How SAF Plays A Vital Role In ANA’s Environmental Goals

All Nippon Airways (ANA) has been ramping up its sustainability efforts this year. Amid this progress, Simple Flying caught up with the airline’s Country Sales Manager, UK & Ireland Julie Murphy, about how her company is looking to reach its goals in this sector.

The airline is looking at industry stakeholders to join it on its mission. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A clear position

The Tokyo-based carrier is taking a strong stance on sustainability. This motive is marked by a partnership with Japan Airlines that has seen the two Japanese operators develop a joint report for a “virtually zero CO2 emission” air transport ecosystem by 2050.

Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) will be playing a significant role in cutting these emissions. As a result, amid a collaboration with NESTE, ANA has been launching initiatives focused on this field.

This summer, one of the carrier’s 787-8 Dreamliners flew domestically using SAF made from microalgae. Then, in September, the carrier conducted the first SAF-powered cargo flight with leading logistics firms in Japan. Following these moves, the business launched a dedicated program to promote SAF usage last month. 

ANA is keen to accelerate the adoption of SAF. Photo: All Nippon Airways

Collaboration required

There is still a long way to go when it comes to the deployment of SAF. While carriers are determined to switch over, the infrastructure isn’t quite there yet. Thus, ANA is calling for better coordination across the industry.

“It’s been a work in progress for many years. Subsequently, the ANA Future Promise was launched earlier this year. This is an initiative where we are committed to sustainable development goals and business processes. Sustainable aviation fuel is a big part of that,” Murphy told Simple Flying.

“Essentially, the problem with sustainable aviation fuel is its accessibility. We can have the newest modern aircraft flying to an airport where we can’t buy sustainable aviation fuel. Generally speaking, the government passes down policy they want airlines to reduce carbon emissions. So, we find brand new aircraft, and we look at the solutions, but we can’t buy the fuel. So, there needs to be an initiative for us to readily have access to that fuel.”

ANA is looking to cover all angles with its approach. Photo: All Nippon Airways

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A broader strategy

Overall, these initiatives are part of a wider holistic sustainability project in place. For instance, ANA introduced plastic-free meal trays, using new biodegradable materials based on bagasse, which is the waste fiber created from the pressing of sugarcane.

The carrier is also keen on using implementing new technologies to scale up efficiency while improving flight operations by reducing the weight of the equipment installed. The operator will also use the emission trading system for emissions that can’t be reduced through the core procedures.

ANA is looking at several factors revolving around the Environment, Society and Governance (ESG). Along with emissions, other motives involve but are not limited to education, clean water and sanitation, economic growth, and social inequalities. Ultimately, the airline is calling the 2030s a decade for action.

What are your thoughts about ANA’s sustainability goals? What do you make of the efforts in this field? Let us know what you think of the overall scene in the comment section.