Lufthansa CO2 compensation program gives biofuel option
SAF, short for Sustainable Aviation Fuel, is a biofuel for the aviation industry. It produces 80% less CO2 than fossil fuels. SAF is made of different materials, like organic waste, domestic waste, or used frying oil.
It is certified in its energy efficiency and durability. A worldwide certification program maps the producers and guarantees no palm oil is used, no deforestation is done, and there is no competition with human nutrition.
Just a few days ago, biofuel producer Gevo signed a deal with Air Total to supply SAF in France and the rest of Europe. The American company uses a fermented part of corn to produce the fuel. The rest of the corn is used to feed livestock.
Until commercial electric aviation becomes possible, which might take another 20 years, SAF is an accessible alternative. Airbus implemented the use of the fuel in 2016, while the first flight already dates from 2008.
Last year, 100.000 flights used a part of SAF in their tanks. The objective is to take that to 1 million in 2020. But the fuel is still expensive. To promote the use of SAF, Iata wants the fuel to become tax-free.
Lufthansa’s Compensaid program gives passengers the option to compensate their CO2 choosing for flying with SAF, paying the price difference between the biofuel and traditional kerosene. Lufthansa commits to buying and using the fuel within six months.
The forestation program in Nicaragua takes 20 years to compensate, but Lufthansa also proposes a combination of SAF and forestation with a duration of 16 years.
Air travelers have other options to compensate for the CO2 of their flights — the Belgian program Greentripper or the Swiss Myclimate (which works with Lufthansa as well), for example. But Compensaid is the first to do so using alternative durable fuel.
Lufthansa says it does everything in its power to limit the environmental impact of flying. Lufthansa passengers can voluntarily compensate their CO2 since 2007. Austrian Airlines and Edelweiss, which both belong to the Lufthansa group, already integrate the compensation program directly in their booking process.
Lufthansa will gradually add the option to its own and Swiss Airlines booking procedures. Brussels Airlines, which is also a Lufthansa company, is not aware yet.