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We can be more ambitious reducing aviation related carbon emissions

The aviation industry has committed itself to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050; an ambitious goal which requires a lot of work and cooperation across the industry to achieve. It also requires awareness about the solutions available to reduce carbon emissions already today. Nicolas Guillaume, Partnership Manager at Neste, shares some insights from his attendance at industry events like the Aviation Festival Asia, recently held in Singapore.

Sustainability is a growing topic

Sustainability has been in the limelight of stakeholders in the aviation industry for a number of years already, but globally the level of understanding the impact on companies like airlines and airports differs. “Sustainability as well as a desire to get into action is a top of mind issue for everyone I speak to, but I also notice companies are searching for ways to embrace climate-friendlier policies and engage in activities to achieve concrete results”, says Guillaume.

Guillaume has been speaking to quite a lot of different companies, airlines and people from different backgrounds in his role as Partnership Manager. “We at Neste offer companies a solution to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from their business air travel by voluntarily purchasing sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF as it’s often called. But there are differences in the level of understanding of what SAF is, how it works and how it can contribute to reducing carbon emissions,” Nicolas states. 

Sustainable aviation fuel is an aviation fuel providing a more sustainable alternative to conventional, fossil-based jet fuel. Neste’s SAF is made from renewable waste and residue raw materials, such as used cooking oil. By using SAF, greenhouse gas emissions of air travel can be significantly reduced compared to using conventional jet fuel. “We still have some education to do, but the great thing about attending events like the Aviation Festival Asia is that I can have one-on-one conversations with the right stakeholders to understand their challenges and explain how SAF can contribute to overcome these.”

We can be more ambitious

You could call Nicolas a “millennial” and maybe even a “zoomer”, but both generations stand out for their high level of interest in the issue of climate change and willingness of changing their buying habits to favor environmentally-friendly products. He recognizes the challenges aviation faces to achieve its emission reduction targets, but at the same time, he also loves aviation. “Flying is great as it can connect people from different cultures and enable people to visit different places across the world, but that needs to be done more sustainably. We need more ambition and action to achieve more sustainable air travel. That goes for me too, so I try to be conscious of the way I travel and select a more sustainable option whenever I can.”

Groundbreaking partnerships

As part of his role at Neste, Nicolas has been involved in establishing groundbreaking partnerships. “At Neste, we are committed to supporting the aviation industry’s efforts to become more sustainable,” explains Nicolas. “That also requires having courage to step out of the normal ways of doing business and seeking cooperation with like-minded partners, sometimes even outside our usual networks.” 

In the past year, Neste partnered with companies like Victor, CargoAI and Sunweb, none of which are airlines but share a similar vision of a more sustainable future. Victor and CargoAi enable their customers to purchase SAF through their booking platforms. Sunweb, a leading European travel organization, decided to purchase SAF from Neste to reduce their customers’ holiday flight emissions. 

“It is really exciting to be working together with innovative and forward-thinking partners who share our ambitions and set an inspiring example for other organizations to follow”,says Nicolas. “It makes me proud to see other companies now following our lead as we need more organizations to take real steps towards more sustainable air travel.”