Why JPMorgan, Deloitte, Meta & More Support Record SAF Deal

JP Morgan Chase, Meta and Deloitte among 20 major companies financing the biggest ever set of deals to buy 50 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel

The drive to decarbonise flights has accelerated, with the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) announcing the largest ever collection of deals to purchase high-integrity SAF certificates (SAFc). 

Twenty major organisations have committed to buy SAF certificates for nearly 50 million gallons of high-integrity SAF, channelling close to $200 million of investment into the SAF market.

Over the next five years, companies including AstraZeneca, Autodesk, Bain & Company, BCG, Deloitte, JPMorgan Chase, Live Nation, McKinsey & Company, Meta, Morgan Stanley, Netflix, Novo Nordisk, Samsung Biologics, Watershed and Workday, alongside SABA founding organisation RMI, have committed to channel close to $200 million into purchasing SAFc.

A very big deal

The investment equates to about 50 million gallons of high integrity SAF or 500,000 tons of abated CO2e – equivalent to the emissions of 3,000 fully loaded passenger flights from New York to London.

The deals involve almost 20 corporate aviation customers, four fuel providers and three airlines.

“Sustainable aviation fuel is one of the most promising pathways to large-scale aviation emissions abatement. SABA is helping to lower barriers to adoption and build the SAF sector through pioneering action and Watershed is proud to include our customers in this latest historic purchase,” said Claire Kiely, Head of Marketplace Carbon Supply at Watershed.

Backed by the biggest businesses

Some of the globe’s biggest companies are lining up to give their support.

“Reducing emissions from business travel is a core element of Deloitte’s sustainability strategy,” said Susan Goldsmith, Sustainability Leader at Deloitte US.

“We are proud to be evolving our SAF procurement approach to multi-year agreements to further signal demand and appreciate and applaud SABA’s role in supporting its membership to advance the SAFc market.”

Brian DiMarino, Deputy Director of Global Sustainability at JPMorgan Chase & Co, said: “Deeper decarbonisation of the aviation sector will require significantly scaling the adoption of sustainable aviation fuel and other low-carbon technologies.

“We’re excited to partner with SABA as investments in SAF and SAF certificates are critical to rapidly reducing costs, scaling both production and distribution of sustainable aviation fuel and driving technological innovation to reduce carbon emissions in aviation.”

SAF deal is signed

Currently, SAF makes up less than 0.5% of global jet fuel supply and today sells at a premium compared to fossil jet fuel. 

Elizabeth Sturcken, Managing Director at Environmental Defense Fund, a SABA co-founder, said: “This SABA procurement shows the power of prominent global companies demanding high-integrity sustainable aviation fuels.

“High-integrity sustainable aviation fuels are available right now, and we must work to rapidly scale their production to decarbonise air travel.”

What is sustainable aviation fuel?

SAF is a drop-in fuel made with renewable or waste feedstocks. It can be used in today’s aircraft without investments to upgrade existing fleets and infrastructure.

According to SABA, “SAF purchased through the SABA transaction will achieve, on average, an 80% reduction in carbon intensity relative to conventional jet fuel, with sustainability performance certified by third parties across the fuel’s supply chain”.

It added: “Buying SAF certificates allows corporate travellers to invest in SAF and capture the environmental benefits, even if the fuel does not flow directly into the planes they fly on.

“The travellers’ investment allows them to make a greenhouse gas emissions reduction claim on their climate disclosures, while the physical SAF flows to an aircraft operator.”

SAF deal signed

Getting the airlines involved

SABA members are working with airline partners including Alaska Air, JetBlue and Southwest, securing certificates through SAF solutions provider SkyNRG and buying directly from fuel providers, including multi-year agreements with World Energy.

Fuel types include power-to-liquids, or e-fuels, produced by Twelve, offered in partnership with Alaska. This fuel is made from renewable electricity and CO2, with low greenhouse gas impacts, and high potential for scalability.

“Creating an ecosystem that equips companies from all economic sectors to access more SAF is part of our mission,” said Adam Klauber, Vice President of Sustainability and Digital Supply Chain at World Energy.

The SAFc Registry 

SABA co-founders RMI and EDF developed the digital SAFc Registry, which is being used as the central platform to record the SAF certificates purchased through this RFP.

SABA said: “It creates an auditable ledger to ensure that purchased SAF certificates realise their intended environmental impact and can be claimed toward emissions reduction goals.”

Bryan Fisher, Managing Director at the clean energy nonprofit RMI, said: “The SAFc Registry plays a critical role in the SAF ecosystem by bringing greater consistency and transparency to SAFc transactions, building trust along the SAF value chain and helping send a strong demand signal for the low-carbon fuels needed to decarbonize the aviation sector.”

Kim Carnahan, Head of SABA’s Secretariat and CEO of Neoteric Energy and Climate, said: “The only way to drive structural change in hard-to-abate sectors like aviation is to shake up existing business models.

“The recent announcement from the Science Based Targets initiative opening the door to the use of market-based approaches to address Scope 3 emissions only elevates the importance of SABA’s book and claim system as an innovative and environmentally robust avenue for customers to drive aviation decarbonization.”

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