How do you reduce carbon emissions while continuing important business air travel? By investing in sustainable fuel with a network of top airlines and fuel producers.

As part of WorldClimate, Deloitte is focused on driving responsible climate choices, including near-term (2030) greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals that have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as 1.5°C-aligned, science-based targets. Deloitte has also committed to set long-term emissions reduction targets using SBTi’s Net Zero Standard. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy entails collaboration across the broader business ecosystem in order to drive innovative solutions at scale, requiring a substantial reduction in emissions from air travel, which has traditionally been a significant part of many organizations’ carbon footprint.

As part of Deloitte’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions as part of WorldClimate, Deloitte has entered into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) agreements with several US airlines—Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines—which will cover a portion of Deloitte’s business travel. Following pilot transactions with multiple airlines, we began exploring transactions with fuel producers, upstream in the value chain, including Shell Aviation and World Energy, to further demonstrate our commitment to decarbonizing aviation. Through our SAF collaborations to date, we have contracted to avoid the emissions from approximately 15,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (equivalent to approximately 48,000 passengers flying one way from New York City to Los Angeles).

For more information, the initial SAF agreements between:

  • Alaska Airlines and Deloitte reduce the life cycle emissions of their business travel by approximately 1,050 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
  • American Airlines and Deloitte reduce life cycle emissions from aviation by approximately 3,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
  • Delta Air Lines and Deloitte reduce life cycle emissions from aviation by approximately 1,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
  • JetBlue and Deloitte are part of JetBlue’s “Sustainable Travel Partner” program. Deloitte is an inaugural participant in JetBlue’s program helping business travel customers understand and reduce their business travel emissions to meet their own organization sustainability targets.
  • Southwest Airlines and Deloitte are supporting and advancing sustainability initiatives within their corporate travel portfolios.
  • United Airlines and Deloitte are part of United's new Eco-Skies AllianceSM program, the largest SAF program to date. As an inaugural participant, Deloitte will be one of several Eco-Skies Alliance leaders that will work with United to collectively purchase emissions reductions from 3.4 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel this year.

SAF is made from renewable waste materials, such as used cooking oil. Unlike fossil fuels which release additional carbon, SAF recycles CO2 emissions that were emitted previously and subsequently absorbed from the atmosphere during biomass production.1 Sustainable aviation fuel reduces the life cycle carbon emissions from airline fuel by up to 80% when used in pure form, compared to fossil jet fuel. Crucially, it's compatible with existing airplanes and aviation fueling infrastructure.2

These collaborations are a critical early step for the future of sustainable business travel—uniting the goals of a large business organization seeking to reduce their carbon footprint with US airlines that already use SAF in their daily operations, as well as with fuel producers upstream in the value chain that are shifting towards lower-carbon fuels. The investment in SAF is one way for Deloitte to actually avoid generating carbon emissions within our own value chain, as opposed to solely retroactively purchasing carbon offsets for emissions already generated.

The SAF certificate concept, initially developed by the World Economic Forum's Clean Skies for Tomorrow initiative, sets out to increase sustainable fuel production by aligning ambitious corporate sustainability goals with the aviation industry. Businesses that buy into SAF agreements pay a green premium on this investment in cleaner fuel technologies, as opposed to the initial cost burden being placed on either consumers or producers. Through this agreement, Deloitte takes an important step toward our goal of reducing business travel emissions by 50% per FTE by 2030.

Through our SAF collaborations to date, we will be avoiding the emissions from approximately 15,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (equivalent to approximately 48,000 passengers flying one way from New York City to Los Angeles).

The regular and widespread use of SAF is expected to be pivotal in reducing aviation emissions. That being said, it is a new market solution and not yet available at the scale or price needed to be the primary source of fuel for US airlines. Through these initial SAF agreements, Deloitte is leading efforts to create more market demand for SAF, with the goal of increasing availability and affordability and further SAF development. A cost-effective business model and an increased supply of SAF will allow us to meet our own sustainability goals and help accelerate the transition to lower-carbon air travel. To this end, Deloitte is also one of the founding members of the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA), launched by RMI and the Environmental Defense Fund. SABA supports and provides momentum to existing airline-company agreements, while driving investment and production of SAF and furthering technological innovation in the field of sustainable aviation.

Businesses have an opportunity to play a key role in addressing climate change by redesigning day-to-day experiences. Regardless of the evolution of hybrid workplaces and the future of business travel, joint initiatives like these help Deloitte continue to serve our clients in a way that reflects our commitment to sustainability.


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