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  • Neste Corp.

Neste delivers 1st-ever CORSIA-certified sustainable aviation fuel to American Airlines

Photo: Neste Corp.

For the first time in aviation history, a batch of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certified by the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation was delivered to a commercial airline.

SAF producer Neste Corp. delivered a batch of its Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ to American Airlines at San Francisco International Airport.

This was part of a pilot to certify SAF as a CORSIA-eligible fuel that can be used by an airline to meet its emissions obligation under CORSIA. CORSIA is a carbon-offset and carbon-reduction scheme to lower CO2 emissions for international flights, developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization in order to curb the aviation impact on climate change.

But until now, no airline in the world has taken delivery of CORSIA-certified SAF, making this delivery a first. Neste has been working closely with aviation stakeholders to accelerate the use of SAF and has a longstanding partnership with American Airlines, the world’s largest airline when measured by fleet size.

Both companies support CORSIA’s emissions-reduction goals, but as the SAF-certification process under CORSIA is new, they decided to set up a pilot project to certify a batch of SAF and use that process to understand its challenges. “Sustainable aviation fuel is widely acknowledged as a key element in achieving the aviation industry’s goals of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and reaching net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Thorsten Lange, Neste’s executive vice president of renewable aviation. “The pilot with American Airlines was a perfect opportunity for proving the feasibility of delivering CORSIA-certified SAF and gaining useful insights into setting up the process and the challenges we need to overcome to enable the implementation of CORSIA.” Jill Blickstein, head of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) at American Airlines, said, “American is proud to partner with Neste to demonstrate how SAF can meet the robust sustainability standards that ICAO has established for CORSIA. Our work together will also help demonstrate to American’s customers that SAF can meet these high standards.” Compliance with CORSIA’s sustainability criteria requires independent attestation by an ICAO-approved sustainability certification scheme (SCS).

Neste decided to pursue this certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system. “Cooperation with American, ISCC and all others involved was absolutely critical in achieving this important milestone,” Lange added. “We will be sharing our experiences in ICAO’s upcoming environmental report. Because, in the end, we need cooperation with all stakeholders within the aviation industry to achieve the emission reductions.” Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel is a solution available today for reducing the greenhouse-gas emissions of flying by up to 80 percent over the fuel’s lifecycle compared to fossil jet fuel.

Neste-produced SAF is made from sustainably sourced, 100 percent renewable waste and residue raw materials. As a drop-in fuel, it can be used with existing aircraft engines and airport fuel infrastructure, requiring no extra investment to them.

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