The impact of bioenergy on social and environmental issues varies, depending on local conditions and the design and implementation of a project. A specific feedstock is not necessarily always sustainable, or unsustainable. That is why we have to select each and every feedstock with care, but also draw the line for feedstocks which are causing environmental- and social damage.
The challenge is to carefully consider all legitimate claims on resource usage (e.g. energy, land, water, raw materials) and to produce and use them in the right way. But what is right? Biomass for fuel use will often displace some other use. We believe that this should only be admissible if ‘higher value applications’ (e.g. living, food production, high conservation areas) are not displaced, if the side effects are far less negative than the usage of fossil fuel, and if food security, environment and biodiversity are not sacrificed.
But for SkyNRG, sustainability is about much more than avoiding harmful impact. We believe that sustainability is all about improving the status quo and realizing a positive environmental and socio-economic impact. Well-managed projects, where SAF is produced in adherence to rigorous sustainability standards, can have a profoundly positive effect on the region. For instance, on enhanced biodiversity, significant CO2 emission reductions, less dependency on fossil energy sources, stimulation of local employment, and strengthening of local, regional and national economies.
Currently, the biggest part of our SAF is produced from locally sourced Used Cooking Oil. Going forward, we will continue to keep a strong focus on true waste and residue streams. In assessing the sustainability of these feedstocks, we will not only take all direct impacts into consideration, but we will also assess (potential) indirect effects (e.g. ILUC, indirect displacement). The following bullets will elaborate on some of our core values which form the basis of our feedstock approach:
- We have not touched (and will never touch) crude palm oil or soybean oil
- Also, we do not regard PFAD and POME true waste and residues (as defined under the sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive)
- Furthermore, we believe the legislation governing the sustainability of biofuels under the Renewable Energy Directive is not strong enough, and we think the “EU RED compliance” argument for using feedstock like PFAD and POME is not a justification
- The sustainability of feedstock and products depends on the actual impacts (direct and indirect) of a specific supply chain, and we therefore believe that we have the obligation to take additional steps (over EU RED compliance) to safeguard the sustainability of our products and operations
- We aim to be fully transparent about every decision we make and every step we take to produce the aviation sector with truly sustainable aviation fuel.
Fuel meets the highest sustainability standards
Because we want to guarantee and safeguard sustainability throughout the entire life cycle, we have established various measures and partnerships.
In order to make the right decisions now and in the future, SkyNRG installed an independent Sustainability Board consisting of leading NGOs and scientists. The Board advises SkyNRG on all aspects related to social- and environmental sustainability. They, for example, advise on the type of feedstocks used, R&D projects, DSL development, communication, policy implications and growth strategies.
In the case of advice on feedstock and the DSL facilities, SkyNRG’s Sustainability Board follows a strict procedure which formulates their advice. SkyNRG can only continue with a with a specific feedstock, supplier or supply chain project when a positive advice from the Sustainability Board is given.
The board includes representatives from WWF International, the European Climate Foundation, Solidaridad Network and the University of Groningen.
Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB).
To ensure market compliance and to be able to show quantitative and qualitative proof of sustainability, SkyNRG has its entire supply chain certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB).
The RSB is a worldwide, multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together farmers, corporations, NGOs, experts, governments, and inter-governmental agencies concerned with ensuring the sustainability of biomass and biomaterial production and processing. RSB’s certification system is based on sustainability standards, encompassing environmental, social and economic principles and criteria.
The RSB is widely accepted as the “gold standard” of voluntary certification schemes. RSB enjoys wide acceptance and endorsement in the aviation industry and its stakeholders. The comprehensiveness and objectivity have made the RSB the most important voluntary framework for sustainable aviation fuels.
Sustainability is always evolving, and different feedstocks and regions bring different sustainability issues. To make sure we’re not missing important information once we become active in a particular region or with a specific feedstock, we keep track of the latest developments and thinking through our global NGO network.
We have the privilege of having an active and knowledgeable NGO network, which supports us in mapping the challenges and opportunities. Thanks to these collaborations, we have gained experience and knowledge that further shape our definition of true sustainability.
Since we operate in a highly dynamic industry, we are constantly engaging with relevant stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of our fuel. Despite the reports, data, case studies and other sources that we consult, we realize that our information can never be complete. Therefore, we are open to all advise, experience and knowledge, that will give us a better understanding of the sustainability impacts of our fuel.