Azzera’s newly launched Celeste, a B2B platform for aircraft operators, is aiming to create a seamless system for the aviation industry to act sustainably, according to Puja Mahajan, the CEO and co-founder of the Montreal-based firm.
Founded during the COVID pandemic, Azzera helps the aviation industry tackle its pollution problem by offering tools and advisory products that connect to emissions compliance management systems and carbon credit projects.
Celeste merges these tasks into a software-as-a-service platform which calculates the flight emissions from aircraft operators and organizes the data to generate reports for compliance systems. Carbon offsets can be purchased on Celeste to compensate for a client’s emissions.
Mahajan, who held executive positions at Bombardier and private jet company Elit'Avia, said the idea for Celeste came from her desire to untangle the confusion she witnessed in the aviation industry over compliance rules and carbon markets.
Celeste was developed to “help operators and other clients go from A to Z and avoid all of the external players in their (compliance) process,” Mahajan said.
“So, we wanted to do emissions measurement and combine that with carbon markets in a one-stop shop or all-in-one platform.”
How Celeste works
The first step for the Celeste platform, which Mahajan believes is a first of its kind, is to identify an airline operator’s data gaps.
Mahajan said Azzera is in talks with a commercial operator that has over 2,500 legs (one-way journeys from point A to point B) per month and inputs fuel calculation data onto a spreadsheet, which leads to frequent errors that must be manually identified. Celeste will detect if the calculations are done correctly and flag data gaps and errors.
Next, the flight emissions data from aircraft operators is calculated and sorted into various compliance markets, which generates reports for compliance reporting. The operator can then directly access carbon markets for voluntary carbon credits, compliance credits and sustainable aviation fuel credits to mitigate its emissions.
Compliance markets, such as the EU Emissions Trading System and Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), are increasingly mandating voluntary carbon credit purchases if an operator exceeds an emissions threshold.
The carbon credits on Azzera’s Marketplace are sourced primarily from Canadian suppliers that are CORSIA-eligible. Examples include supporting improved forest management or direct carbon capture efforts.
Celeste is currently commercially available and completing its beta stage, with its emissions measurement and voluntary carbon credits functions available.
The subscription cost is still being evaluated, Mahajan said, and will also depend on the size of the airline operator.
Azzera plans to offer Celeste as a commercial or business model for aviation operators.
Celeste’s customer base
Ten private airline operators are actively using Celeste and most have indicated interest in paying for the platform, according to Mahajan.
Most of the beta testers for Celeste are European firms. Closer to home, three Canadian airlines will be testing Celeste in the coming months.
With compliance regimes like CORSIA coming to Canada, Azzera plans to expand its focus within its home country. But the “real need” is in Europe, Mahajan said, as they face multiple compliance schemes already, explaining the concentration on Europe so far.
Once feedback is received, Azzera will implement product refinements. One step for Celeste is to incorporate machine learning so the platform can suggest corrections to the data.
“We know this is going to be huge savings of time for operators,” Mahajan said.
Azzerra’s goal is to secure many airline operator clients. By the end of 2023, the company hopes to establish a target for tonnes of carbon traded.
Celeste could be applicable for more than aviation. Mahajan said Celeste could transform into a “digital ecosystem for climate change” covering all transportation systems, including rental car companies and the trucking industry.