Aviation Biofuel Sustainability Survey
As the aviation industry makes carbon reduction and lessening dependence on fossil fuels key strategic priorities, certain airlines are entering the biofuel marketplace, working to source, develop, and invest in supplies. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) believes this is a significant step in the right direction, especially since the alternative -- promoting heavy, synthetic fuels -- would damage brand value and undermine corporate stewardship.
But the aviation industry has a responsibility to use biofuels that are certified as sustainable because the sector's massive purchasing power has the potential to reshape the supply chain. Poorly sourced biofuels -- produced using the wrong feed stocks or employing damaging management practices -- could drive deforestation, food insecurity, and carbon pollution, and thereby damage brand value. Sustainable aviation biofuels, on the other hand, could create wealth and jobs, help provide energy security, and reduce carbon pollution.
Fortunately, several airlines, manufacturers, consortia, and associations are genuinely thinking through the lifecycle sustainability of aviation biofuels. NRDC hopes these efforts continue. For now, however, it is important to evaluate biofuel sustainability as it is currently being implemented. Doing so will document the present state of adoption of these policies, and highlight progress if these ideas are placed into practice.
To assess the current state of aviation biofuel sustainability certification, and to support the use of certification in the aviation fuel supply chain, NRDC has generated its inaugural Aviation Biofuel Sustainability Survey. The survey provides analysis focused on airlines that have used, or are making public claims of plans to use, biofuels in their operations, and evaluates them on their actions in using and promoting sustainably produced biofuels in their sourcing activities.
The Aviation Biofuel Sustainability Survey is the first step in what will be an ongoing effort, forming the basis for continuing measurement, monitoring, and communication on the use of both sustainable biofuels and sustainability certification by airlines.
last revised 3/12/2013
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