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Sustainable Biofuels: The preferred choice

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) recent report encourages airlines to purchase only biofuels certified by a recognised third-party standard. They strongly recommend the RSB framework as the most complete and likely to address these sustainability risks.

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.

The NRDC’s Aviation Biofuel Scorecard aims to encourage airline leadership to adopt truly sustainable biofuels using rigorous third-party certification standards—with a strong preference for the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) because it assures 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. 

Thirty-eight leading international airlines were surveyed from four categories: Leading, Advancing, Basic, and Non-respondent. The Scorecard has emerged as the premier global measure of airlines’ progress toward reaching the goal and while much remains to be done to achieve, and perhaps exceed, the industry’s goals, the aviation industry continues to raise the bar in its effort to source sustainable biofuels.

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