Bombardier has reached a multi-year agreement for the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel with Signature Aviation, utilising the Book and Claim system and covering all of Bombardier's flight operations, starting in January 2023. The agreement is the first of this scope for a business aviation original equipment manufacturer (OEM). The initiative reinforces both companies' leadership roles in the promotion, adoption and widespread use of SAF.
"Bombardier already has a unique environmental advantage as our production facilities in Quebec are powered by cleaner hydroelectricity. We will drive our environmental stewardship even further by covering all our production flights with SAF through the new agreement with Signature Aviation,” says executive vice president services and support and corporate strategy Jean-Christophe Gallagher. “More of our customers are using SAF and so must Bombardier; we must all share in the responsibility for a sustainable future. We believe that taking action today allows us to have maximum impact on the sector as a whole and on the production of SAF."
"Signature Renew's Book and Claim programme is business aviation's most pragmatic approach to making the lowest overall carbon intensity SAF quickly and easily accessible," adds chief executive officer Tony Lefebvre. "Over the last two years, Signature has grown its SAF supply points to 17 global airports, or around 10 per cent of our total network of private aviation terminals. But until we reach the milestone of SAF at every one of our terminals' fuel farms, Book and Claim gives critical coverage to gaps in supply while immediately taking greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere. Bombardier's implementation of its ambitious sustainability plans demonstrates how any fleet operator, big or small, can tackle the challenge of their aircraft's emissions through bulk carbon reductions, created right here in business aviation."
As part of its regular activities, Bombardier carries out several flight operations. This includes production testing and certification flights in Canada, notably from Montreal. Flights between Toronto and Montreal are made with Global aircraft to perform the completion stages. Customer demonstration flights are conducted by a team based in Hartford, Connecticut. New aircraft platforms are certified from the Bombardier Flight Test Center in Wichita, Kansas. Finally, after-service check flights are conducted at all Bombardier service centres, including, for example, Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Berlin, Germany; and Singapore.
Bombardier's decision will reduce annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from fuel use in its flight operations by approximately 25 per cent. This is a major annual gain in the near term, supporting Bombardier's previously announced objective of reducing GHG emissions from all its operations by 25 per cent by 2025, compared to 2019 levels. Bombardier's 2025 objective is a step in line with the business aviation industry's goal of achieving a net carbon neutral footprint by 2050.
Sustainable aviation fuels are a blend, in defined proportions, of conventional fuel and fuel derived from approved sustainable sources. The ratio most commonly available is 30 per cent pure sustainable fuel and 70 per cent conventional fuel. Approved sources to produce sustainable fuels are feedstocks such as used cooking oils, forestry residues and agricultural residues. These cannot come from lands with high biodiversity or carbon stocks, cannot compete with the food chain and must provide a societal benefit through the development of this new activity. The reduction of GHG emissions associated with sustainable aviation fuels is achieved throughout their life cycle, not just at the time of in-flight consumption.
In the current supply context, all SAF is evaluated for its average lifecycle carbon intensity, which considers all GHG emissions, from obtaining the feedstock through the process of bringing it to market. Bombardier has flight operations in many locations around the world where SAF is not produced nearby. Therefore, the most effective method at this time is to use the proven Book and Claim system to limit the negative impact of transporting these fuels over long distances.
Under the Book and Claim system, a user located near a SAF production site uses SAF in their flights. The GHG reductions associated with this use are claimed, in exchange for the additional cost of SAF, by another user located at a site where SAF is not available.
"To generate the environmental benefits associated with SAF now and to contribute to its widespread use, we will initially use the Book and Claim system, which ensures rigorous accounting of greenhouse gas emission reductions while optimising the logistics,” says Gallagher.
Bombardier and Signature Aviation are building on an established business relationship. In October 2021, the two companies signed an agreement to develop diverse suite of services for an enhanced customer experience.