SAS has introduced a new initiative whereby passengers can purchase biofuel, which will be used in SAS aircraft. The initiative is part of the airline’s sustainability strategy, which it hopes will drive sales of biofuel.
Flight Global reported today on a new climate-conscious fuel initiative introduced by SAS. In a first-of-its-kind scheme within the aviation industry, SAS will be selling 20-minute ‘blocks’ of biofuel to passengers.
The current price for each block is $10/€10. SAS says this price equates to the average fuel cost per-passenger during a 20-minute period in-flight. The biofuel purchase option will be run not-for-profit and SAS will use the money put forward under the scheme to purchase more biofuel for its flights.
In a press release, the airline said,
“The volumes [of biofuel] being produced today are not enough and the price is 3-4 times higher than for conventional jet fuel”.
By 2030, SAS has set itself an ambitious CO2 emission reduction target of 25%, and it sees its new biofuel scheme as an important first step towards this goal. Whilst the price of biofuel is currently 3-4 times higher than conventional jet fuel, it offers an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions per unit burnt.
A trailblazer in green aviation
When it comes to forward-thinking green initiatives within the airline industry, SAS is way ahead of the pack. Transport as a whole is highly-polluting, and aviation alone is responsible for 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
But, whilst gasoline consumption in cars is decreasing, emissions from aviation continue to rise. So far this year, SAS has already announced two major strategy shifts aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions.
The first, which Simple Flying reported on back in May, was the announcement of a new hybrid and electric aircraft research partnership with Airbus. Together the two companies hope to further the understanding of future applications for hybrid and electric power in commercial aviation.
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In June, SAS also announced it would be removing its in-flight duty-free shopping experience. This will help the airline reduce the weight of its aircraft, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as fuel costs.
What more can be done to cut greenhouse gas emissions?
While the world is waking up to the existential threat posed by climate change, the consensus is that the aviation industry has a lot more work to do. Many airlines offer customers the change to ‘offset’ their carbon emissions. But these schemes are mostly a dubious attempt by many airlines to appear ‘green’.
In reality, there is a lot more that needs to be done to have an actual impact.
France recently proposed a much more radical solution which riled up airlines and observers alike.
In 2020 the French government will introduce a new airline tax which will be used to fund alternative, greener modes of transport. Alongside the new initiative introduced by SAS, hopefully, this scheme will move airlines in the right direction.
Despite what many see as an unfair swipe at airlines, the fact is that there is an undeniable need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Opinions will, of course, vary dramatically.