Despite being a sector that is constantly under scrutiny for its carbon emissions, the business aviation community has long been a pioneer in aviation sustainability and is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Underling this commitment at this year’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) taking place in Geneva this week, show organisers have placed a strong emphasis on promoting sustainability. A Sustainability Summit running throught the show has featured panel sessions highlighting next-generation propulsion systems, advanced air mobility (AAM) and carbon-reduction advances.
In addition, Jet Aviation has teamed up with TotalEnergies to supply 30% blended sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for uplift at its FBO in Geneva during the event. Joao Martins, JetAviation’s VP of FBO operations in Europe and GM Zurich commented: “I would like to take this opportunity to extend sincere thanks to Geneva Airport for their unwavering support in helping us meet and secure all the safety approvals needed to make this happen. Only by working together with our partners have we been able to bring SAF to Geneva in time for EBACE.”
Reiterating the need to work more closely with partners, Avfuel has collaborated with Dassault Falcon Jet, Embraer and Textron to provide their flight departments with SAF for those travelling to Switzerland this week. Avfuel’s Neste MY SAF deliveries spanned from Kansas in mid-America to Florida in the southeast.
Exhibitors and attendees have also been encouraged to support sustainability efforts by recycling waste, bringing reusable water bottles to be refilled at sponsored hydration stations throughout the venue and to use public transport while in Geneva. Even the event venue itself has been touting its sustainability practices – Palexpo uses 100% renewable energy sources thanks to 30,000 sq. ft. of photovoltaic panels on the roof and 75-100% of all carpets being recycled. In addition, all restaurants and dining areas feature vegetarian options with local suppliers favoured when purchasing goods.
More is always needed, but the industry is doing its bit and investing in a cleaner, greener future. It is listening, learning and responding.
Still, that hasn’t stopped climate activists and protestors from organisations including Greenpeace, Stay Grounded, Extinction Rebellion and others targeting this year’s show, chaining themselves to business jets and entrance gates and calling for a ban on private jets. They were successful in getting the static display closed down temporarily on Tuesday.
This disruption wasn’t unexpected, but the collaboration now needs to happen across the divide. Fuel suppliers, airports, OEMs, operators and protestors need to come together to listen, learn and move forward on sustainable aviation in a way that benefits both people and planet.