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French industry majors sign sustainable aviation biofuel “Green Deal”

At the World Efficiency event in Paris, France five major French industrial groups—Air France, Airbus, Safran, SUEZ and Total—signed an "Engagement pour la Croissance Verte Green Deal" with the French government, represented by Nicolas Hulot, Minister for the Ecological and Solidarity Transition, and Bruno Lemaire, Minister of the Economy and Finance. This commitment will make it possible to study the economic and operational feasibility of a sustainable aviation biofuel industry in France.

Engagement for Green Growth (Engagement pour la Croissance Verte – ECV) Green Deals are initiatives sponsored by the French Ministry for an Ecological and Solidary Transition in order to help those carrying out innovative projects which involve the environment and economics, and which contribute to the ecological transition.

The international air travel industry, which is responsible for estimated 2-3 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, has had ambitious goals since 2009, vowing to stabilise its CO2 emissions by 2020. The use of sustainable aviation biofuels has been identified by the aviation sector as one of the most promising methods for reducing CO2 emissions from air travel.

This ECV Green Deal signed on December 13, is based on a feasibility study designed to demonstrate the economic and operational viability of consistently using domestically produced, sustainable aviation biofuels. For SUEZ and its four partners – Air France, Airbus, Safran and Total, this also means assessing waste reserves that can be converted into aviation biofuels, such as used cooking oil (UCO), animal fat and crop residue primarily, followed by plastics and other solid recovered fuels (SRFs).

As a global leader in sustainable resource management, SUEZ has a great deal of experience in developing new waste-to-energy industries. In 2016, we proved that it was possible to convert biogas from the sludge produced by sewage processing plants into liquid biofuels for commercial transportation services over long distances. We are proud to be a part of this new partnership and to accept this challenge to further the energy transition, said Jean-Marc Boursier, Group Deputy CEO for the Recycling and Recovery segment in Europe.

According to Air France, it has fully demonstrated the operational capacity of using sustainable biofuels, the fluidity of logistic operations, as well as its acceptance by passengers. However, the conditions necessary for developing French sustainable aviation biofuel industries are currently limited by several factors, including economic viability conditions and securing a sustainable biomass supply.

Every day, Air France is committed to building the travel experience of the future. We want the experience to be enjoyable, innovative and responsible. I am very pleased to announce the signature of this ECV which confirms our commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of our activities and our active contribution to the air transport industry of the future, stated Jean-Marc Janaillac, Chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM and Chairman of the Air France Board of Directors.

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