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 communications 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 a few parts: in the messaging people were told the outcome of the what they’d get, “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 and understanding our consumers and the leaps we can make is key. We are working with early adopters 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

FGA joins Sport and Sustainability International to work on green travel in sport

We are happy to join Sport and Sustainability International who are made up of a group of sport experts across the industry. On the Executive Board is Julia Palle, Sustainability Director, Formula E, Philippe Duperrex, former Senior Corporate Governance & Compliance Officer at UEFA and Vincent Gaillard, CEO of European Professional Club Rugby.

As travel can be up to 80-90% of total emissions in sport we will be working on sustainable solutions, partnerships and reduction projects.

As Julia Palle – Formula E mentions “#Travel is the biggest footprint contributor to #sports events hence why SandSI—Sport and Sustainability International is delighted to announce a new #partnership with Fly Green Alliance (FGA) to #support our #members and share best practices to take action and #advance#sustainability in and through sports!”

We’ve also joined the Sustainability.sport platform as experts in green travel in the sport sector.

In addition we have developed the first Green Travel Alliance in Sport (GTAS) and look forward to building it further with SandSi and our new partners. More to come soon.

How do we support women to work and be mothers?

“Gender equality in the workplace is key to unlocking significant business growth, and driving positive social and environmental impacts, according to Better Leadership, Better World: Women Leading for the Global Goals

World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

It has been recognised by Harvard Business Review that increasing senior women in the workforce supports innovation and sustainability. In another Harvard Business School article it suggests, if you can’t find a spouse that supports your career, stay single!

It sounds a bit drastic although in reality many busy and ambitious people do this all the time. Men and women. The only thing is what if you do want children? Men rarely can have children without a partner and how do women fit becoming a mum in to life if they are busy or just can’t take 6 months out of work to parent? Men can wait longer but what can women do? And what can workplace policy do to support here?

We think it’s an under discussed topic and in the long run greater knowledge and adoptions of more evolved policies can support increasing women in leadership, and help businesses to thrive as more women are able to stay in senior positions.

Here a few examples of leading ladies, some famous ones, that chose the non-traditional route to work and motherhood or to be child free.

  • My neuroscientist friend’s husband is a stay at home Dad/business owner while she works full time outside of the home. One option. She did however have to unfortunately go back to work after only 12 weeks after the birth of her son. US based.
  • A senior Legal Counsel lady in aviation said she needed a nanny, nursery and the support of her husband who had his own business and even moved jobs and country to gain a more favourable maternity package. Another option.

  • Another friend – she looks after her kids one day per week, her husband looks after their kids one day per week and they pay for 3 days childcare, both share the weekend
  • A solo parent friend of mine had the help of her retired mother and nursery and went back to her senior role within 4 months
  • A recent read showed Kim Cattrall at 41 decided not to have children to concentrate on her career and busy filming schedule although she was in a relationship. The term child free is now being used rather than childless.
  • Egg freezing is discussed in this Kathy Burke (UK comedian) documentary All women and has been said to reduce ticking-clock anxiety or hasty mis-partnering. The age bracket for being eligible for egg freezing and IVF can be up to 40/41 in some countries and they can be stored for 10 years. Could workplaces offer loans or support for this option?
  • Italian Vogue’s Chief Editor discusses her choice to not live with the father of her child in this documentary about her work and life. A tough decision she said.
  • Fearne McCann created a show called First Time Mother and talks of solo parenting and providing for her little girl through her own earnings
  • Mum-spiration: a partner of ours is working, taking calls and presenting while being with her new born baby and even feeding off camera. It’s very admirable and possible now with video calling as not everything needs to be in person
  • Naomi Campbell choose to be a mother at age 50 but if you are over 35 you are discussed as disadvantaged.
  • Many examples of women solo parenting with donors are being discussed in friendship circles and online now and it is becoming much more well known. A community/neighbour/family based childcare system or all of these options can help solo parenting be possible. Again some workplaces offer creche or childcare support.
  • Female gay couples can choose a donor and male gay couples have been known to ask a surrogate or adopt which is happening in the UK, America, Norway and other countries globally.
  • Others choosing work from home roles to manage childcare, working around their children being awake and school pick up, which will be a lot more possible now it’s more common place to have a work from home or hybrid policy

There are many new family structures now and many ways to parent.

Of course whether you have money for child care and a good support network is very important and key to women being able to stay in senior positions and have a family.

Companies such as Bumble, who’s CEO, Whitney Wolfe Herd, made new HR policies in 2021. Bumble saying they ‘give all of their employees a minimum of six months’ paid leave for the birth, adoption or surrogacy of a child… Victims of domestic violence or other violent crimes will also be able to take at least 20 days of paid leave. Following a miscarriage, employees will be allowed a minimum of 15 days’ paid compassionate leave‘. It is great leadership and will hopefully be replicated by other companies in the following years. Countries like Sweden being a leader on giving equal maternity and paternity leave by law.

It is not a simple topic. The work/life balance of a parent has always been a point for discussion but as diversity, equity, inclusion and equal pay topics evolve, then so does how we parent and especially for working women.

Does your company support parenting proactively? Do you feel able to keep your role and even progress while having time off for parental leave? At FGA we support our colleagues, freelancers and partners that are parents to maintain flexible, remote working schedules while looking after their kids. And we support those not returning to work to keep intellectually active while being at home with their children. Contact us if you would like to discuss our work further and watch Cinderella 2021.

Eviation – when can we fly electric?

We had a very interesting discussion today with Avinor, who have 44 airports in Norway due to the landscape and geography of the country.

We discussed electric planes or eviation which Norway are likely to be the first to put into service by 2030 say this Business Traveller article discussing Rolls-Royce‘s work in this area.

Norway produces more green electric than they need as a country through hydro power so are likely to be early adopters.

Charging a 50 seater is the equivalent of charing 10 Tesla‘s or as much as the airport uses per year in one charge. A big jump in power needed. The estimate of power consumption for one trip between Stavanger and Bergen is 800 kWh. When the plane is charging it is estimated that between 1500-2500 kW is needed in effect.We’ll need to leap frog the innovation in battery capacity and speed up the production of green electricity through solar, wind and hydro if available. These developments all dependent on policy, incentives, lobbying, sustainable investments and consumer demand.

This does mean SAF will be required as it sits in the suite of measures to decarbonise aviation, and as planes have a 30-40 year lifespan then it’s more unsustainable to take these out of service so wastes, residues and energy crops are definitely on the cards to create sustainable fuel for air travel.

FGA will be part of a masterclass on SAF at the Business Travel Show alongside easyJet and Salesforce on 1st October, in person, at the ExCel in London. We look forward to discussing industry development here.

FGA at Boeing sponsored Coding Summer School

Sarah Wilkin, founder & CEO of Fly Green Alliance has been invited by Boeing to present to students at Coding Summer School alongside Katie Cross of Pledgeball on Tuesday 6th July. Boeing has partnered with ThinkYoung for the last 11 years, where young people between the ages of 11 and 17 learn computer programming. This year’s theme on the environment and sustainability, a topic of crucial importance to Boeing, Fly Green Alliance and Pledgeball.

At the event ThinkYoung will explore digital platforms for the reduction of emissions which is a key remit of FGA and Pledgeball who will team up for this event. FGA are proud to support the next generation of #STEM leaders and are working to increase the number of women in STEM which Katie and Sarah as founders believe is important, not only will it give young women and those of diverse backgrounds the opportunity to expand their horizons and thinking, but hopefully provide examples and potentially encourage students to think about their next careers steps. Katie and Sarah will share how their careers have developed, why they set up their companies and hope to give examples to the class of female leadership, entrepreneurship and startup development.  

Katie and Sarah will present at the week-long event virtually along with a group from 11 different countries including: Hungary, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Belgium, France, Georgia, Slovenia, Poland, Germany and Netherlands. The class being up of 50% girls and 50% boys.

Katie has set up a Pledgeball event to accompany the presentation, encouraging students to consider, amongst other lifestyle choices, how they generally travel with emission reduction in mind which is in line with FGA’s work where we develop mobility solutions in order to reduce carbon. Both of Pledgeball’s and FGA’s work focuses on behavioural change which they also believe is key to climate strategy.

Sarah has commented, “At FGA one of our streams of work is DEI: diversity, equity and inclusion. There are still very low number of women in STEM and aviation, who at times represent only 20% of the workforce. We work to encourage more women in senior roles, flexible working contracts to support this and believe to make the workforce more balanced in the future it’s important to work with young adults. As someone who studied computing, was 1 of only 2 girls in the class, has campaigned for broadband and been part of the digital transformation, it felt important for FGA to change the perception of women in tech and to discuss the role of digital in climate solutions which the ThinkYoung and Boeing event also advocates for.”

7 steps to a sustainable travel policy

At FGA we are committed to delivering the energy transition in the travel sector. We’re speaking, posting and developing projects and mechanisms in order to get us moving again in a more sustainable way. 

We have created some principle and an action plan for how to begin your green travel journey in this next phase:

  1. Creating an overarching sustainable travel policy to include more rail, electric vehicles, public transport, car sharing, electric scooters, economy over first-class flying, parking for bikes, and provisions for virtual meetings
  2. For global meetings, choosing the best host location, based on the least carbon created and including sustainable travel options
  3. Consistently measure your scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions – particularly scope 3, in which travel sits – to see how you can improve
  4. For unavoidable travel emissions, think about investing in legitimate carbon offsets, such as those provided by Gold Standard
  5. Scrutinise your organisation’s ‘say/do’ gap – i.e. what you say you’re willing to do to work on climate change, and what you’ll actually do – read more 
  6. Keep up to date with the latest news, trends, technology and new ways of thinking around travel by consuming reliable reports and other media
  7. Join a body like the Fly Green Alliance, which aggregates commitments to buying sustainable fuel, fostering partnerships, building green travel programmes, managing offtake agreements and mobility partnerships 

Contact sarah@flygreenalliance.org to find out more.

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