Aviation Industry Announces Establishment of the “Council on Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accountability”
15 April 2021, Brussels/Washington, DC. The aviation industry announced that – to build on its already impressive scope of activities for reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions – they are establishing the Council on Sustainable Aviation Fuels Accountability (CoSAFA), which is intended to accelerate the industry’s movement toward further decarbonizing aviation and increasing the adoption of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
The global aviation industry currently accounts for around 2 percent of man-made CO2 emissions. The aviation industry is committed to limit and reduce these emissions through the deployment of advanced technology, operational measures, infrastructure improvements and SAF. While most SAF transactions to date have involved a limited set of SAF producers and aircraft operators, there is increasing interest in multiple-party purchase and deployment agreements. CoSAFA represents a unified vision across the aviation industry for advancing consistent, accurate accounting practices documenting the production and use of SAF in such multi-party transactions – a crucial tool for further reducing the industry’s carbon footprint.
CoSAFA’s efforts will be led by a broad aviation industry Board of Directors, including representatives from Airlines for America (A4A), European Business Aviation Association (EBAA), General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), International Air Transport Association (IATA), International Business Aviation Council (IBAC), National Air Transportation Association (NATA), and the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).
All of these organizations recognize the scale-up of SAF production will be enabled by well-designed protocols for SAF chain of custody throughout the supply chain life cycle, allowing for product and transaction tracing, a means of verifying relevant data, and the appropriate accounting or claiming of environmental benefits.
CoSAFA’s mission is to work through an orderly, global approach toward providing the necessary transparency for multi-party SAF transactions. CoSAFA standards will ensure transactional transparency, preventing double-counting of emissions savings and other potential accounting questions that could undermine market confidence and investments in the environmental benefits of SAF production and use.
Recognising that many in the aviation sector are eager to incorporate SAF into their operations, the organizing bodies of CoSAFA identified the need for a system to efficiently match SAF supplies with demand, track chain of custody and use with transparency, and ensure consistency with environmental and sustainability criteria. The standards of practice established by CoSAFA will be publicly available for voluntary use by any party within the aviation sector, including entities that supply fuel and related services to the aviation sector.
The industry has seen great success over the past several years in building awareness and uptake of SAF, wherever it is available. However, 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 intensity fuels, and that SAF carbon intensity and other sustainability data can be consistently reported, auditable, and traceable.
“SAF provides a viable means of decarbonizing the majority of aviation operations both now and for the foreseeable future. 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. We look forward to continuing to make progress and advancements that can make a meaningful difference,” stated Timothy Obitts, CoSAFA Board Chair and President and CEO of the National Air Transportation Association.
- The industry is pursuing technological, operational and infrastructure advances in addition to the deployment of SAF as means to limit and reduce its CO2 emissions as it returns to growth after the COVID-19 crisis. The industry also supports the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), which includes mechanisms for crediting aircraft operators’ use of SAF with demonstrated lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions savings and other sustainability criteria.
- SAF is low-carbon synthetic jet fuel derived from sustainable feedstocks, including cellulosic biomass, wastes and residues, waste steel mill gases, and captured CO2.
- The formation of CoSAFA is aimed at supporting and complementing the industry’s commitment to SAF deployment, particularly in multi-party transactions.