By Benjamin Pham
United reveals partnership with Sustainable Fuel Business Venture
The aviation industry is often misrepresented as a major contributor to air pollution, although global travel contributes around 2% of CO2 emissions, but is still defined as not environmentally friendly or sustainable in themselves.
The biggest and biggest problem airlines face today is the continued use of traditional fossil fuels, which can be costly to the carrier and the environment. However, technological advancements and trends in scientific research are leading the industry to undertake a huge transformation and move in a favorable direction, where several major airlines have drafted and adapted ambitious sustainability goals and operating practices. net zero carbon emissions. For United, this means an investment in agreements with partners that produce an alternative to traditional fossil fuels.
Renowned carrier Star Alliance plans to enter into a joint agreement with Honeywell to support and invest in Alder Fuels, a leading producer and trading company of large industrial scale sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs) through the conversion of plant and plant materials. As part of the investment, United intends to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of SAF over a 20-year period.
“Since announcing our 100% green commitment in 2020, United has remained focused on decarbonization without relying on the use of traditional carbon offsets. Part of that commitment is to increase the use and availability of SAF, as it is the fastest way to reduce emissions across our entire fleet. However, to scale SAF as quickly as needed, we need to go beyond existing solutions and invest in research and development of new avenues like the one Alder is developing, ”said Scott Kirby, CEO of United. Our leadership gives customers the confidence that they are traveling with an airline that recognizes our responsibility to help solve climate change. “
At the end of December 2020, the carrier announced its pledge and commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 100% by 2050 through the use of SAF, its involvement in carbon capture technology and the purchase of carbon offsets. The transporter remains active in its efforts to mitigate climate risks and reduce emissions as part of its Eco-Skies initiative.
The current COVID-19 situation continues to present barriers and to be a hindrance for carriers like United as they continue to navigate and adapt to fluctuating passenger travel demand and travel restrictions. Nonetheless, United is joining the race with other carriers towards the current trend of becoming carbon neutral and operating a fuel efficient and sustainable fleet.
Simultaneously, Delta – one of three incumbent carriers in the United States – recently announced its new carbon emissions target. The Atlanta-based carrier intends to eventually replace 10% of its fossil fuel supply with SAF by 2030 and plans to work with the Scientific Based Target Initiative (SBTI), which will certainly create a level competitive field for air operations against United and others. carriers.
The carrier SkyTeam’s partnership in the SBTI includes goals that align with the Paris Agreement and will eventually encourage the carrier to renew its fleet while focusing on using more SAFs for the operational efficiency of its aircraft. .
Clearly, the airline industry is redefining itself and moving towards more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices that will hopefully become in the long run. United and one of their bitter rivals Delta are preparing to move on to the new changes. However, with new technology and research, both carriers should be aware of the costs that arise from moving away from traditional practices, especially during surges in passenger demand.