Blockchain-powered digital book-and-claim solution launched to scale SAF
Shell, Accenture, and American Express Global Business Travel jointly announced June 20 the launch of Avelia, one of the world’s first blockchain-powered digital sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) book-and-claim solutions for business travel. It is the largest SAF book-and-claim pilot at launch, offering around 1 million gallons of SAF—enough to power almost 15,000 individual business-traveler flights from London-to-New York.
The pilot phase of the program aims to demonstrate the credibility of the book-and-claim model, using blockchain technology to ensure secured allocation of SAF’s environmental attributes to companies and airlines after the fuel has been delivered into the fuel network. With Avelia, airlines and business customers could simultaneously reduce emissions in their respective scopes, while ensuring transparency and accountability by avoiding issues such as double-counting.
Developed by Shell and Accenture, with the support of the Energy Web Foundation, Avelia includes Amex GBT’s world-leading travel management services to aggregate global business demand for SAF, which will increase SAF supply and use, and help accelerate the aviation industry’s pathway towards net-zero emissions.
“SAF is a key enabler of decarbonization in the aviation industry, and it’s available today,” said Jan Toschka, president of Shell Aviation. “However, it’s currently scarce and costs more than conventional jet fuel. Avelia will help trigger demand for SAF at scale, providing confidence to suppliers like us to further increase investment in production, and in turn helping to lower the price point for these fuels.”
Paul Abbott, CEO of Amex GBT, said, “A truly viable route to decarbonizing air travel is now open for business. We’re calling on all companies to join us and share the costs and benefits of SAF across the travel and aviation sectors. Airlines will gain access to the buying capacity of businesses, drawing from Amex GBT’s 19,000 customers around the world.”
Rachel Barton, Accenture’s Europe strategy lead, added, “We believe every business should be a sustainable business and that sustainability will serve as one of the most powerful forces for change. Our vision for the Avelia platform is to bring together airlines, corporates, cargo players, and SAF suppliers in a trusted ecosystem that no individual company could build or access on its own. Blockchain technology will be piloted to help ensure trust via data integrity, validate proof of ownership, and enable transparent tracking of the environmental benefits of SAF for customers.”
Shell, Accenture, and Amex GBT are the platform’s first customers, and are pleased to welcome new corporations to Avelia to purchase the environmental attributes of SAF to drive industry change. Shell has committed to purchasing the environmental attributes equivalent to 100,000 gallons of SAF over the pilot phase of the Avelia program. Shell will increase this commitment as soon as more SAF is available, to achieve its ambition to abate 45 percent of Shell’s corporate travel emissions through SAF by 2030.
Scalable co-investment models, which allow companies to co-fund the cost of SAF, are crucial to significantly scale SAF supply and use. An industry-accepted carbon-accounting mechanism, like book-and-claim, is key for such programs to credibly grow. Avelia’s data security and credibility are key to reaching scientific and market consensus for ways to allocate SAF’s environmental attributes and help accelerate the decarbonization of aviation.