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21 Jun 2023

Bank of America to join one of the world’s largest sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) programs

American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), the world’s leading B2B travel platform, 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.

New York – June 21, 2023 – American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), the world’s leading B2B travel platform, 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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

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.

Supporting quote

Lauren Uppink, Head of Climate Strategy, World Economic Forum: “The World Economic Forum is the international organization for public-private partnership – and our effectiveness depends on industry leaders pushing initiatives forward. While earlier SAF efforts focused on the important commitment of all companies signing our 2030 ambition statement for 10% SAF, today’s announcement signifies the transition underway. Companies are moving from pledges to actual business practices. This program and Avelia represents the culmination of years of groundwork building the value chain to support the scaling of SAF, now operational. The theoretical is becoming real.”

To learn more about Avelia, please visit aveliasolutions.com.

 

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Notes to editors:

  • Avelia is intended to complement and work alongside airlines’ current corporate SAF programs. It offers a solution that is inclusive and neutral with respect to airlines, technology production pathways, fuels and feedstocks.
  • Book-and-claim allows travelers to pay for SAF, and claim the environmental benefits, even if SAF is not available at their departure airport. SAF will instead be fed into another aircraft in an airport where available.
  • The SAF will be certified in line with the regulatory standards in place within the country of delivery.
  • Avelia uses a blockchain-powered book-and-claim method that follows the Smart Freight Centre and MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics SAF Guidelines.[4]
  • Bank of America is a founder of the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) led by the Environmental Defense Fund and Rocky Mountain Institute, has a 10-year partnership with SkyNRG, its CEO is a co-chair of the Sustainable Markets Initiative (SMI), and is a member of the World Economic Forum (WEF).
  • Shell is a member of WEF and is a strategic partner of SkyNRG and SMI.
  • Amex GBT is a member of WEF and SABA.

 

About American Express Global Business Travel

American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) is the world’s leading B2B travel platform, providing software and services to manage travel, expenses, and meetings and events for companies of all sizes. We have built the most valuable marketplace in B2B travel to deliver unrivalled choice, value and experiences. With travel professionals in more than 140 countries, our customers and travelers enjoy the powerful backing of American Express Global Business Travel.

Visit amexglobalbusinesstravel.com for more information about Amex GBT, and follow @amexgbt on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

 

About Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world’s leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 68 million consumer and small business clients with approximately 3,900 retail financial centers, approximately 15,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 56 million verified digital users.  Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business households through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations across the United States, its territories and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

Media contacts:

 

American Express Global Business Travel

Leslie Wertheimer

leslie.wertheimer1@amexgbt.com

 

Bank of America

Sheryl Lee

sheryl.lee2@bofa.com

 

 


[1] The number of one-way individual business traveller flights has been calculated based on the following assumptions; a carbon intensity of SAF of 22 gCO2e/MJ, a flight distance between London and New York of 5541km, and an emissions factor for a long-haul flight of 0.102 kgCO₂e/passenger-km based on UK DEFRA 2021 emissions factors for corporate reporting.

[2] IATA, Developing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

[3] ibid
 

[4] Smart Freight Centre and MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics, The Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Greenhouse Gas Emission Accounting and Insetting Guidelines

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