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Virgin Atlantic Cargo announces SAF-certificate program


Photo: Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Virgin Atlantic Cargo announced July 13 a sustainable aviation fuel certificate (SAFc) program designed to help freight forwarders and shippers manage their carbon emissions while demonstrating joint commitment to scaling the SAF industry.


Customers participating in the scheme will contribute to the airline’s purchase of SAF, receiving SAF certificates for the associated scope 3 emissions reductions.


Customers will also benefit from detailed insight into their scope 3 airfreight emissions via Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s own airfreight-carbon calculator.


Developed inhouse and independently certified, the calculator uses an industry-recognized methodology and Virgin Atlantic’s actual flight-emissions data to provide powerful insights to participating customers, enabling them to take action on their carbon footprint.


DB Schenker is the first to participate in the scheme with the purchase of over several thousand tons of scope 3 emissions reductions.


The global logistics service provider is continuously expanding its SAF-based airfreight solutions.


The SAF program is driven by the airline’s commitment to 10 percent SAF by 2030 on the pathway to net zero by 2050.


The scheme creates a broader-industry coalition that can provide further proof of the demand and support needed to scale a U.K. SAF industry, which is key to decarbonizing aviation.


Virgin Atlantic’s first U.K. SAF supply of 2.5 million liters (660,430 gallons) of Neste neat SAF delivered into London Heathrow in 2022 is fueling the program.


This is an important milestone as the airline scales its use and commitment to SAF in the U.K.


Virgin Atlantic said it operates one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient commercial fleets across the Atlantic and has over 15 years of supporting SAF development, including ambitions to fly the world’s first 100 percent SAF transatlantic flights later this year.


“It’s through collaboration and partnership that we’ll be able to find more sustainable ways to fly,” said Phil Wardlaw, vice president and managing director of cargo at Virgin Atlantic. “Our new SAFc program allows us to collaborate with customers and support them in making lower-carbon choices to meet sustainability targets, easily understand their emissions and support future SAF contributions—a key step towards our net-zero commitments. We already have one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the sky, but after this, SAF represents the greatest opportunity to decarbonize aviation in the short to medium term, but we still require cross-industry and government action to support commercialization of SAF at scale, particularly in the U.K. Our fuel program will help us as we continue to work closely with our sustainability and cross-industry partners to find innovative solutions to achieve this goal.”


Thorsten Meincke, global board member for air and ocean freight at DB Schenker, added, “Climate neutrality is an ambitious goal—but it must be our guiding principle. That is why we are steadily expanding our portfolio of fossil-free airfreight solutions. We are delighted to be Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s first partner for the application of SAF. Together, we provide our customers with new opportunities to make a substantial reduction in their carbon footprint.”

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