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RSB works with Airbus to map a sustainable future for Mobile, Alabama

The RSB has been working with Airbus in Mobile, Alabama to assist the aircraft manufacturer in developing a sustainable vision for the development of sustainable alternative aviation fuels in the region. Airbus, having committed significant resources to Mobile, is looking at how to further develop that commitment by promoting decarbonisation and green jobs in the local economy. The aircraft manufacturer has been exploring the potential for a Sustainable Fuel supply chain in the region and engaged sustainability experts from the RSB to assess the availability of sustainable feedstocks to support such a supply chain.

Working in close partnership with Airbus, RSB conducted a sustainable feedstock resource assessment to map the potential for agricultural based feedstocks, as well as waste and residues, and to estimate current and potential future production capacity in Alabama and surrounding states. The results of this project are being used by Airbus to shape its commitments to a sustainable aviation industry, and to the economic development of the Mobile region.

“To implement our strategy over the long haul, our goal is to source sustainable fuels in the South-Eastern United States. This vision is an opportunity to work closely with RSB and local stakeholders to scale-up production and commercialisation of sustainable aviation fuels in the region for the long-term,” said Frederic Eychenne, Head of New Energies at Airbus. “We are actively seeking for ideas to leverage Airbus’ strategy into opportunities for new economic development in Alabama”

The resource assessment analysed the current and future production potential for sustainable fuel feedstocks in the region through the lens of RSB’s sustainability principles. This produced an estimate of available feedstock, considering land requirements for other purposes. Based on the available feedstock, the Sustainable Alternative Aviation Fuel production potential for ASTM-approved Sustainable Alternative Aviation Fuel pathways was analysed and evaluated by looking at production costs, GHG reduction potential and sustainability risks. 

RSB’s Executive Director, Rolf Hogan, said: “Working together to ingrain true sustainability from the inception of a project really shows the strength of Airbus’ commitment to both the industry and the Mobile region. RSB is proud to partner with Airbus to drive the conversations, innovations and hard work that is required to build a truly sustainable aviation industry.”

Demonstrating Airbus’s dedication to a low carbon future for aviation, this project sees the aircraft manufacturer exploring a new realm: Airbus has traditionally purchased only small volumes of fuel for delivery flights. By looking to support production of Sustainable Alternative Aviation Fuels, other actors in the industry can benefit from their leadership.

As industries the world over look to the bioeconomy for solutions that will help to decarbonise the global economy, understanding where feedstocks will come from and how fuels, products and materials can be produced sustainably is of key importance. For this reason, companies, governments, NGOs and others are engaging with RSB and its best-in-class sustainability standard to take leadership, support innovation and ensure continued growth and success is paired with real social and environmental sustainability.

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