the transition towards net-zero aviation

American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) and Shell Aviation have banded together to urge the private sector to help decarbonise air travel by joining a landmark sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programme.

Currently, one million gallons of SAF are available at launch, and the SAF will be certified in line with the regulatory standards set within the country of delivery.

Business travel can play a large role in leading the transition to net-zero aviation

The pilot programme is operated on Avelia, the newly launched blockchain-powered book-and-claim platform developed by Shell and Accenture, with the support of the Energy Web Foundation. Avelia taps into Amex GBT’s global client base to aggregate global demand for SAF.

Corporations reduce emissions associated with business travel by committing to purchase SAF environmental attributes and gaining access to SAF.

Shell Aviation will then supply SAF into the aviation fuel network. Book-and-claim enables travellers to invest in and benefit from SAF, even if SAF is not available at their departure airport. SAF will instead be fed into another aircraft in an airport where it is available.

Purchase commitments by pioneering corporations include Accenture, Amex GBT, Shell and Aon – the first Amex GBT pilot customer to join the programme. Discussions are in advanced stages with several other global and multinational customers and airlines.

Amex GBT’s CEO Paul Abbott said: “This pilot is an important foundational step on our journey towards a net-zero world by 2050. As more businesses and organisations like Aon join this SAF pilot program, market signals will grow stronger, making SAF more cost-competitive with conventional jet fuel.”

Jan Toschka, president, Shell Aviation, said: “SAF is the only viable option for reducing aviation emissions in the near-to medium-term. Lower or zero-carbon technologies such as hydrogen and electric flight are decades away from having impact at scale, while SAF can be used immediately without the need for a fundamental change in infrastructure or aircraft design.”

Suzanne Neufang, CEO, Global Business Travel Association, added: “Transformative sustainability initiatives and collaboration will help create a better future for our planet and for business travel.

According to GBTA’s State of Sustainability Report published during Earth Month, 89 per cent of business travel respondents say sustainability is a major priority for their company. The business travel community is simultaneously demanding and driving environmental progress, with pioneering pilots such as this at the forefront.”

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