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Boeing Leads Aviation Industry’s Adoption of Sustainable Aviation Fuels With 2M Gallon Purchase

Boeing signed an agreement on Monday with EPIC Fuels to purchase 2 million gallons of blended sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, that will power its commercial operations in two U.S. states through the end of the year.

The purchase marks the largest SAF procurement by an airframer and positions Boeing as a leader in SAF adoption across the aviation industry. The deal also represents a key step toward Boeing’s sustainability goals, including its effort to fly on 100 percent SAF by 2030.

“SAF is a safe, proven, immediate solution that will help achieve our industry’s long-term commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” commented Sheila Remes, vice president of environmental sustainability at Boeing.

Sustainable jet fuels – derived from feedstocks, inedible agricultural waste and other renewable materials – boast a CO2 reduction rate of 80 percent, and their use is expected to grow in the coming years as aviation companies accelerate their environmental goals in line with the White House’s December 2021 executive order on clean energy and federal sustainability.

Kevin Welsh, executive director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Environment and Energy, recently spoke on the rise of SAFs and their role in broader sustainability initiatives during the FAA: Climate Change Priorities Fireside Chat hosted by GovCon Wire Events.

“A lot of work has been done over the past decade plus, including by FAA but really in partnership with other government agencies and industry, to demonstrate that there are sustainable fuels – fuels that lower the greenhouse gas emissions overall – that can be used in existing airplanes and infrastructure safely,” he shared with the virtual audience.

“The challenge,” Welsh revealed, “has been the cost of these fuels and scaling up production,” so that they can be produced and used in meaningful quantities.

Boeing’s SAF purchase reflects a larger push within the private and public sectors to deliver on sustainability initiatives and bend the emissions curve downward as climate change-caused extreme weather events continue to threaten critical government and industry infrastructure and facilities.

In accordance with Biden’s sustainability executive order, the Department of Defense recently established the new role of chief sustainability officer and appointed Joe Bryan, former senior adviser on climate at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, to take on the position.

The Pentagon also just issued a request for information on vendors who can provide carbon-free electricity generation services for the federal government.

To learn more about sustainability and environmental initiatives across the federal landscape, join the Potomac Officers Club for the platform’s How Climate Policy Can Drive Change event on Feb. 24.

SAIC’s Chief Climate Scientist Steve Ambrose will lead a discussion with distinguished climate experts from industry, academia and government on how climate action can be accelerated through legislation.

Register here for the How Climate Policy Can Drive Change event on Feb. 24.

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