The head of programmes and solutions at SkyNRG has called on travel buyers to invest in building more plants that can manufacture Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF).

Charlotte Hardenbol told delegates at the inaugural Corporate Travel Climate Action Summit (CTCAS) how one plant was already in the pipeline to be built in the north of the Netherlands, but that corporate customers were key to ensuring production continues. 

The call to action was made following last month’s announcement that Microsoft had signed a Letter of Intent with with KLM to explore cooperation focused on sustainable air travel. 

Microsoft will purchase an amount of SAF equivalent to all flights taken by Microsoft employees between the US and Netherlands (and vice versa) on KLM and Delta Air Lines. 

“We’re going to build a business case just for SAF to start getting this market going,” Hardenbol said. “The plant will be operational in 2022, and KLM said they’ll uptake 75 per cent of those fuels for the first ten years, and that’s exactly the type of way that these projects come alive.

“We show investors that for the first five or ten years, there are organisations that say ‘we will pick up that premium because we want to help develop this market’. 

KLM does that together with its corporate customers, such as Microsoft. They want to make their travel more sustainable.”

She added that she aimed for the other 25 per cent to be funded by corporate customers next year.

“Hopefully in the next couple years, we will have more customers so we can bring down the price and scale up the market,” she said.

More than 60 delegates heard a series of presentations from organisations including Microsoft, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and the Carbon Disclosure Project at the summit, which was held at Barclays Bank’s HQ in London’s Canary Wharf on Friday.

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