Commercial, Sourcing Renewables - May 23, 2019
United Airlines to purchase 10 million gallons of biofuel
United Airlines will purchase up to 10 million gallons of cost-competitive, commercial-scale, sustainable aviation biofuel over the next two years under a contract the airline signed May 22.
United currently uses the biofuel to help sustainably power every flight departing its Los Angeles hub, achieving a greater than 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.
The airline completed the deal with Boston-based World Energy, a wholesale biofuel retailer. The biofuel from World Energy is made from agricultural waste and has received sustainability certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.
The announcement follows an initiative launched just last year by United to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050. United's biofuel supply agreements represent more than 50% of the commercial aviation industry's total agreements for sustainable aviation biofuel.
"Investing in sustainable aviation biofuel is one of the most effective measures a commercial airline can take to reduce its impact on the environment," Scott Kirby, United's president, said in a statement. "As leaders in this space, United and World Energy are setting an example for the industry on how innovators can work together to bring our customers, colleagues and communities toward a more sustainable future."
United made headlines in 2013 when it signed the original purchase agreement, becoming the first airline in the world to use sustainable aviation biofuel on a continuous basis. It remains the only U.S. airline to use biofuel in its regular operations.