SAF is a key enabler of the decarbonization of aviation but current use is negligible due to a variety of factors including the higher cost compared to fossil-jet fuel. Air transport customers are willing to pay the additional cost for SAF in order to unlock its emissions reductions but can’t buy SAF volumes directly. Many aircraft operators also struggle to access SAF, due to generally low supply and availability at few airports. Creating a standardized SAF certificate system for verifying and tracking the environmental attributes of SAF enables companies and organizations that can’t access SAF volumes directly to contribute to decarbonizing the aviation sector with the assurance that they are paying for real, additional emission reductions.
SABA’s founding companies have each made ambitious climate commitments, which include reducing their emissions from business travel and cargo transport.
SABA will set a robust, yet practical sustainability framework based on the work done by experts at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This will ensure that SABA-eligible SAF is high-integrity, creating meaningful emissions reductions and safeguarding against any unintended negative environmental impacts.
SABA will build on recent company and airline efforts to address their aviation emissions through SAF purchase partnerships. It extends those efforts by providing a scalable, standardized approach with a robust sustainability framework and a transparent tracking and verification system.
The price of carbon offsets can range widely but we do expect SAF certificates to sell at a premium to most carbon offsets at the outset. Although high-quality offsets still have a significant role to play, companies seeking to address their aviation emissions are increasingly targeting emission reductions within the aviation value chain when possible.
SABA is a joint initiative of RMI and EDF. RMI and EDF are both non-profit organizations.