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RMI, Energy Web Foundation partner to build SAF-certificate registry

RMI and Energy Web Foundation announced Nov. 16 that they will build a digital registry for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) certificates that will bring more transparency to emissions-reduction claims about air travel.

The registry will also support and accelerate the deployment of SAF that drastically reduce lifecycle emissions from air transport.

The registry will support ongoing work with the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance, a coalition of corporate buyers and aviators committed to decarbonizing aviation, co-founded by RMI and the Environmental Defense Fund.

“RMI is very excited to see this crucial tool to fruition,” said Bryan Fisher, managing director for RMI’s climate-aligned industries program. “A transparent, easy-to-use registry built on a rigorous accounting approach will lift public confidence in SAF emissions-reduction claims, propel investment in SAF production, and accelerate decarbonization of the aviation sector.”

SAF is a drop-in fuel made with renewable or waste feedstocks that can decrease the lifecycle emissions of flight by up to 99 percent.

Currently, SAF production is insufficient to meet demand from corporate flyers that aim to decarbonize flights taken by their employees and goods.

“The SAF-certificate registry will help drive the market toward high-quality fuel by providing detailed data on the environmental quality and associated certifications of each gallon of SAF,” said Angela Churie Kallhauge, executive vice president for impact at Environmental Defense Fund. “As a result, aviation customers will be able to choose a truly sustainable solution.”

SAF certificates (SAFc) enable companies and other aviation customers to pay for the environmental benefits (such as emissions reductions) of SAF, even if the physical fuel is not yet available for their flights.

Decoupling the environmental attributes of SAF from the physical fuel will democratize access to SAF’s benefits and catalyze SAF supply at scale.

A digital registry in which SAFc can be securely and consistently issued, transferred and retired is critical to ensure that these certificates represent unique and verified emissions reduction claims.

“This registry is a wonderful opportunity to showcase how technology can bring transparency and trust to complex supply chains like SAF,” said Jesse Morris, CEO at Energy Web. “And by building the registry open source, the SAF industry can help other hard-to-decarbonize sectors understand what’s possible with digital technology.”

The registry will enable SAF suppliers, airlines, corporate flyers, freight carriers, logistics-service providers and freight shippers to demonstrate and verify that the SAF and SAFc they invest in meets specific sustainability criteria linked to certifications of each fuel’s supply chain. It will support companies’ ability to make auditable claims about their investments in climate disclosures.

“The development of the SAFc registry represents the first major milestone for the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance, making good on our promise to break down roadblocks and create the tools necessary to decarbonize the aviation sector,” said Kim Carnahan, SABA’s secretariat and senior director for net-zero fuels at Engie Impact.

The SAFc registry is expected to go live in mid-2023.



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