Google Takes the Wheel: Joining Forces with Shell to Slash Business Travel Emissions

"Google Partners with Shell in Ambitious Sustainable Aviation Fuel Program to Achieve Carbon Neutrality by 2030"

Google has announced its participation in the Avelia program, a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) initiative backed by Shell and American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT). The program aims to scale up the use of SAF and carbon credits in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation industry. As part of its commitment to be carbon neutral by 2030, Google will purchase SAF and receive credits for the amount of carbon emissions reduced. This move is in line with Google’s ongoing efforts to invest in low-carbon initiatives and promote a greener future.

The Avelia program was launched last year by Shell and Amex GBT with the goal of providing companies with access to SAF and incentivizing the use of low-carbon biofuels. Avelia is the first blockchain-powered SAF “book and claim” tool, developed in collaboration with Accenture and Energy Web Foundation. It aims to offer 1 million gallons of SAF credits to buyers, equivalent to powering about 15,000 corporate travels from London to New York. SAF is made from renewable and sustainable resources and can be used by airlines without the need for modification. It is considered one of the most promising solutions to reduce aviation emissions and accelerate the industry’s transition to a low-carbon future.

Google’s participation in the Avelia program demonstrates its commitment to decarbonizing the aviation sector. The company joins other major corporations, including Aon and Bank of America, in their efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of air travel. Major airlines such as JetBlue, Delta, Japan Airlines, and Cathay Pacific are also part of the program. Google believes that SAF plays a crucial role in driving down aviation emissions and sees its participation in the program as a way to accelerate the global transition to a carbon-free future. In addition to investing in SAF, Google is partnering with industry players to develop eco-friendly solutions, such as using AI data mapping to help pilots choose flight paths with the lowest emissions.

SAF has the potential to significantly reduce flight emissions, with the ability to cut emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel. However, its current availability is limited, accounting for less than 0.1% of global aviation fuel. It is also more expensive than traditional jet fuels, raising concerns about its affordability and scalability. Despite these challenges, Amex GBT believes that SAF is critical in decarbonizing aviation, as it accounts for 90% of business travel emissions. The Avelia program aims to address these concerns by increasing demand and reducing costs through corporate collaboration.

The participation of Google, along with other major companies, in the Avelia program sends a significant investment signal to the market and contributes to the ramping up of SAF production. In April, several major firms, including JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, joined the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) to boost demand for biofuel. United Airlines also launched a $100 million investment vehicle for SAF earlier this year. These milestones, along with the groundbreaking of a commercial facility by climate tech startup Twelve, which turns captured carbon into biofuel, indicate the growing momentum in the sector.

By promoting sustainable aviation fuel and carbon reduction, Google, Shell Aviation, Amex GBT, and other companies demonstrate their commitment to pursuing a greener future for business aviation travel. Their collaboration and investment in SAF aim to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon aviation industry and contribute to global efforts to combat climate change.

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons

Matt Lyons is the founder of Forestry & Carbon. Matt has over 25 years as a forestry consultant and is invoilved in numerous carbon credit offset projects.

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