British Airways has launched a new sustainability programme, BA Better World, which will see the carrier explore the use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
As part of the programme, the airline has announced a collaboration with BP, committing to source sustainable aviation fuel with respect to all its flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during the UK’s COP26 climate change summit being held in Glasgow later this year. According to BA, the SAF sourced for the COP26 period provides a lifecycle carbon reduction of up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel.
BA’s customers can now also purchase SAFs to reduce their carbon footprint via the not-for-profit organisation Pure Leapfrog. This is in addition to the existing option for customers to offset their emissions.
The programme was announced at an event at British Airways’ Heathrow engineering base, during which the airline also unveiled a new look for its A320neo aircraft, which is painted in the new BA Better World sustainability colours as part of a partnership with Airbus.
Many of the flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during COP26 will be operated by the A320neo, which has 20% less fuel burn & CO2 emissions compared to A320ceo and 50% less noise.
The collaboration with bp forms part of British Airways’ long-term commitment to the development and use of sustainable aviation fuel. The airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), is investing $400m over the next 20 years into the development of SAF, with British Airways forming partnerships with a number of technology and fuel companies to develop SAF plants and purchase the fuel, including with Velocys in the UK and LanzaJet in the US. British Airways, as part of an IAG commitment, recently stated it would power 10% of its fuel needs with SAF by 2030.
British Airways CEO and Chairman Sean Doyle said: “With BA Better World we’re on our most important journey yet – to a better, more sustainable future and one which will ensure the long-term success of our business. We’re clear that we have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the planet and have a detailed plan to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, including investing in more fuel-efficient aircraft, improving our operational efficiency and investing in the development of sustainable aviation fuel and zero emissions aircraft.
“It is only through working in partnership with the Government and the industry that we’ll be able to reach our targets and I’m delighted that, thanks to our new collaboration with bp, we’re able to source enough sustainable aviation fuel with respect to all our flights between London, Glasgow and Edinburgh during COP26, substantially reducing the emissions associated with taking our customers to and from COP26by up to 80% compared to traditional jet fuel. This commitment for COP26 is in addition to the mandatory carbon trading we already operate in the UK and our own further voluntary carbon offsetting of our UK domestic flights.”
Martin Thomsen, CEO of bp’s aviation division commented: “We’re thrilled to collaborate with British Airways by supplying sustainable aviation fuel with respect to all of its flights from London to Glasgow and Edinburgh for the COP26 event. Our companies have a long-standing relationship and will continue to work together on sustainable aviation fuel supply initiatives on an on-going basis.
“At bp we want to help decarbonise the aviation industry and we will continue to collaborate with industry stakeholders and governments to explore viable options to help scale up sustainable aviation fuel more broadly.”