December 15, 2021 | By Bronwen Largier

Qantas will buy 10 million litres of sustainable fuel in 2022 to help reduce carbon emissions on its flights out of London.

Using blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from used waste products like cooking oil will contribute to a 10 percent reduction in carbon emissions for London flights. The 10 million litres represent about 15 percent of annual fuel consumption for these routes.

The airline also has options to purchase similar amounts of fuel from bp in 2023 and 2024.

With increasing focus on the sustainability of events – including the signing of the Net Zero Carbon Events Pledge at UN climate summit COP26 in October – moves like this one can contribute to reducing the overall impact of an event, particularly around travel to attend conferences or incentives or for event organisers staging events in other geographic regions.

Qantas is “in discussions” to access SAF at other international destinations including Los Angeles and has already signed an memorandum of understanding to use the sustainable fuel on flights out of San Francisco from 2024.

“We know that climate change is incredibly important for our customers, employees and investors and it is a major focus for the national carrier as we come out of a difficult couple of years,” said Qantas Group Chief Sustainability Officer Andrew Parker.

“Zero emission technology like electric aircraft or green hydrogen are still a very long way off for aviation, and even further away for long haul flights like London to Australia. SAF and high quality carbon offsetting are therefore critical on the path to net zero.

“Aviation biofuels typically deliver around an 80 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis compared to the jet fuel it is replacing and is the most significant tool airlines have to reduce their impact on the environment.”

“Given the importance of aviation to Australia, and the distances we travel, there’s a huge opportunity to build a local SAF industry here. The Qantas Group would be its biggest customer and we’ve already committed $50 million in seed funding, but it’s going to take a concerted effort from industry and government to make this happen,” he said.

The airline has already committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and will release its interim target in the first half of 2022.