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) as well as produce and use them in the right way.
But what do we consider the right way? Biomass for fuel use will often displace some other use. We believe that this displacement should only be admissible if :
1) The feedstock used does not displace any ‘higher-value applications’. These include food, feed, and chemicals.
2) Social- and environmental conditions are enhanced. Examples of this are breaking monoculture systems by integrating cover crops that boost soil health and biodiversity or providing fair wages for people working on those lands.
Therefore, for SkyNRG, sustainability is about much more than avoiding harmful impact. We believe that sustainability is about improving the status quo and realizing positive environmental and socio-economic impacts. Well-managed projects where SAF is produced in adherence to rigorous sustainability standards can have a profoundly positive effect on the region. For instance, this positive effect could be on enhanced biodiversity, significant CO2 emission reductions, lessening the dependency on fossil energy sources, stimulation of local employment, and strengthening of local, regional, and national economies.
Currently, the majority of SkyNRG’s 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. Furthermore, we aim to constantly innovate and develop facilities that can produce SAF without using biomass, for example, by using CO2 and green hydrogen as inputs.
In assessing the sustainability of feedstocks/ inputs, we not only take all direct impacts into consideration but also assess (potential) indirect effects (e.g. ILUC, indirect displacement).
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 standard procedure for 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 consulting reports, data, case studies, and other sources, we realize that our information can never be complete. Therefore, we are open to all advice, experience, and knowledge that 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.