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SK Innovation attains CORSIA verifier certification

SK Innovation members discuss greenhouse gas emissions of international flights (Photo: SK Innovation)

SK Innovation Institute of Environmental Science & Technology has become the first CORSIA verifier in the Korean petroleum and refinery industry, allowing it to verify the greenhouse gas emissions for international flights.

The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation is a part of the resolution passed by the International Civil Aviation Organization in 2016. It was implemented last year with the target of freezing the carbon footprint of international flights at the standard of 2019 and purchasing carbon credits to offset the excess in emissions. As of January, 107 countries have participated, including Korea.

SK Innovation has calculated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the aviation industry and suggested measures on how to reduce them. The company has set up a system that supports the aviation companies in Korea to attain eco-friendly competitiveness. This also demonstrates SK Innovation’s strategy to build a fundamental frame for its Green Transformation.

In Korea, nine airline companies, including Korean Air, are participating in CORSIA. Every year, these companies submit the annual greenhouse gas emission report and verification report to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport regarding their international flight service, and any company whose emissions go above the limit purchases the credit to offset the requirements.

SK Innovation has attained various international verification qualifications, such as the Carbon Trust, to reinforce its verification capabilities and has secured additional human resources capable of conducting the life-cycle assessment (LCA). LCA is a methodology that comprehensively evaluates the impact on the environment by quantifying the input and output of the life cycle of a product, and even measures its potential impact on the environment.

Thanks to CORSIA and LCA capabilities, SK Innovation can now not only calculate greenhouse gas emitted during the production of aviation fuel but also have much more accuracy and transparency in assessing the emission during consumption.

Recently, with the international trend to push ahead with decarbonization or low-carbon policies, more actions and regulations regarding greenwashing are expected to come down the road. SK Innovation’s actions are its way of preemptively responding to such trends across the globe. Moreover, SK Innovation expects to provide the airline companies and other partners with options to calculate and offset greenhouse gas emissions when it introduces sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in the future.

“SK Innovation Institute of Environmental Science & Technology will complete establishing the LCA system within this year,” said Lee Seong-jun, the head of the Institute of Environmental Science & Technology. “It will quantitatively assess the environmental impact of all production activities of SK Innovation and its subsidiaries, from crude oil and raw materials to production. We plan to complete the LCA of the products of SK Innovation’s subsidiaries, including the battery materials, to contribute to achieving the company’s ‘Carbon to Green’ strategy and to building up the foundation for Green Transformation.”

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