Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)
SAF is a key element in the aviation industry’s goal to achieve net zero by 2050.
SAF is a low-carbon alternative to conventional jet fuel that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%. SAF is made from renewable or waste-derived feedstocks such as vegetables, oils, animal fats, and municipal waste, that meet sustainability criteria.
It is a drop-in fuel because it can be safely mixed with normal jet fuel and automatically incorporated into existing airport fuelling systems.
SAF production and use are supported by various initiatives and policies such as ICAO’s CORSIA scheme, the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive and the US’s Renewable Fuel Standard.
Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA)
The CORSIA scheme was adopted in 2016 by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) as the first global market-based measure to offset those international aviation CO2 emissions that cannot be reduced through the use of technological improvements, operational improvements and sustainable aviation fuels.
CORSIA is currently in its pilot (and voluntary) phase, the first phase will start in 2024 and finish in 2026. The mandatory phase will follow from 2027 until 2035.
CORSIA Eligible Fuels
CORSIA allows aircraft operators to reduce their offsetting requirements through the use of CORSIA-eligible fuels, which include CORSIA sustainable aviation fuels and CORSIA lower carbon aviation fuels.
- CORSIA lower carbon aviation fuel. A fossil-based aviation fuel that meets the CORSIA Sustainability Criteria under this Volume.
- CORSIA sustainable aviation A renewable or waste-derived aviation fuel that meets the CORSIA Sustainability Criteria under this Volume.
CORSIA Eligible Emissions Units
CORSIA allows aircraft operators to reduce their offsetting requirements through the use of Eligible Emissions Units. Nine eligible market standards are included for the Pilot Phase 2021-2023 although certain methodologies and vintages are not eligible:
- American Carbon Registry
- Architecture for REDD+ Transactions
- China GHG Voluntary Emission Reduction Program
- Clean Development Mechanism
- Climate Action Reserve
- Global Carbon Council
- The Gold Standard
- Verified Carbon Standard
- Word Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF)