Assessment of sustainability standards for biojet fuel

Published: 22/01/2015

The aviation industry is committed to using sustainable biomass for alternative aviation fuels. With no harmonised international biojet fuel sustainability standards in place, airlines are often required to comply with sustainability criteria for biofuels used in road transport, most prominently the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the US Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2).

The current legislative frameworks and voluntary schemes all aim to ensure sustainable biofuels, but differ in the scope and details of the sustainability criteria that they cover. Airlines operating international flights have to deal with these different jurisdictions. In an ideal situation, airlines would be able to purchase fuel from any location and use it on any flight and know that it complies with the given sustainability standard.

In this report, Ecofys assessed the EU RED and the US RFS2, as well as five voluntary schemes, as a basis to develop options that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) can use as a first step towards achieving greater harmonisation of sustainability standards, or mutual recognition.

See also our report on Accounting methods for biojet fuel.

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Matthias Spöttle
Urban Energy
Sacha Alberici
Sustainable Industries and Services