Raising the Bar: NRDC’s Aviation Biofuels Scorecards

The aviation industry represents the transportation sector with the fastest growing greenhouse gas emissions. It is also not regulated under the 2015 Paris Agreement. Yet, it has set commendable goals to shrink its carbon footprint. Specifically, the industry has pledged to:

  • Cap carbon emissions by 2020, and
  • Reduce emissions by 50 percent of 2005 levels by 2050.

In its fourth and final installment, NRDC’s Aviation Biofuel Scorecard aims to encourage airline leadership to adopt truly sustainable biofuels using rigorous third-party certification standards—such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB)—that assure reduced emissions across a biofuel’s entire life cycle, from production through use, as well as limiting adverse impacts on food security, land, water, air, wildlife, and local communities. The Scorecard has emerged as the premier global measure of airlines’ progress toward this goal. 

In 2017, we surveyed 38 leading international airlines and broke them out into four categories: Leading, Advancing, Basic, and Non-respondent. While much remains to be done to achieve, and perhaps exceed, the industry’s goals, we found that the aviation industry continues to raise the bar in its effort to source sustainable biofuels.

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