The impact of renewable energy 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 and only select feedstocks which result in social and environmental benefits.
With the feedstocks used for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), it is a 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 :
1) ‘higher-value applications’ (e.g. living, food production, high conservation areas) are not displaced;
2) the side effects are far less negative than the usage of fossil fuel;
3) food security, environment, and biodiversity are not sacrificed and preferably even enhanced.
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 waste oils. Going forward, we will focus on diversifying this feedstock pool and 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
- Also, we do not regard PFAD and POME as true waste and residues (as defined under the sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive) and therefore unsuitable as a feedstock for SAF production
- Furthermore, we believe the legislation governing the sustainability of biofuels under the Renewable Energy Directive is not strong enough. Therefore 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.
Because we want to guarantee and safeguard sustainability throughout the entire life cycle or our sustainable fuels, we have established various measures and partnerships. The feedstocks which have been used for our sustainable aviation fuel have been given positive advice by our independent Sustainability Board, after thorough analyses and various discussions. This is the procedure with every new feedstock SkyNRG wants to use for its SAF production. Where possible, we use RSB certified feedstocks and fuels. By joining forces and involving all relevant stakeholders in the supply chain, SkyNRG understands and acts upon the potential environmental and socio-economic challenges and opportunities associated with the development of SAF. Read more about the measures we take to guarantee sustainability at Independent Sustainability Board, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, and NGO network.
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 advice, experience and knowledge, that will give us a better understanding of the sustainability impacts of our fuel.
If you have any information that you feel can strengthen our current options, help us to make better assessments in the future, or perhaps even reconsider some of the choices we’ve already made, then please contact Karlijn.