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RSB CORSIA Standard for SAF gains official recognition by ICAO

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) announced on December 11, 2020, that it has officially been recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for the certification of Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) eligible Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) with its new RSB CORSIA Standard.

A reflection of an ANA aircraft parked by a gate.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) has announced on December 11, 2020, that it has officially been recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) for the certification of Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) eligible Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) with its new RSB CORSIA Standard.

This means that sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) producers and airlines are now able to demonstrate compliance with CORSIA requirements and RSB’s best-in-class sustainability, widely recognized by NGOs and other groups as the most robust, credible, and practical approach for sustainability in the bio-based and circular economy.

SAF — which can deliver significant reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while requiring no changes to existing aircraft and infrastructure — offers the most effective and immediate solution to an industry looking to decarbonise rapidly.

A trusted partner

The RSB CORSIA Standard goes above and beyond CORSIA requirements to ensure that SAF achieves at least 50 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions on its core lifecycle analysis and a minimum of 10 percent when including CORSIA’s Induced Land Use Change values (ILUC).

In addition, RSB-certified SAF enables further claims around zero deforestation, environmental protection, food security, and human rights, as indicated in the comprehensive RSB Principles & Criteria which define best practices for sustainability along the supply chain.

According to RSB, this recognition by ICAO cements RSB as a long-term trusted partner for the aviation industry.

Types of RSB certification schemes (graphic courtesy RSB).

RSB is supported by aviation industry leaders who participate in its multi-stakeholder roundtable, developing robust sustainability approaches for the industry and collaborating with pioneers from industry, NGOs, and government.

These members include Airbus, Boeing, Air France, British Airways, KLM, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and many others. This industry commitment is supported by the global recognition of RSB’s most robust approach to sustainability and its multi-stakeholder community.

Ready for certification

The International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation’s (ICSA) vision for a “zero climate impact” international aviation pathway towards 2050 endorses RSB as the “best-in-class sustainability certification standard for advanced aviation fuels”.

In its Waypoint 2050 report on balancing aviation growth with tackling the climate emergency the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) identifies joining RSB as one of the simplest early actions that can be taken to help accelerate an energy transition.

The airline members of the Sustainable Air Fuel User Group (SAFUG), representing a third of global commercial aviation, have committed to developing and using alternative aviation fuels that are consistent with RSB’s robust sustainability requirements.

ICAO Council’s approval of RSB as an eligible Sustainability Certification Scheme is both an outstanding achievement for RSB and a major milestone for ICAO CORSIA, which completes CORSIA’s SAF framework. RSB CORSIA Standard also represents a paradigm shift, moving from RSB’s original focus on sustainable biofuel volumes to a new focus on emissions reductions from the use of SAF for carbon markets, said Pedro Piris-Cabezas, Director of Sustainable International Transport and Lead Senior Economist at the Environmental Defense Fund.

RSB certificate holders already include SAF producers and traders like Gevo, Nuseed, SkyNRG, World Energy, and others, who are well-positioned to transition to an RSB CORSIA certificate.

Sustainability is at the heart of business at Neste and we are committed to supporting the aviation industry in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions with the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuels. We cordially congratulate RSB for receiving recognition for its CORSIA standard and we look forward to continuing the close collaboration, said Sami Jauhiainen, VP Business Development, Renewable Aviation.

Also committed to RSB certification are Velocys, LanzaTech, and LanzaJet. Additionally, international airlines, including KLM, are committed to sourcing RSB-certified SAF.

Rolf Hogan. Executive Director, RSB

“Today is an exciting day for the aviation industry as a clear pathway is now available for leaders to demonstrate that their commitment to sustainability goes above and beyond the legal requirements of CORSIA to also include a full range of social and environmental impacts as well. We look forward to working with these pioneers to implement this new RSB CORSIA Standard to help transform the industry – and the world!” said Rolf Hogan, Executive Director, RSB.

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