Shell, Accenture and Amex GBT launch one of the world’s first blockchain powered digital book-and-claim solutions for scaling sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

Shell Accenture Amex Avelia

Shell, Accenture, and American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) are jointly announcing the launch of Avelia, one of the world’s first blockchain-powered digital sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)* book-and-claim** solutions for business travel. It is the largest SAF book-and-claim pilot at launch, offering around 1 million gallons of SAF – enough to power almost 15,000 individual business traveller flights from London-to-New York.

The pilot phase of the programme aims to demonstrate the credibility of the book-and-claim model, using blockchain technology to ensure secured allocation of SAF’s environmental attributes to companies and airlines after the fuel has been delivered into the fuel network. With Avelia, airlines and business customers could simultaneously reduce emissions in their respective scopes, while ensuring transparency and accountability by avoiding issues such as double-counting.

Developed by Shell and Accenture, with the support of the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), Avelia includes Amex GBT’s world-leading travel management services to aggregate global business demand for SAF, which will increase SAF supply and use and help accelerate the aviation industry’s pathway towards net-zero emissions.

Jan Toschka, President, Shell Aviation

“SAF is a key enabler of decarbonisation in the aviation industry, and it’s available today. However, it’s currently scarce and costs more than conventional jet fuel. Avelia will help trigger demand for SAF at scale, providing confidence to suppliers like us to further increase investment in production, and in turn helping to lower the price point for these fuels.”

Paul Abbott, CEO, Amex GBT

“A truly viable route to decarbonising air travel is now open for business. We’re calling on all companies to join us and share the costs and benefits of SAF across the travel and aviation sectors. Airlines will gain access to the buying capacity of businesses, drawing from Amex GBT’s 19,000 customers around the world.”

Rachel Barton, Europe Strategy Lead, Accenture

“We believe every business should be a sustainable business and that sustainability will serve as one of the most powerful forces for change. Our vision for the Avelia platform is to bring together airlines, corporates, cargo players, and SAF suppliers in a trusted ecosystem that no individual company could build or access on its own. Blockchain technology will be piloted to help ensure trust via data integrity, validate proof of ownership, and enable transparent tracking of the environmental benefits of SAF for customers.”

Shell, Accenture, and Amex GBT are the platform’s first customers, and are pleased to welcome new corporations to Avelia to purchase the environmental attributes of SAF to drive industry change. Shell has committed to purchasing the environmental attributes equivalent to 100,000 gallons of SAF over the pilot phase of the Avelia programme. Shell will increase this commitment as soon as more SAF is available, to achieve its ambition to abate 45% of Shell’s corporate travel emissions through SAF by 2030.

Scalable co-investment models, which allow companies to co-fund the cost of SAF, are crucial to significantly scale SAF supply and use. An industry-accepted carbon accounting mechanism, like book-and-claim, is key for such programmes to credibly grow. Avelia’s data security and credibility are key to reaching scientific and market consensus for ways to allocate SAF’s environmental attributes and help accelerate the decarbonisation of aviation.

The Basics

  • Intended to complement and work alongside airlines’ current corporate SAF programmes, Avelia aims to share the costs and benefits of SAF across the sector. Airlines will gain access to the buying capacity of businesses willing to share SAF’s ongoing price premium – drawing from Amex GBT’s 19,000 customers from 140 countries, including thousands of small to medium sized businesses and 40 of the top 100 companies by travel spend – and corporates looking to reduce emissions from their business travel will have access to SAF.
  • *Sustainable aviation fuel can be made from plant or animal material. Research and development is also underway to find ways to produce industrial quantities of SAF synthetically, using hydrogen obtained from low-emission sources and carbon dioxide captured from other industrial processes or the air.
  • SAF offers significant potential for decarbonisation without the need to modify existing infrastructure – when used neat it can reduce lifecycle emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel.2
  • Currently SAF is 2 to 8 times more expensive than jet fuel. With fuel accounting for a significant share of airline costs and in the low margin environment, airlines struggle to absorb the extra cost of decarbonisation.
  • Business travel is uniquely positioned to play a key role in creating a stronger demand and helping de-risk investment in production and new SAF technologies. Business travel forms a more concentrated segment than leisure passengers3 and the average corporate travel booking produces 4.3 times more revenue than a typical leisure booking.4
  • **Book-and-claim allows travelers to pay for SAF, and claim the benefits, even if SAF is not available at their departure airport. SAF will instead be fed into another aircraft in an airport where available.
    • Once book-and-claim is approved by industry bodies as an acceptable form of emissions reduction, Avelia could enable airlines and companies who choose SAF to authenticate, record and report the associated emissions reduction benefits of SAF towards their voluntary ESG reporting, regardless of where in the world the SAF is used to fuel a flight.
    • Avelia uses a blockchain-powered book-and-claim method that follows the Smart Freight Centre and MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics SAF Guidelines.5

Discover more about Avelia at: https://aveliasolutions.com/

Subscribe