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Airlines launch Canadian Council for Sustainable Aviation Fuels

A group of 60 domestic, international and cargo airlines operating in Canada have aligned to crea...

IMAGE: Geoffrey Tauvette, executive director of CSAF

Geoffrey Tauvette, the executive director of the Canadian Council for Sustainable Aviation Fuel, or C-SAF. (Courtesy C-SAF)

A group of 60 domestic, international and cargo airlines operating in Canada have aligned to create the non-profit Canadian Council for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (C-SAF).

Operating at 11 airports across the country, the group is comprised of 100 individual members from some of the world’s biggest airlines, plus other groups and companies with a stake in the industry. Airlines involved include WestJet, FedEx, Air Canada, American Airlines, UPS, Porter Airlines, Sunwing Airlines and Lufthansa.

The goal is to facilitate the production and supply of low-carbon, Canadian-made sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs).

As airlines look to reduce life-cycle carbon emissions, SAFs provide companies with sustainable fuel and technology that could drop emissions totals by up to 80 per cent.

While the consortium pushes for affordable SAF solutions — such fuels currently cost up to eight times more than traditional jet fuel — which is typically made up of carbon and hydrogen molecules.

SAFs are produced from renewable feedstocks widely available in Canada, such as forest and agricultural residues, industrial fats, oils and grease, municipal solid wastes and CO2 captured from industrial processes or the air and then blended with that more traditional fuel.

C-SAF’s origins

Geoffrey Tauvette, executive director at C-SAF, says airlines banded together to form the consortium to tackle what has become an industry-wide issue.

“Working alone is hard,” he said. “Our goal is to create that ecosystem approach to solving this industry problem producing SAF in Canada. We (basically) said, ‘let’s form this new council, and then go out and see if the other stakeholders are willing to participate.’ ”

Having previously worked as WestJet’s director of fuel and environment, Tauvette has experienced a lot over the last decade. He’s also served as the vice president of operations and sustainability at FSM Management Group. This Mississauga firm provides global aviation fuel and aircraft de-icing services.

C-SAF is also listed as being managed by FSM.

The council will play a key role in bringing the industry together on SAF distribution. Its first major order of business is to develop an industrial transition roadmap for SAF over the next six months.

“All this ends up as well with a document that will allow us to make some asks from a policy and regulatory perspective and have a little bit of data to back that up at the same time,” Tauvette said.

For this roadmap and beyond, C-SAF is operating under the net-zero emissions target by 2050. There will also be task groups approved by Tauvette and an advisory committee to focus on various aspects of the SAF value chain: sustainability and safety, technology and feedstock, policy and programs and business.

Looking toward the future

Officially, the council formed last summer, but it wasn’t until near the end of the year that the organization started to take off. The first few months had been set aside to draft mission statements, plan objectives and fill out its membership before the official launch in February.

In addition to its airline members, others involved in the council include Shell Aviation, RBC Capital Markets, Tidewater Midstream Ltd., Airbus, Mont-Royal University, UBC, Canadian Oilseed Processors Association and Bombardier.

Tauvette says the goal is to “nurture and evolve (the council’s) ecosystem,” as the goal is to accommodate all levels of companies, organizations and interest groups involved in SAF.

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