• Deloitte & Touche

New report outlines pathway to scale SAF in Canada


According to a new report by Deloitte Canada, in order for Canada to achieve its net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, it needs to take immediate action to decarbonize its economy, including hard-to-decarbonize industries such as aviation. The report, Reaching cruising altitude: A plan for scaling sustainable aviation fuel in Canada, explores ways to foster the use and production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) while positioning Canada as a leader in clean energy.


The report maps a path forward to making progress, accelerating Canadian capabilities and partnerships, and identifying mechanisms that can advance the adoption of SAF. SAF is a critical component of the decarbonization of the aviation industry and plays a part in Canada’s energy transition.


“Meeting Canada’s net-zero commitment by 2050 requires that every sector in the economy undergoes deep decarbonization, including the aviation industry,” said Nathan Steeghs, a risk-advisory partner with Deloitte Canada. “Aviation has fewer and less affordable emission-reduction options than most sectors, and its share of global emissions will increase over time. Replacing petroleum jet fuel with SAF can have tremendous and direct impact on decarbonization. This report reinforces our commitment to tackle climate change through bold action.”


Following a series of interviews, surveys, and workshops with stakeholders from across the aviation and clean fuel value chain, including major airlines, the report states that Canada is well positioned to lead in the production of clean fuels, thereby creating jobs and supporting continued economic growth. To lead, the country will have to introduce measures to accelerate low-carbon fuel.


“The good news is that SAF is compatible with current aircraft and infrastructure and can substantially lower the life-cycle carbon emissions of aviation fuel,” said Andrew Pau, a consulting partner with Deloitte Canada. “If Canadians do not find ways to scale the supply and uptake of SAF now, the aviation sector’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions will continue to grow and will cost Canadians more—in effort and impact—in the future.”


Critical to the proposed pathway were Canadian-based solutions that will support resilient supply chains, allowing Canada to further diversify its economy and sustain the future workforce transition from employment in fossil fuels to renewable energy. The need for a made in Canada solution led to a focused pathway with a series of proposed actions required to accelerate SAF production in Canada, the most pressing of which include:


  • The establishment of a clear mandate for SAF leadership and governance, including, for example, a lead agency responsible for a multi-agency task force that mirrors the complexity of this emerging market, representing aviation, clean fuel, innovation, and investment expertise


  • Development and evaluation of SAF-specific policies in Canada in the context of a broader regulatory framework to decarbonize Canada’s aviation sector


  • Early voluntary SAF procurement and agreement from public and private sectors


  • Accelerated action through industry partnerships that provide coordinated and consistent input and work directly with a government led task force


While Canada’s reliance on the aviation industry will only grow, the roadmap proposed in this report gives Canadians the opportunity to make a substantial impact on the planet's overall health, while ensuring Canada does not become reliant on importing clean aviation fuel. In the near to medium future SAF remains the core solution to decarbonizing air travel with important roles for both consumers and participants from across the aviation ecosystem.


To access the report, click here.

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