Visby Airport (photo: Swedavia)
Tue 4 Aug 2015 – In efforts to kick-start a local sustainable jet fuel market, aviation and biofuel interests in the Nordic countries have launched the Fly Green Fund, which will enable organisations and individuals when taking flights to financially contribute towards the development of aviation biofuel supplies in the region. The fund’s founders are Amsterdam-based sustainable aviation biofuel supplier SkyNRG, Karlstad Airport in Sweden, where the region’s first ‘bioport’ is expected to be established, and the Nordic Initiative on Sustainable Aviation (NISA). Launch partners include Swedavia, SAS, Braathens, KLM and EFS European Flight Service, a leading Scandinavian business aviation company. The fund was announced during a political week held annually in Sweden called Almedalen.
The Fly Green Fund is similar in concept to the KLM Corporate BioFuel Programme launched by the airline and SkyNRG in 2012 with seven clients that included Accenture, Nike, Philips and Schiphol Group (see article). Those corporations were expected to contribute over €1 million ($1.1m) to the programme annually that would help KLM purchase and use sustainable biofuels on regular flights. The programme has since been extended to 16 organisations, and allows each to more directly compensate for their business air travel emissions on KLM by contributing to the cost of the sustainable fuel for a portion of their total flight volume or on specific flights.
The main difference with the KLM corporate programme, explained SkyNRG Sales and Marketing Manager Merel Laroy, is the Fly Green Fund is not limited to one airline. “So, for example, SAS, KLM and Braathens are working together on this initiative and other airlines are welcome to join,” she said.
She added that not all the funds would be invested in direct biofuel to fly on, with part of the corporates’ contributions going to the development of biofuel supply chains in the Nordic region, such as the Fiber Jet project. This initiative, which started last year, is studying the production of sustainable jet fuel using available feedstocks from local forestry sources in Sweden. Supported by Climate KIC, partners in the project include The Paper Province, SP Processum and research institutes at Imperial College London and Utrecht University.
During Almedalen week, SAS and Braathens operated sustainable jet fuel flights from Stockholm and Karlstad to the event’s location in Visby with the support of airport operator Swedavia, and arranged by Air BP and SkyNRG. Travelling visitors, which included politicians, business leaders and NGOs, were given the opportunity to buy their own personal ‘biofuel ticket’ that was, in effect, a donation towards the cost of the biofuel used on the flights. Laroy said the concept might be further developed with the aim of offering the proposition on other biofuel flights in the region.
Commented SkyNRG CEO Maarten van Dijk: “Together with our partners, we have worked hard to get this far and we now have the basis and momentum to quickly move forward. We are proud to work with, and have the support of, organisations and individuals that are just as committed as we are to make sustainable jet fuel a reality in Sweden.”
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