Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Fuel the transition to a sustainable aviation future through LCFS, RFS, RSB and CORSIA consulting

The civil aviation industry has committed to achieve carbon neutral growth from 2020 and to halve carbon emissions from aircraft by 2050 compared to 2005. Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) play a large role in meeting these targets. SAF are “drop-in” fuels that meet all the technical and safety specifications of petroleum-based aviation fuel. They are produced from a variety of feedstocks: oil seeds like brassica carinata (mustard seed); fats, oils and greases; municipal waste; and forest residues.

Futurepast helps the aviation industry achieve its goals of substituting petroleum-based aviation fuel with sustainable aviation fuel. We provided technical support to the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on sustainability attributes that were submitted to ICAO’s Fuels Task Group for policy making. And we offer consulting and verification services to industry on the carbon footprint of SAF.

Carbon Offsetting and Reduction for International Aviation (CORSIA) is an emissions reduction program administered by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). CORSIA establishes mandatory annual reporting of airplane emissions and from 2021 allows airplane operators to use emissions units from the carbon market to offset the amount of CO2 emissions that cannot be reduced through the use of technological and operational improvements or sustainable aviation fuels. Futurepast offers verification of CORSIA emissions reports and consulting services on CORSIA eligible fuels.

Futurepast’s president John Shideler is an accredited California ARB Low Carbon Fuel Standard lead verifier for NSF and contributed to the development of two relevant International Standards: ISO 14067, Carbon footprint of products, and ISO 13065, Sustainability criteria for bioenergy.

For more information about Futurepast’s services, please call 703-358-9127 and speak with a Futurepast consultant today or email us at count.carbon AT futurepast.com

Services

LCFS

Low Carbon Fuel Standards (LCFS) provide a powerful policy incentive for decarbonizing transport fuels. Adopted first in California, and spreading northward to the US Pacific Northwest and to British Columbia, these standards incentivize the production of sustainable low carbon transport fuels for use in road, rail and air vehicles. Policymakers set a benchmark target for the carbon intensity of fuels, such as diesel and gasoline. Refiners and fuel suppliers must meet the target or generate “deficits” for the fuel they sell. To offset their deficits, fuel suppliers can purchase “credits” that are created by the production or importation of low carbon fuels. This policy tool supports the production of low-carbon fuels.

Carbon intensity of fuels is determined through the Life Cycle Assessment of greenhouse gas emissions associated with all aspects of the fuel’s production and transportation to market. Futurepast participates in LCFS either as a consultant for fuel producers or through NSF as a third-party validator and verifier of fuel pathways and quarterly sales transactions.

RFS

The Renewable Fuel Standard is the result of US legislation amending the Clean Air Act to provide incentives for the production of renewable road transportation fuels. The regulation is administered by the US Environmental Protection Agency which issues “renewable identification numbers” (RINs) to each gallon of renewable fuel produced. Petroleum refineries are “obligated parties” under the RFS. They must meet production targets for renewable fuels set by US EPA or purchase RINs to offset their obligation.

The policy incentives established by LCFS regulations in the US states allow producers of renewable fuels to benefit from both LCFS and RFS incentives. In Europe, the Renewable Energy Directive works in a similar way to incentivize the production of renewable road transportation fuel for the 27-member European Union. The United Kingdom has a similar regulatory framework.

Futurepast offers consulting and audit services to participants in these markets.

RSB

The aviation industry has long expressed the goal of demonstrating the sustainability of its alternative aviation fuels through a robust process that can include certification of biofuel production to the Roundtable of Sustainable Biomaterials’ (RSB) standards. RSB certification confers a mark of approval on biofuels that should meet the most demanding stakeholder requirements for demonstrated sustainability. 

Futurepast provides consulting and auditing services to ensure that biofuel feedstock producers, processors, and production facilities meet the RSB standards. Futurepast consultants can help you integrate RSB principles, criteria and indicators in the management of feedstock, processing and production operations throughout the supply chain. We assist as well on the calculation of life cycle emissions and prepare your operations and supply chain for the rigorous RSB third‐party audit. We’ll help you tune your management system to lower your risks of noncompliance and improve the predictability of operational results.

Futurepast offers first‐party and second‐party audit services for operators in the biofuel supply chain that wish to ensure the compliance with RSB and other biofuel standards, including RFS2 and RED, of their own facilities or those of their supply chain partners.

Many of the most prominent actors in the aviation and airline industries have subscribed to a pledge issued by the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users’ Group “to advance the development, certification, and commercial use of drop‐in sustainable biofuels.” At a minimum, SAFUG recommends that four sustainability criteria be met:

  1. Plant‐based fuel feedstocks should not compete with food uses;
  2. Biofuels should demonstrate significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions;
  3. Socio‐economic indicators should demonstrate the local improvement of small‐scale farmers in developing countries; and
  4. High value conservation areas and native ecosystems should not be cleared and converted for jet fuel plant source development.

The SAFUG pledge also states that “these criteria should be consistent with and complimentary to emerging internationally‐recognized standards such as those being developed by the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels” [now “Biomaterials”].

For more information, please call 703-358-9127 or email count.carbon AT futurepast.com.