Cathay Pacific [0293 :HK] pledges to increase the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to 10% of its total fuel consumption by 2030 through its partnership with California-based low-carbon transportation fuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy, as the airline announced in a press release on September 22. The Hong Kong-based airline expects to use the SAF for flights departing from the US beginning in 2024, as Fulcrum scales up the fuel’s production. Cathay Pacific also reaffirms its commitment to cut absolute ground emissions by 32% before 2030 and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Cathay Pacific was the first airline investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy in 2014. In addition, it committed to purchasing 1.1m tons of SAF from Fulcrum over a ten-year period, which would cover about 2% of the airline’s pre-Covid annual fuel demand. Fulcrum specializes in transforming municipal solid waste into low-cost, low-carbon diesel and jet fuel. Alternatively, SAF can also be produced from algae, grains, plants, or waste by-products such as used cooking oil. The use of SAF in place of conventional jet fuel has been shown to decrease carbon emissions by as much as 80%, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Aside from incorporating SAF in its aviation fuel, Cathay Pacific also explores other measures to transition towards net-zero business model, including renewable energy for ground operation, fleet modernization, improvement of operational efficiency, carbon capture, and carbon offsets.