NRDC airline scorecard ranks carriers based on biofuel usage

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has published a 'first-of-its-kind scorecard', which evaluates airlines on their adoption of biofuels.

The highest scoring carrier was Air France/KLM, followed by British Airways, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Cathay Pacific and Alaska Airlines.

'It's great to see certain airlines becoming leaders in the use of sustainable biofuels,' Debbie Hammel, senior resource specialist with NRDC's Land and Wildlife programme and author of the scorecard, said in a statement. 'As the world rises to the challenge of curbing climate change and cutting carbon pollution, addressing air travel pollution has to be part of the mix. The aviation sector has been pretty proactive about this issue, and an industry-wide increase in the use of sustainably produced biofuels is definitely on the horizon.'

In the past five years, more than 40 commercial airlines around the world have flown an estimated 600,000 miles powered, at least in part, by biofuels. NRDC says the adoption of credible, third party sustainability certification systems are necessary to ensure that the emerging aviation biofuels market is providing fuels that are sourced sustainably, and are not competing with food production.

The Aviation Biofuel Sustainability Scorecards focus on the use of leading sustainability certification standards, participation in industry initiatives to promote sustainability certification, public commitments to sustainability certification in sourcing, and the monitoring and disclosure of important sustainability metrics.

'While some in the industry have made real progress in implementing sustainability commitments this past year, there's more to do,' adds Hammel. 'The industry must commit to robust standards for sourcing these fuels to ensure that they're truly sustainable in the long-term.'

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