Independent consultants vs big firms

We’ve chosen to keep FGA independent, agnostic and flexible.

Why?

  • We can give advice which is truly sustainable and without an agenda
  • We make ethical decisions on who we work with and make sure we don’t cut those out that supported in the name of competition
  • Avoids ‘collaboration-washing’ – with conflicts of interest at play all the time commercially, working with an independent can get you to where you want to be without complications
  • Meaning contracts and NDAs can be signed quickly, will be agreed to and avoids grey areas later
  • A bigger consultancy/travel company may have the brand exposure but is that important when it comes to sustainability?
  • A personalised and bespoke service
  • We want to bring up topics that are blockers and need to be voiced
  • We want to be impartial
  • Be independent experts in sustainability, sustainable travel and fuels
  • We maintain integrity over commercial opportunity
  • Have collaboration in mind to avoid topics and solutions being blocked

Contact sarah@flygreenalliance.org to discuss your thoughts and experiences.

RECs vs Offsets

Are you unsure about the benefits of offsetting? If you are and many are debating offsets, an alternative is buying extra electricity from solar or wind which increases the supply globally (RECs or iRECs). Out of all of the energy sources we need more green electricity before any other commodity. In the UK Chris Goodall discusses in ‘What we need to do now‘ that we need 25 times more green electricity.

A REC is not an offset but does ‘offset/replace’ scope 1 electricity used and buying more than your scope 1 requirements can only be a good thing, if you still don’t want to offset as a company.

The main difference between renewable energy certificates vs carbon credits is what they offset. Where carbon credits help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy certificates offset electricity use from non-renewable sources. Instead of offsetting carbon, RECs offset kilowatt hours.

Giles Dickson and WindEurope reduced the price by 5 times over 6 years due to industry work. Offsets can also support the global energy transition.

Buying offsets and RECs can also be a way to redistribute wealth to lower GDP countries. The advice is don’t always buy the cheapest offset, find country you want to support, investigate what you are buying and how the country benefits from the production in the offset or REC in their country. This is what Gold Standard does to ensure it complies with the #SustainableDevelopmentGoals.

Offsets do have benefits and so does purchasing extra RECs.

Generally if we buy green electricity/RECs we buy them in a #Book&Claim way, meaning we never know where the electricity is, if it is in our house/office or another. Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) is working on a Book & Claim system for Sustainable Aviation Fuel #SAF too.

Contact sarah@flygreenalliance.org if you would like to discuss your sustainability and energy needs.

FGA works on the energy transition.

#solar #electricity #wind #energy #offsets #RECs #iRECS

Sustainable Aviation Futures Congress – Amsterdam

We are very happy to have moderated 2 panels with some excellent panellists and topics at the SAF Congress hosted in Amsterdam this June over 2 days.

20th Jun

Panel 1:

*Offtaker and corporate perspectives: Adapting aviation to reduce carbon emissions and make business mobility more sustainable

Nicole Sautter (American Express Global Business TravelMariela McIlwraithWineke Haagsma (PwC NederlandHenrik von Storch (Deutsche Post und DHL

Panel 2:

*Communicating green: What are airlines and corporate organisations really looking for when it comes to sustainability

With Kim Hardaker of EtihadMariela McIlwraith  of the Events Industry CouncilPatrick Den Elzen of Arena Aviation Capital) and Efren Arellano (Aeromexico).

21st June

We were on a panel discussing:

*Scaling up SAF: Highlighting strategies to successfully secure financing for SAF, build projects, attract capital for production scale-up, overcome the valley of death and create a genuine market

With Leigh Hudson (BA), Ausilio BauenSue Yang-KrochmalPaolo CorvoJean Paquin.

We are happy to have discussed our work over the years to support acceleration of SAF awareness and use. To name a few contributions and milestones:

  • Booking.com granted in 2018 to work on turning waste into SAF
  • We were the first SAF alliance created in May 2019
  • Created our own SAF credit in 2019 approved by Gold Standard in which we are now aligning with Book & Claim and we believe was the first introduction of the credit for SAF
  • Pioneered sustainable travel and SAF use in the business travel and travel management sector and consulted with , presented to and supported American Express Global Business Travel on SAF, which has now led the partnership with Shell, Clyde Travel Management, CTM and The Business Travel Show, SAP Concur, The Business Travel Association and others
  • Pioneers and resident experts in SAF and sustainability in sports working with Formula E, the football sector and FGA are travel partner of Sport and Sustainability International 
  • Pioneered a female CEO and approach in SAF
  • Working with CERN on data solutions for aviation decarbonisation 
  • Will be with EUROCONTROL later in the year discussing FGA’S role in acceptance of renewables after being invited to lead on societal acceptance by Imperial College London this year in an EU grant
  • We have also created a SAF Mechanisms report to support investors and corporates to navigate the alliances and mechanisms out there which includes RSBs Book & Claim which will be available on the SAF congress website and follow up soon

We had a great couple of days catching up with familiar faces and seeing a lot of new ones joining the SAF table.

As a startup in aviation and travel in the pandemic we are happy that, despite many challenges, we are developing our business well and contributing to our goals and the planet’s greater global goals.

Here are a few articles we’d like to share. The ‘say/do gap‘ article and ‘The Economist Sustainability Week‘ article.

Thanks from Sarah Wilkin, FGA – Founder & CEO

FGA at The Economist – Sustainability Week

At the East London location of the Barbican, on Tuesday 22nd March, was the in-person day of the 7th Annual Sustainability Week of The Economist, focusing on green investment and scaling technology for the energy transition, moving away from fossils fuels.

The panels of the day consisting of assets managers, carbon reporting companies, economists, academics, commentators, and technical experts in infrastructure and green tech.

Alok Sharma addressed the room with an opening keynote summarising some of the achievements of COP26 which included 60% of the FTSE announcing net zero pre-November event in Glasgow. Also sharing that 90% of the global economy has signed up to net zero and 40% of all global assets owners have made the pledge.

Swampy, the original climate activist in the UK from the 90s, made a cameo appearance in Alok Sharma’s speech which was a reminder that the work on climate has been happening for a long time and highlighting further the need to accelerate the transition. Also significant that there are many activists like Swampy now, and mostly wearing suits, so we have come a long way since 1996.

Alok discussed the themes of 2022 being ‘doing’ and ‘how’.

So what is it we need to do?

Switch from a fossil based energy system to green electricity and hydrogen as discussed in ‘What we need to do now’ by Chris Goodall. A very practical and positive book on how to achieve an energy system shift globally to limit global temperature rise.

How?

Estimates of funds required to switch energy systems were coming in at $2.5-5 trillion per year up to 2050. Greening brown industries and transition plans were part of the how and discussion on not stranding brown assets which would mean that they were not gone but being passed to those willing to still invest in fossil.

Utilities and infrastructure have historically been government led as towns and council have developed over the years often becoming privatised to improve running efficiencies and to become profitable businesses. This is why that a big part of the debate included use of strategic Public/Private Partnerships (PPPs) to give green first-of-it-kind tech, unstable tech or low return on investment tech and solutions an opportunity to show return. Hurdling investment was a topic which supported low return projects to demonstrate stability and profit over time. Although asset managers do not want to take on such risk with their pension funds, sovereign wealth and private client’s money, the bottom line.

However the question was still asked, which ones are the right ones to back? Which will be the green cash cows? Can they take the burden of the question marks or dog/laggards? And over how long in order to get to a point of profitability? The BCG matrix concept comes into play when working out what the portfolio energy mix will be.

There was a lot of discussion around hydrogen being a safe bet for asset managers which we do need more of but without green electricity it will only be able to serve some industries and definitely not aviation until 2035 as discussed by the Jet Zero Council in this recent update published 21st March. 200-300 seater hydrogen planes won’t be online until 2035. However e-fuels using green hydrogen and carbon should be in play before then. For aviation bio SAFs still do need to be in place and due to planes being in service for 25 years and being deployed now the market for SAF will be around for many decades to come. There are currently no hydrogen planes being submitted for certification and with us never having flown hydrogen societally before it is likely to take 5+ year for safety checks for these new planes. It is necessary to contextualise, look to the comparisons, the long term rollout plans, certification and public acceptance when it comes to investing in new tech and especially as new energy sources that are needing new infrastructure and behavioural changes like hydrogen needs.

Companies such as bp said:

By 2025 – 25% of portfolio will be transition

By 2030 – 50% transition projects and 40% less oil & gas in the portfolio

Various approaches were discussed when it came to understanding and choosing ‘green investments’

One commentator mentioned as well as Risk & Return, the next check is climate.

On an ESG approach – bottom line, does it harm the planet?

Topics at the table:

*Transition plans, should they be mandatory?
* ‘50 shades of green’ in investment terms
* Greening the brown economy
* Low cost capital for transition green projects
* The definition of transition
* Greening aviation ♻️✈️
* How to not strand brown assets
* ESG criteria for investments
* Reporting and supply chain
* Investment in Hydrogen

A few thoughts from our side were:
* Finance for green electricity, is it a given that it will be invested in? Although mentioned it was not emphasised that we do need a lot more for green hydrogen too (e.g.25 x times more in the UK in the next 2 decades)
* if investors/governments need to run at low or no ROI for new tech, how long can they manage this/hurdle this for? – 5 years? More?
* less discussed was customer /consumer readiness levels for paying for green

*although climate optimism was discussed, mitigation and water management was less discussed which we will likely need to do in conjunction with reducing carbon in general

At the event there was no plastic on badges or any single use, very nice vegetarian food, reusable plates, cups, cutlery and no paper flyers or schedules. ♻️✅

The work FGA have been doing, which has been recognised by institutes such as Imperial College London and our clients, is how we apply the energy transition work to businesses travel and sports. We are also working to find the finance for sustainable aviation fuel and low carbon projects which is ongoing work for us.

To start to conversation about green investments or how to switch-to-green in your business contact: sarah@flygreenalliance.org

Diversity and Inclusion in Aviation

Yesterday we attended an event by Avi – ALL – Aviation for All on the topic of D&I. As an industry that has around 20% of women there is still a way to go on balance and diversity.

It was an interesting event which discussed culture, mentoring, biases, language used, education of younger people, #girlsinSTEM and inclusion not just diversity.

The speakers were asked how to ensure it really does become part of the culture and some answers were:

  • Role models
  • Ensure women are on the board
  • Senior management buy-in
  • Ensuring mentors gain training
  • Ensure psychological safety
  • Have gender balanced panels like this one
  • CEOs and board members gaining training to ensure they are not defaulting to biases in language, behaviours and decision making

We believe that it’s also about developing confidence in those that are in the minority whether they are women, neurodiverse, LGBTI+ or those from ethnic backgrounds or countries that are less represented. To truly ensure this, providing free access to professional coaching would be a helpful approach to building self confidence, resilience in the workplace and to improve communication skills, including role play or third-person perspective scenerios. Equity is also important as it’s about being listened to and feeling that you can contribute as an individual. We wrote about our thoughts on equity last year and believe integrating more of this into HR policies would help integrate DEI fully.

A conversation also started about getting young people involved in STEM. We were part of Boeing’s event over summer with ThinkYoung at Summer of Coding discussing tech and sustainability. As we believe it is encouraging and building confidence in kids at a young age that can help change mindsets. Just as girls now play football from a young age they are also starting to code, get involved with tech and skateboard and more with the help of campaigns and initiatives.

We definitely ensure it’s part of our remit as we have a #femaleCEO and set up FGA to bring more diversity to the sector. We have seen changes already and are happy to be part of this work. #DEI #FGA

What is Book & Claim?

Book & Claim is an approach to the buying and selling of fuel much like how green electricity is sold and bought. When you purchase green electricity (RECs or iRECs) you know it has been added to the grid, the national electricity supply, from renewable sources but the supply may not be in your own house. With green electricity you buy an amount, a subscription or credits. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) can be purchased in the same way and then added to the global supply of jet fuel. SAF must be blended, re-tested for stability and can then mix with standard jet fuel.

The global mechanisms and the companies starting to use Book & Claim are currently under development and at a pilot stage, and the European Commission also reviewing if this should be regulated.

The European Commission consultations such as ‘Count your transport emissions‘ is looking into what this system should look like.

What are the benefits of Book & Claim?

  • It saves carbon due to reduced emissions from transportation of the fuel
  • Supply management – as the fuel can stay in the country it is produced in and uplifted there, while still acting as an offset in another it means transport timings, logistics arrangements and location of the fuel is less of a risk as supply chains are shorter
  • Shipping fuel can run into high delays and so Book & Claim mitigates for this
  • Any airport close to the fuel can therefore uplift the fuel
  • Reduces the cost of transport (via ship or road) and therefore the cost of SAF, as it can be up to 3 times as expensive then any cost saving is needed right now to make is closer to the cost of kerosene (Jet-A1)
  • The credit or agreement can offset emmissions from travel and does not need to be tied to one airline

For more information on SAF or Book & Claim contact sarah@flygreenalliance.org

What is electric regional air mobility?

This week FGA joined a group of aviation experts in Malta at MACE to discuss region air mobility (RAM) and the business case for electrification of RAM.


Having already met Stein Nilsen, CEO of the Norwegian airline Widerø, this year to discuss their electric strategy, it is clear that electrification is on its way. It has been touted to be commercially ready by 2026 on initially short commuter routes with 9-seater planes. This form of regional air mobility will work well for countries like Norway who have an excess of green electricity from their hydropower and beginning to install charging points in airports such as Stavanger.


The Stavanger to Bergen route being discussed as one of the first to fly electric. You can read about this new electric project online at www.elflyportalen.no. Just a 40 mins journey between the 2 cities by air. 


The landscape and infrastructure of Norway means it’s often much quicker to fly. The Stavanger to Bergen route taking 4-5 hours by car and in winter sometimes even longer due to heavy snow and with the need to clear the roads regularly.


The points brought up with regards to increased use of rail is the huge infrastructure investment required globally. With electrified regional air mobility this is not an issue but, of course, does require new planes to be purchased or leased by the operators and part of a low carbon diversification plan. Some of the investment required would sit with the airports due to needing to fit chargers and then subsequently being responsible for supplying green electricity to operators.

Definitely work needed to be done in conjunction with national governments as part of energy transition roll out plans, as not all countries have an excess of green electricity and this development would need to be concurrent to electrification, and likely requiring incentives or favourable loans rates or investment packages to carry out the deployment of the charging hardware.

On the panel in Malta we also heard about the case of Sweden who are investing in green electricity production to also cater for future green electricity demand and certainly from aviation. Fredrick Kampfe and Hendrik Littorin discussing Northvolt and the need for behavioural change. 


We were also pleased to speak to the External Environmental Specialist at Avinor recently. Avinor, who manage 41 airports in Norway, also discussed in the webinar session ‘Stakeholder Forum on the impact of climate change on aviation‘ already needing to mitigate for extreme weather so have environment firmly in their strategic development.


The attendees from the business aviation sector event being especially interested and happy to adopt electric due to the initial plane sizes being commercialised being much more suited to business aviation rather than general or commercial aviation.


The IBAC and Bombardier roadmap which EBBA work towards discussing that 40% of decarbonisation of business aviation by 2050 will be coming from electrification and alternative technologies. 

Also it’s good to see clearly what the carbon comparisons are between transports modes to see where competitive advantage lies.


Kevin Antcliff, previously at NASA, having created a white paper outlining the business case and factors that need to be considered and worked out before the case can work commercially. All was discussed in the session at MACE.


Herve Laitat discussing the business case is still missing and FGA saying we are working on this, as well as societal acceptance, which we will work on with Imperial College London through the various alliances created. 


It was a very interesting panel discussion and conference. Filippo Arcaleni, lawyer from DF Advocates having put the panel together, looking to the future and building conversation and opportunity for the sector. Discussing the importance of having a balanced and solid legal framework as well as the financial benefits to smaller regional airports. Airports that are unlikely to receive sustainable aviation fuel in the future due to small amounts of traffic but who can install charging points.


FGA were pleased to be invited to share our knowledge on the electric way to fly green in the future and in order to start the building-block conversations which connect dots in the industry.

FGA are available for introductory workshops. From initial foundational work we then develop plans and ideas for your business from finance packages to roadmaps. 


Are you in Aviation? Business Travel? Mobility? Get in touch with sarah@flygreenalliance.org to start to build your business’s sustainable future. 

The SAF status

As we head for COP26 where delegates are flying on green fuel, have had The Business Show live in person, discussed the SAF journey as part of a masterclass with easyJet’s Sustainability Director and Salesforce’s Travel Manager we do see some themes are emerging and would like to sum up some of the points. We discussed that business travel is likely to go down. This may in turn leave an option for the savings from the reduction in travel to be used for sustainable travel and fuels as part of a new business model and new framing. We do need to find those willing to pay a premium for the fuel until some more low cost fuels come on line, we are told by 2024 in Europe, but in this interim period, what are the plans?

There are multiple mechanisms being developed which unfortunately are not ready for COP26, as it very new work, but there are around a list of 10+ on their way. They range from one from the World Economic Forum, Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance to our Gold Standard methodology. These all are based around similar thinking and all measure carbon per tonnes and provide a credit and accreditation to demonstrate that the fuel being supplied is complying with sustainable principles accepted by the airlines globally.

The fuel already has to go through rigorous testing (ASTM) to be allowed in planes which is good to know. There are currently 8 pathways for making the biofuel that are approved.

Some fuel facts:

  • reduces emissions by 80% on the life cycle
  • made from municipal solid waste, residues, used cooking oil, energy crops
  • avoids further digging of fossil fuels so recycles materials that already exist or are going to waste
  • 3 times expensive as Jet-A/kerosene
  • all major oils companies are now making/selling SAF but they need more demand to make more supply and reduce prices
  • policy exists but is developing. Mandates etc will support overall production and uptake
  • acting now by building a business case to find budget to pay for the fuel will help, making your organisation part of developing the uptake and development of sustainable fuel and travel solutions
  • more digitalisation and platforms are on the way and more are developing all the time
  • FGA is one of the first alliances developed to concentrate solely on the development of sustainable aviation fuel and travel and as as peers say it doesn’t matter how big you or your organisation is you can all be part of making a difference – watch here
  • We’re proud to say that Fly Green Alliance has been invited by Imperial College London to lead on ‘societal acceptance’ of sustainable fuels due to our modern and different approach to developing the industry

If you think it’s interesting and it’s time for you or your company to be active in a sustainability role then get in touch with FGA who can connect you with your governments, local authorities, policy makers, fuel and travel partners to take a role in the energy transition.

Send an email to sarah@flygreenalliance.org to discuss your wants further.

How do we ‘market’ climate action?

When a company wants to sell a product market research is conducted to understand consumer behaviours and attitudes. Then marketeers or advertising agencies create a strategy and communication campaign that will suit the segment of consumers targeted, which often resonates with them on different levels. Generally the product has to fit society’s needs at the time. But on the whole there is a product to sell.

Why has the climate change ‘campaign’ not been working? 

As we have thought about this we concluded that the messaging around climate action told people the outcome of the what they’d get which is “saving the planet”, if they stopped doing certain things but not what they were buying or getting or what the transaction was. It’s not tangible to most people so in marketing terms you are selling a vision without a product.

And there previously was minimal marketing budget to ‘sell’ climate change.

What is the climate action ‘product’ we can sell?

Through developing our work we came to realise we are working on the energy transition, and working on switching global use of energy to green and clean options. Our product is energy and circular solutions. As you can see from this pie chart we need to switch a huge amount of energy across our living, travelling and eating habits.


We posted the above chart recently which got many likes on social and was posted by the International Energy Agency. Clarity in communication is key to knowing what we need to do to solve climate change, as companies and as individuals.

Even 3-4 years ago there wasn’t much ‘budget’ for climate communication. More recently we’ve seen that companies are promoting sustainable products, so it means awareness has been raised, and so has the marketing budget and then in turn the amount of customers buying the green products.

Greta used marketing to communicate her message. She used personal protest and then social media and it has been heard and seen. Greta has a mission rather than a product and has become a green influencer. As she turns her mission into a call-to-action which requires consumers to make a transaction then she will see a return on investment, her time. The return being a change in consumer behaviour i.e. switch to green energy and a reduction of carbon use per person.

FGA are a combination of advertising, digital and sustainability professionals working with our clients on reporting of carbon, energy planning, communications and innovation to ensure companies are delivering the right messaging and fit-for-market, sustainable products so we can live well and become more sustainable consumers (/people!).

But as Ford said “if you had asked our customers what they wanted they would have said a faster horse“. Creativity, understanding our consumer’s needs and the leaps we can make is key. We are working with early adopters and innovators in sport and business travel .If you would like to discuss your strategy, planning and product innovation with our team then get in touch with sarah@flygreenalliance.org