American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) and Shell Aviation announced today that Google has joined the companies’ sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) program, enabling companies to offset business travel emissions through SAF purchases, and supporting the scale-up of SAF production.
Launched last year with 1 million gallons of SAF on the blockchain-powered Avelia platform, the program utilizes a book-and-claim model, enabling business travelers to pay for SAF and claim the environmental benefits, even if the SAF is not available at their departure airport. The solution was developed by Shell and Accenture, with the support of the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), and includes Amex GBT’s travel management services to aggregate global demand for SAF from its 19,000 global customers.
Michael Terrell, Sr. Director of Climate and Energy at Google, said:
“The use of SAF will play a critical role in helping the aviation sector on its path to decarbonize. Joining Amex GBT’s sustainable aviation fuel program further represents Google’s continued efforts to accelerate the global transition to a carbon-free future.”
Sustainable aviation fuel is seen as one of the key tools to help decarbonize the aviation industry, which currently accounts for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Demand for SAF is likely to rise dramatically over the next few years, as airlines turn to the technology as one of the key solutions to hit their climate goals, and as governments begin to mandate increased SAF use to achieve their own decarbonization ambitions.
Efforts to meaningfully increase the use of SAF face significant challenges, however, including the low supply currently available on the market, and prices well above those of conventional fossil-based fuels.
Google, Amex GBT and Shell are each members of the World Economic Forum’s First Movers Coalition, which encourages companies in sectors where decarbonization is a challenge, including aviation, to increase low-carbon purchases to help scale decarbonization solutions and technologies.
Andrew Crawley, President, American Express Global Business Travel, said:
“Business travel is a crucial passenger segment for aviation, accounting for around 15% of air travel globally and generating around 40% of revenues. To have Google join our growing SAF program demonstrates how corporate collaboration can accelerate aviation’s transition to net zero and enable more sustainable travel.”
Jan Toschka, President of Shell Aviation, added:
“Considering Google’s stature and prominence this announcement represents an important milestone for decarbonising aviation. As scaling the uptake of SAF will only be possible if all parts of the aviation value chain work together, we’re thrilled to work with such an influential and forward-thinking company.”