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Repsol achieves certification to trade SAF within RSB’s Book & Claim System

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Repsol has received certification by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), giving the company access to sell its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) within the RSB Book & Claim System. This enables the multi-energy company to deliver SAF at specific airports and enter it into the RSB registry, thus, allowing customers at other airports around the world to claim the certified emission reductions associated with the registered SAF when purchasing their traditional jet fuel.

The book and claim mechanism addresses the supply-and-demand challenges that currently exist for SAF and allows the aviation sector to accelerate its decarbonisation process. SAF is today only available at a limited number of geographical locations globally and delivering it to other airport locations can be costly and generate unnecessary CO2 emissions in the refuelling process. RSB’s Book & Claim System helps overcome these obstacles and enables the growth of SAF use since it allows airlines and their clients to claim the SAF carbon reductions without physical access to sustainable fuel supply.

This chain of custody model has been developed to ensure full traceability and credibility, as well as a demonstrable climate impact by avoiding double counting in the process. The carbon reductions associated with the SAF will be registered as a ‘book and claim unit’ and transferred to any willing buyer globally, while the physical fuel delivered at the nearest airport will not have any sustainability criteria attached. Book and claim is currently only targeting voluntary markets, thus contributing to carbon emission reductions that are in addition to mandates and regulations.

RSB’s leadership in book and claim is grounded in the organisation’s multi-stakeholder governance and non-profit status: RSB’s approach has been developed through a uniquely credible and robust consensus-based decision-making process that balances the voices of industry, civil society, and academia, building a trusted solution to help scale decarbonisation. Repsol has received the certification through SGS, accredited by RSB to perform independent audits.

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This new certification opens a wider global market for Repsol to supply SAF from its advanced biofuels plant in Cartagena (Spain) that is currently completing final commissioning. The plant, the first of its kind in the Iberian Peninsula, will have the capacity to produce 250,000 tons of SAF and renewable diesel per year from various types of organic waste, and it will avoid the annual emission of 900,000 tons of CO2.

Repsol has produced SAF at its refineries in Spain since 2020, supplying the fuel to players in the Spanish market including Iberia, Air Europa, Vueling, and Iberojet, as well as to Atlas Air for the cargo flights it carries out for its client Inditex from the airport in Zaragoza. In May 2023, Repsol signed a long-term agreement with Ryanair to supply up to 155,000 tons of SAF for its operations in Spain and Portugal between 2025 and 2030. At the end of 2023, the company also supplied SAF for the first time to rescue helicopters in the Spanish region of Castile and Leon, and earlier in the year it realised a pioneering pilot in the airport in Bilbao where it supplied 100% renewable fuel to Iberia Airport Services to reduce the emissions from the ground handling services at the airport.

SAF can produce up to 80% fewer CO2 emissions over its lifecycle than traditional jet fuel, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that SAF will contribute around 65% of the reductions in emissions needed for the aviation sector to reach net zero in 2050.

“Being certified to access the world’s most credible and robust book and claim system is a milestone for Repsol. It enables us to introduce more SAF into the supply chain, allowing more players in the aviation sector to take advantage of the benefits from SAF. Our new plant in Cartagena is a guarantee that we can supply the fuel and, thus, help boost the reduction of the carbon footprint of air transport,” stated Carlos Suarez, Director of International Aviation at Repsol.

“We are thrilled to see the work and commitment of Repsol to promoting faster decarbonisation of the aviation sector through RSB’s Book & Claim System. Trust is the centrepiece of book and claim, and delivering a trustworthy solution built on a genuinely global multi-stakeholder approach is fundamental for the RSB,” said Elena Schmidt, Executive Director of RSB.

“My congratulations to Repsol for the integration of the RSB Book & Claim scheme into their processes, thus demonstrating their commitment to the sustainable management of their products. Verification by SGS guarantees the traceability, accuracy, and coherence of the information communicated and reinforces the transparency Repsol’s chain of custody processes,” said Jesús Bennasar, Director of Sustainability Services at SGS Iberia.

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