Sustainable aviation fuel supplied by industry leader SkyNRG signals new approach for business travel
Editor’s Note – Oct. 22, 2020 – Updated with a clarification on what sustainable aviation fuel is produced from.
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SEATTLE and REDMOND, Wash. — Oct. 22, 2020 — Microsoft Corp. employees who fly between their global headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and California on Alaska Airlines will fly more sustainably thanks to the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to cover their business travel. The SAF, supplied by SkyNRG and produced from waste oil, is an important option for the aviation industry to reduce CO2 emissions on a life-cycle basis. This first U.S. partnership of its kind is a model for other companies and organizations committed to reducing the environmental impact of business air travel.
The agreement applies to CO2 emissions from Microsoft employee travel between Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to San Francisco International Airport, San Jose International Airport, and Los Angeles International Airport — the three most popular routes traveled by Microsoft employees on Alaska Airlines. Under a separate partnership agreement, Microsoft will purchase SAF credits from SkyNRG, and the SAF will be delivered to the airport fueling system used by Alaska Airlines. The companies will explore expanding the program in the future.
“After a decade advancing sustainable aviation fuel, this partnership marks a significant milestone in the work to make SAF a commercially-viable aviation fuel alternative,” said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines. “SAF enables us to fly cleaner and reduce our impact on the environment. However, we cannot do this alone — we must work together with other industries and business leaders like Microsoft and SkyNRG, among others who are thinking big, to achieve our goals and grow the marketplace for SAF.”
“We are excited to partner with Alaska Airlines to make business air travel a little greener by using sustainable aviation fuel supplied by SkyNRG to reduce the carbon impact of the flights Microsoft employees fly most,” said Judson Althoff, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Commercial Business. “We hope this sustainable aviation fuel model will be used by other companies as a way to reduce the environmental impact of their business travel.”
Microsoft, Alaska Airlines and SkyNRG hope this partnership sets an example for other companies and organizations to purchase SAF, and support the development of the SAF industry by creating a stable demand signal, increasing supply and reducing the cost of SAF. The three companies are also supporting the development of a global environmental accounting standard for voluntary corporate SAF purchases through their participation in a pilot project of the World Economic Forum’s Clean Skies for Tomorrow initiative. The companies plan to hold supplier and corporate forums to share learnings and increase interest in using SAF to lower the carbon emissions from business travel.
Alaska Airlines is one of the most fuel-efficient airlines in the U.S. with a strong commitment to sustainability. It was among the first airlines to use SAF in passenger travel, flying nearly 80 flights over the past 10 years. With a fuel-efficient fleet and use of modern technology in the flight deck, Alaska Airlines has reduced its intensity target of greenhouse gas emissions by 16% since 2012. Learn more about the partnership at https://blog.alaskaair.com/company-news/fly-greener/alaska-microsoft-reducing-carbon-footprint/.
Microsoft has ambitious sustainability goals, including a commitment to be carbon negative by 2030 and remove from the environment more carbon than they have emitted since its founding by 2050. The purchase and use of SAF contributes to the company’s sustainability goals.
For more than a decade SkyNRG has led the development in creating a SAF market, taking a no-compromise approach to sustainability. Replacing fossil jet fuels with SAF is what SkyNRG aims for, guaranteeing social and environmental sustainability throughout the supply chain.
“The emergence of a SAF production system and market is a once-in-a-century opportunity to launch a new energy source for an entire industry, guided by strong sustainability standards from day one,” said Theye Veen, managing director, SkyNRG. “We are very pleased to be joined by leading companies Microsoft and Alaska Airlines in this next step.”
As part of Microsoft’s partnership agreement with SkyNRG, Microsoft will become the newest member of Board Now, a coalition of leading companies that aims to accelerate the transition to sustainable air travel. Organizations commit to reducing carbon emissions from flying and directly contribute to the development of new SAF production capacity.
Background on sustainable aviation fuel
Rather than being refined from petroleum, SAF is generally produced from sustainable resources, like waste oils and agricultural residues. It can even be produced from carbon captured from the air. SAF is an important solution for the aviation industry to reduce CO2 emissions and can also contribute to other positive social and environmental benefits, such as job creation and biodiversity. SAF results in a reduction in carbon emissions across its lifecycle. The SAF supplied by SkyNRG under this agreement is produced in the U.S. by World Energy using waste oils and delivers a carbon reduction of approximately 75% compared with fossil jet fuel. SkyNRG guarantees the sustainability of the fuel it supplies through its certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), the most complete and robust standard for verification of sustainable practices, and its independent Sustainability Board, which includes representatives from WWF International, the European Climate Foundation, Solidaridad Network and the University of Groningen.
About Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines and its regional partners serve more than 115 destinations across the United States and North America, providing essential air service for our guests along with moving crucial cargo shipments, such as food, medicine, mail and e-commerce deliveries. With hubs in Seattle; San Francisco; Los Angeles; Portland, Oregon; and Anchorage, Alaska, the airline is known for low fares, award-winning customer service and sustainability efforts. With Alaska and its Global Partners, guests can earn and redeem miles on flights to more than 800 destinations worldwide. Learn more about Alaska at newsroom.alaskaair.com and blog.alaskaair.com. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group (NYSE: ALK).
SkyNRG is the pioneer and global leader for sustainable aviation fuel. Having supplied over 30 airlines on all continents, it is SkyNRG’s mission to make SAF the new global standard, driven by sustainable practices throughout the supply chain. Further information can be found on: www.skynrg.com and www.boardnow.org.
Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.
Note to editors: For more information, news and perspectives from Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft News Center at http://news.microsoft.com. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at https://news.microsoft.com/microsoft-public-relations-contacts.
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