In 2009, Cathay Pacific joined the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG) - an airline-led industry working group united by the need to accelerate the commercialisation of aviation biofuels by developing robust, global sustainability criteria and best practices for the aviation biofuel markets.
The Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group was formed in September 2008 with support and advice from the world's leading environmental organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Roundtable for Sustainable Biofuels (RSB). The group is focused on accelerating the development and commercialization of sustainable aviation biofuels.
Like all SAFUG members, Cathay Pacific has signed a Sustainability Pledge, and believes that a key driver to a carbon neutral industry is advancing and adopting sustainable aviation biofuels. Sustainable aviation biofuels will perform equal to, or better than, petroleum based fuels and will have a carbon neutral lifecycle - production through use. According to the pledge, these fuels should:
- Exhibit minimal impact on biodiversity
- Meet a sustainability standard with respect to land, water, and energy use
- Do not displace or compete with food crops
- Provide a positive socioeconomic impact
- Do not require any special fuel handling equipment, distribution systems, or changes to engine design
To mark an important step in our increasing interest in the development and use of biofuels, in 2014, Cathay Pacific announced a strategic equity investment in a US-based biojet fuel developer pioneering in the development and commercialisation of converting municipal solid waste into low-carbon fuels.
According to Fulcrum, jet fuel produced by their waste-to-fuels process will reduce lifecycle carbon emissions when used in aircraft or road transport by more than 80% when compared to traditional fuels derived from crude oil and other fossil sources. This process also reduces the amount of municipal solid waste destined for landfill and resulting methane gas emissions.