Air Freight Finds Fuel Alternatives in an Unexpected Place
The aviation industry has also made a significant commitment to sustainability efforts. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which represents 290 airlines in 120 countries, has adopted three targets to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint:
- An average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per year from 2009 to 2020
- A cap on net aviation CO2 emissions from 2020
- A reduction in net aviation CO2 emissions of 50% by 2050, relative to 2005 levels xii
In order to achieve these bold targets, the airline industry will be looking to operational improvements, as well as replacing older aircraft with newer, more fuel-efficient ones.
The airline industry is also investigating sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Depending on their makeup, SAF can offer as much as an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.xiii
FedEx has turned to a company called Red Rock Biofuels to fuel its fleet. Red Rock uses waste woody biomass to create low-carbon, renewable jet fuel. Curious what exactly “waste woody biomass” is? Red Rock uses leftover tops and branches created by the timber harvesting process, as well as tree material thinned out during the management of forest areas. They collect this material, heat it enough to turn it into a gas, creating liquid hydrocarbons that are refined to make jet fuel.xiv
As contracts from both Southwest Airlines and FedEx prove, the industry is heavily investing in the future of this technology to reduce the environmental impact of airplane emissions.
Making Strides Toward Sustainability
Sustainability is a global effort, one that will require cooperation across freight modes, across industries—and across the globe. By investing in the green technology behind these improvements, the freight industry has the potential to significantly lessen its impact, while continuing to connect the world with the raw materials, supplies, and finished goods it needs.
Interested in discussing how green technologies can improve efficiency and lighten your company’s environmental footprint? Reach out to one of our experts for a complimentary consultation.