Exploring An Airline’s Carbon Neutral Commitment
The demand for companies going green is increasing exponentially. One International survey found that 80% of people respect companies and brands that adopt eco-friendly practices. The problem, though, is that it’s easier for some companies to practice sustainability and eco-friendly options than it is for others. Airlines, for example, have a large obstacle on their hands. One of the largest airlines in the world has a business model that is almost entirely based on fossil fuels until now. March 1st marks the date of a $1 Billion pledge (or race) to become the first carbon-neutral airline by one of the top airlines in the world.
Understanding the Term “Carbon Neutral”
Terms associated with greener business models can be confusing and carbon neutral is a little different in that regard. The idea behind this term is that while the company may continue producing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, it’s working to remove the same amount it produces. There are a few ways to do this. In most cases, it involves purchasing carbon offsets. In some cases, it involves emitting less and purchasing those offsets. Either way, the goal is to make sure the company is at least offsetting any carbon it produces.
One Company’s Unique Approach
How does an airline that emits so much carbon go about becoming carbon neutral? The approach is two-fold. The first part is monetarily through the commitment to spend in this case, a billion dollars over the next ten years.
Initially, the airline is investing in a variety of offsets, but they are also investing in the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). In February of this year, Northwest Advanced Bio-Fuels and this major airline agreed to a long-term Sustainable Aviation Fuel Definitive Fuel Purchase Agreement, the largest of its kind in the industry. NWABF will be the primary provider of sustainable aviation fuel and that could mean big things for the airline and the industry itself.
The project will begin with a FEED study that will help assist NWABF’s engineering and technology partners to develop and design the equipment necessary to deliver high-quality fuel for the airline that meets international fuel emission guidelines. This technology may not only change the future of air travel, but it’s likely to affect other industries as well. Because it relies on wood residuals in forests after the logging process, NWABF can help to greatly decrease potential fire hazards across the country and create an environment that helps promote future tree growth in those areas.
This is clearly the right time for a project like this one, too, according to David Smoot, Manager of NWABF and CEO of the Parent Company, U. S. Advanced Bio-Fuels, Inc. There’s never been a better time thanks to the advancement of technology, which helps to make the process less expensive than ever, and that piece is an absolute must, given the petroleum issues many airlines are facing. “NWABF offers a risk-averse solution to the emissions and sustainability issues airlines face at home and abroad with petroleum-based fuel. As a result of this partnership and for the first time ever, near emission-free, renewable, designer SAF will be available at competitive prices,” Smoot said in a recent press release.
Sustainability is the way forward for almost every industry, and while it may be more difficult for fossil fuel reliant industries like the airlines, that certainly doesn’t make it impossible. If you have an interest in discussing the merits of our Project, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
David P. Smoot
Mr. Smoot has an extensive business background covering almost 45 years, starting with his honorable discharge from the U. S. Army Reserves. Mr. Smoot spent 20 years in the micro- computer hardware and software industries, where he held positions as Director of Operations for Digital Research in Pacific Grove, CA, working with IBM Boca Raton and Intel, as well as senior positions with Informix, a database software company prior to Digital Research, (DRI), as it was known.