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Not-for-profit registry launches to spur SAF market through transparent digital tool

Photo: RMI

A new independent, not-for-profit sustainable aviation fuel certificate (SAFc) registry launched at COP28 in December, supporting major consumers of air travel and transport in their efforts to help directly decarbonize flight with an enterprise-grade digital tool.


The registry was created by clean-energy nonprofit RMI and Environmental Defense Fund, in collaboration with the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance and digital-solutions developer Energy Web.


The SAFc Registry connects corporate consumers, airlines, freight forwarders and clean-fuel producers in a universally accessible platform that will spur the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) via the purchase of SAF certificates.


Led by impartial nonprofits, the careful, transparent design of the registry builds on industry best practices and went through public consultation to ensure that the SAF certificates exchanged realize their intended environmental impact and can be claimed towards emissions-reduction goals.


“The SAFc Registry is the culmination of RMI’s ongoing work to catalyze the sustainable aviation fuel market,” said Bryan Fisher, managing director at the clean-energy nonprofit RMI. “By creating a throughline from corporate consumers to fuel producers, we can expand investment in SAF infrastructure and increase supply of low-carbon fuels. Voluntary uptake is critical to scaling a burgeoning market, and we hope this registry can serve as an example for other sectors in the future.”


SAF is made from renewable or waste materials and can decrease the lifecycle emissions of flight by more than 80 percent.


However, the fuel is not yet widely available and carries a significant green price premium.


The registry helps address this market gap by connecting corporate demand for emissions reductions to SAF producers through an auditable ledger for certificates that decouples the emissions benefits of SAF use from the physical fuel supply.


It is the final piece of market infrastructure—in addition to robust standardsaccounting guidelines and structured requests for proposals (RFPs)—to create a robust and de-risked market for SAFc investment.


“For corporations and airlines, no other registry offers full transparency and tracks sustainable aviation fuel integrity to ensure high impact in fighting climate emissions,” said Elizabeth Sturcken, EDF’s managing director of net-zero value chains.


Major corporations that fly employees and goods around the world are urgently seeking ways to reduce the climate impacts from air transport.


Emissions from travel, part of the “scope 3” emissions in corporate emissions accounting, often represent the lion’s share of a business’ carbon footprint.


SAF certificates enable companies to directly buy the auditable, credible emissions claims that represent a volume of sustainable aviation fuel displacing the same volume of conventional jet fuel for climate disclosures.


These SAF certificates can be issued and retired in their name on the registry.


Purchase of the certificates spurs fuel producers to invest in SAF production by sending a strong demand signal and creating a secondary value stream.


Major customers like Bank of America, Boom Supersonic, Boston Consulting Group, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Meta have already banded together to collectively procure SAF certificates through SABA, an alliance of the world’s most ambitious corporations addressing the emissions of flight through collective action.


Future procurement efforts can use the SAFc Registry to seamlessly ensure the delivery of SAF certificates and sustainability assurances to buyers.


“The SAFc Registry stands alone among other registries for being state of the art, purely independent and nonprofit led,” said Kim Carnahan, SABA secretariat and CEO of Neoteric Energy and Climate. “It should be the choice for any aviation customer looking to decarbonize their use of aviation.”


The open-source software behind the SAFc Registry was designed to deliver an intuitive experience and great transparency to users.


Each action on the SAFc Registry is validated, scrubbed of sensitive data, and digitally recorded.


For registry users, the public and auditors, this allows for a continuous audit of registry operations.


“We’re proud to support this best-in-class registry from inception and are already looking forward to new features focused on even easier ease-of-use and increased transparency,” said Jesse Morris, CEO at Energy Web.



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