- Both companies plan to increase the supply and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)
- The collaboration will aggregate SAF demand for corporate travel, to unlock investment and scale SAF production across technology types over the coming years
London, UK – May 25, 2021 American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and Shell Aviation announce that they will collaborate on an alliance for making sustainable aviation fuel available. The parties will design a model aimed at increasing the supply and use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and accelerating the aviation industry’s pathway towards net-zero emissions (NZE).
This collaboration combines the buying power of airlines and GBT’s corporate business travel customers at scale to drive a step change in production and usage of SAF. This, in turn, would enable airlines and corporations to make progress towards long-term emissions targets.
For many companies, a return to flying for essential business travel is a crucial driver of economic growth. However, options to reduce air travel emissions, in line with wider net-zero emissions targets, are currently limited. Lower or zero carbon technologies such as hydrogen and electric flight are unlikely to impact at scale until mid-century. This leaves SAF as the only viable, in-sector, option for reducing emissions in the short to medium term. SAF can be made from a variety of feedstocks and a number of different technology pathways. Compared with conventional jet fuel derived from fossil fuels, SAF has the potential to cut lifecycle emissions from aviation by up to 80%.1 However, today it represents less than 0.1% of aviation fuel used and is produced using one technology type.2
Anna Mascolo, President, Shell Aviation, said: “We want to help decarbonise the aviation sector and believe this collaboration could deliver new solutions for our customers to reach net-zero emissions. SAF has incredible potential to drive the decarbonisation of aviation. Even if all publicly announced projects today actually materialize, SAF would still account for just one percent of the jet fuel market by 2030.3 If the aviation sector wants more SAF by 2025, significant new investments are needed today. This collaboration with GBT aims to create the environment that supports new investment in SAF production and new technologies.”
GBT Chief Executive Paul Abbott said: “Our approach with Shell could provide a turnkey solution for corporations working towards net-zero emissions. We believe aggregating corporate and airline demand is the most efficient way to drive the volume of investment needed to bring change at scale. By working with Shell, we aim to enable corporations and airlines to plot a course towards their own emissions targets, while acting as climate leaders and creating real change.”
This collaboration will help drive transformation of the aviation and corporate travel sector, support a net-zero emissions future and deliver a new solution to customers in support of their own energy transition and carbon reduction ambitions. It will combine GBT’s trusted relationships with corporates and their travelers, and experience on emissions reduction strategies, together with Shell’s in-depth knowledge of the aviation sector, SAF expertise and carbon management solutions.
Both Shell and GBT have set their own individual targets to become net-zero emissions businesses by 2050, in step with society. Shell’s targets cover the full range of its emissions, Scopes 1, 2 and 3 of all the energy it sells, not just the energy it produces. Achieving its target could mean that, by 2030, Shell is producing eight times more low-carbon fuels and increasing the amount of biofuels and hydrogen in the transport fuels it sells to more than 10% (from around 3% in 2020). Shell is working with its customers to accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions. To achieve its net-zero emissions 2050 target, GBT plans to use SAF to reduce its own corporate travel emissions.
Notes to editors
- IATA Datasheet – What is SAF?
- IATA – Realising the potential of sustainable aviation fuel
- 3. Clean Skies for Tomorrow Insight Report (McKinsey and Company)
About Shell Aviation
With one of the most extensive refuelling networks in the world Shell Aviation supplies fuel, lubricants, and sustainable solutions in more than 60 countries. Customers range from the world’s largest airlines to private pilots.
Shell’s target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress towards the goal of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change. Shell aims to reduce the carbon intensity of the energy products we sell to our customers by 100% by 2050 and by around 45% by 2035.
Shell Aviation’s carbon management strategy aims to help our customers decarbonise by avoiding emissions on the ground, reducing emissions principally through the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, and offsetting emissions through the use of carbon credits, specifically nature-based solutions. Shell Aviation plays many different roles in this strategy; a fuel supplier (renewable and conventional), a technology partner, and proponent of energy solutions for airports. We actively collaborate across the industry to deliver more sustainable solutions for aviation. Examples include our work with World Energy, SkyNRG, Amazon Air, Neste, Red Rock, Rolls-Royce, and at San Francisco Airport. Shell Aviation is proud to be a member of “The Clean Skies for Tomorrow Coalition” and the UK government’s Jet Zero Council.
Further information can be found at Shell Aviation and Flightpath, our conversation series featuring expert perspectives on the issues facing aviation.
Ralph van Mook, Spokesperson, Shell Media Relations
T: +44 20 7934 5550
E: [email protected]
American Express Global Business Travel
American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) is the world’s leading business partner for managed travel. We help companies and their employees prosper by making sure travelers are present where and when it matters. We keep global business moving with the powerful backing of travel professionals in more than 140 countries. Companies of all sizes, and in all places, rely on GBT to provide travel management services, organise meetings and events, and deliver business travel consulting.
Visit amexglobalbusinesstravel.com for more information about GBT, and follow @amexgbt on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.
GBT has been providing business travel services for more than 100 years. Our legacy and future depend upon commitment to our values and principles. Environmental, social and governance (ESG) is embedded within our company ethos and informs all that we do. GBT champions travel as a force for good, connecting society and generating prosperity. We recognize that economic prosperity is inextricably linked to environmental sustainability, public health, and community resilience. We are committed to operating our business in the most environmentally responsible manner possible. GBT’s carbon abatement strategy includes internal efforts to reduce our environmental footprint via carbon reductions, carbon offsets and insets, as well as external product and service offerings. Leading by example, GBT is carbon neutral for its own travel since 2019 and, this year, we set an ambition to become net zero by 2050 or sooner. We are driving the travel industry towards a low-carbon future with decarbonization solutions.
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UK: Cavendish Advocacy
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