Fuelling the Sustainable Bioeconomy


Fuelling the Sustainable Bioeconomy is a project led by RSB, and powered by The Boeing Company. 

The project aims to help the aviation industry play a leading role in tackling the threat of climate change, creating jobs, stimulating economic growth, developing rural livelihoods and protecting the environment, with key support from WWF South Africa and WWF Brazil. 

By providing guidance on the sustainability of alternative fuels, bringing together relevant stakeholders and integrating the bioeconomy as a critical part of the just energy transition, Fuelling the Sustainable Bioeconomy is helping to direct investment, policy makers, market development and further research to support the emergence of a truly sustainable bioeconomy.

Project Aims

Support the development of a global SAF sector


  • Assess SAF production routes from diversified feedstock
  • Develop tools to support technical and economic assessment of SAF routes
  • Develop regional supply chains and incentive the socioeconomic growth of smallholders
  • Support and develop the SAF sector in Brazil
  • Support SAF sustainability and biofuel policies
  • Develop guidelines for sustainable cultivation of crops with focus on sugarcane and macauba
  • Develop RSB Regional Sustainability Indicators
  • Assess iLUC values for Brazil to support discussion of new SAF pathways for CORSIA 



  • Develop a national sustainable aviation biofuel roadmap
  • Explore and assess economic growth and job creation potential from the growth of a local biofuel industry
  • Support the SAF academic course programme at the Ethiopian Airlines Academy






South Africa

  • Develop RSB certification approach for invasive alien biomass
  • Develop a SAF technoeconomic assessment for South Africa
  • Support the development of the local SAF sector, with focus on sugarcane sector
  • SAF sustainability policy advocacy _






Project Timeline

  1. June 2019:

    Project Kick Off

  2. January 2020:

    RSB hosts a Scenario development workshop in Ethiopia for the development of a SAF roadmap

  3. February 2020:

    RSB Webinar on Corn Sustainability

  4. October 2020:

    Research into SAF potential of South African sugarcane is published

  5. May 2021:

    RSB publishes research on the potential of non-crop feedstock pathways for Brazilian SAF60

    GHG emissions
    reduced by 50%
    From the global
    production total of
    390 billion litres
    JET A
    The aviation sector has ambitious
    targets for reducing its greenhouse gas
    (GHG) emissions. Switching from fossil
    fuels to low-carbon SAF is considered
    the most efficient way to achieve those
    Sustainable aviation fuels in BraZil
    SAF: A Path Forward for the Aviation Sector
    The aviation industry can play a leading
    role in tackling the threat of climate
    change. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF)
    can stimulate economic growth, develop
    rural livelihoods, and protect and enhance
    ecosystems — but the availability and
    location of the required feedstocks in Brazil
    are not yet well understood.

    Publication Date: June 2018

  6. June 2021:

    RSB presentation about SAF sustainability at the South African Department of Trade and Industry

  7. July / August 2021:

    Launch of RSB certification approach for invasive biomass

  8. September 2021:

    Launch of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) roadmap for Ethiopia

    SAF technoeconomic assessment for South Africa (date tbc)

  9. October 2021:

    Launch of SAF calculator for technical and economic assessment of SAF production in Brazil

    Publish the Guide for Sustainable Cultivation of Macauba

  10. December 2021:

    Publish the assessment of crop feedstock potential and availability for SAF production in Brazil

  11. January 2022:

    Publish the assessment of iLUC values for Brazil of SAF routes

Project Outputs

Project News