American Express Global Business Travel and Shell Aviation today announced that Bank of America is the first financial institution to join their sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) program.
The program launched in 2022 with 1 million gallons of SAF available for corporate customers – enough to power almost 15,000 business trips from London-to-New York. Operated on the Avelia platform, it is one of the world’s first blockchain-powered digital SAF book-and-claim solutions for business travel.
Andrew Crawley, President, American Express Global Business Travel, said: “The business travel sector has a critical role to play in scaling SAF and accelerating the decarbonization of travel. We will move closer to achieving these objectives with more companies like Bank of America making bold commitments and recognizing the powerful role the corporate travel program can play in achieving a company’s broader sustainability ambitions.”
SAF is currently the aviation industry’s most promising pathway to decarbonize air travel. However, today SAF makes up less than 0.1% of available aviation fuel and is two- to eight-times more expensive than conventional fossil-based jet fuel.
Amex GBT and Shell Aviation’s program aims to unite the aviation value chain to scale SAF supply and demand so the entire ecosystem can benefit. The program continues to gain momentum, with participants also including Aon, Cathay Pacific, JetBlue, and Delta.
Beth Sullivan, Head of Global Corporate and Executive Travel at Bank of America, said: “This is another step Bank of America is taking to reach our goal of having SAF account for at least 20% of our annual employee air travel by 2030. By purchasing SAF and working with other companies, we are taking more tangible steps to help build a more affordable and accessible sustainable aviation fuel market.”
The program connects airlines with the buying capacity of businesses willing to share SAF’s ongoing price premium – drawing from Amex GBT’s 19,000+ customers from 140 countries. Corporations can reduce their business travel emissions on a lifecycle basis and work towards science-based emission targets by committing to purchase SAF environmental attributes. These commitments support the ongoing market development of SAF and introduce more to the aviation fuel network at affordable prices, as the costs are shared across the value chain.
Jan Toschka, President, Shell Aviation, said: “It’s brilliant to see Bank of America leading the finance sector’s charge to decarbonize business travel through SAF and I’m proud they have chosen Avelia to help them do this. Corporations that choose to fly on SAF have the power to catalyze the scaling of this technology and accelerate decarbonization across the aviation sector. It’s a fantastic opportunity for businesses to make aviation more sustainable and we are here to support this transition and help make it happen.”
This collaboration between Amex GBT, Shell Aviation and Bank of America ties together several private sector efforts to help finance aviation’s transition, further amplifying collective efforts to scale SAF. Shell is a partner of and Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan is co-chair of the Sustainable Markets Initiative, which is enabling the private sector to accelerate the transition to a sustainable future. Bank of America SAF purchases this year through Avelia and the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance further the bank’s commitment to mobilize $2 billion in sustainable finance for SAF production of 1.2 million gallons of SAF per year beginning 2025. The push for greater adoption of SAF is part of the bank’s $1.5 trillion, ten-year sustainable finance commitment to help drive progress on environmental and social issues.