Man is signing the document

In 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge — a commitment to be net-zero carbon by 2040, a full 10 years ahead of the target date set by the Paris Agreement.

Signatories to this pledge, which now include Unilever, McKinsey, Mercedes Benz and Microsoft have committed to regular reporting on carbon emissions, strategies to eliminate carbon in their value chains and the use of credible offsets to neutralise remaining emissions, in order to reach net-zero by 2040.

Fulfilling this pledge will required a focus on new technologies and solutions, and nowhere is this challenge tougher than in its air cargo arm, Amazon Air, an important but highly carbon intensive part of Amazon’s supply chain.

One way Amazon Air is looking to address this challenge is with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Made from waste and renewable feedstocks, unblended SAF has the potential to cut lifecycle emissions from aviation by up to 80% compared with conventional jet fuel according to IATA.1 In July 2020, Amazon Air signed one of the aviation industry’s largest ever SAF deals to date, a collaboration with Shell Aviation and World Energy for over six million gallons. In doing so, Amazon became one of the first major global businesses to commit to using SAF to reduce value chain emissions.

“With this 12-month deal, Amazon Air, in our short history, is prioritizing sustainability by bringing SAF into our air operations. This commitment also makes Amazon Air a key enabler of SAF production, building demand as the fuel industry seeks to increase access to low-carbon aviation fuel,” explained the world’s largest online retailer, which has built up an extensive cargo airline in just a few years.

One real challenge facing the aviation sector is that SAF remains in short supply due to its current high price compared with jet fuel. Shell Aviation’s collaboration with California based World Energy is designed to develop a scalable supply of SAF. It is just one of a range of investments and collaborations Shell is making to increase SAF production and supply. These include major off-take agreements with Redrock and ECB from their new plants in Oregon, USA and Paraguay, as well as investments in companies developing SAF technology such as LanzaJet in the US.

Just as Shell worked with the original pioneers of aviation to fuel their early flights, it is working to support the innovators of today, helping them to fly sustainably by focusing on the development of sustainable fuel and other technologies such as hydrogen propulsion, to help ensure the world continues to benefit from aviation as it works to reach net-zero emissions.

Decarbonising Aviation: Cleared for Take-off

Our new report, produced with Deloitte, reflects views from right across the aviation industry on the obstacles the sector faces and provides a clear pathway for the sector to accelerate progress towards net-zero emissions.

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Work with us today for a low carbon future

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