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Electric aircraft, sustainable aviation fuel and Europe’s most modern fleet

Lars Andersen Resare is Head of Sustainability and CSR at SAS. He is frequently asked by business travelers about everything from the need to arrive in good time to SAS’ main goals. And increasingly, they want to know how they can contribute to the reset of the flight industry by buying sustainable aviation fuel.

What can I as a business traveler do to travel more sustainably and contribute to the reset for aviation?

There are plenty of things you can do. When you are going to travel, choose an airline that actively works to reduce its climate impact. You can actively search for more information and make a conscious choice. It is also important to think through your actions and support ways airlines are trying to become more efficient, such as by arriving in good time at the airport, thinking about how much baggage you need to take, ask about our service offering, contribute to our circular initiatives by helping to sort waste, and choosing to buy sustainable aviation fuel via “SAF upgrading” etc. Buying “SAF upgrading” means that SAS replaces fossil fuel with more sustainable fuel corresponding to the amount you as the customer have bought.

What is SAS doing at this moment in time to reduce CO2 emissions?

SAS is in the middle of a comprehensive renewal of our airline fleet. In practice, this means that more efficient aircraft are replacing less efficient ones, with the result that climate impact and noise are reduced. These new aircraft not only emit 15-30% less CO2 than a comparable flight, but also pretty much halve emissions of nitrogen oxide for example, and significantly lower noise levels around airports.

SAS is also actively working to make all parts of our operations more energy efficient, with the focus on flight operations.

SAS is buying an increasing volume of more sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). While this is partly linked to national legislation, it is also based on voluntary initiatives together with customers, or other stakeholders.

What is happening with electric aircraft and more sustainable aviation fuel?

SAS is engaged in several initiatives aimed at hastening the commercialization of more sustainable aviation fuel, hydrogen or electric powered aircraft, initiatives that are linked together with types of airborne and ground transport, to make your travel even simpler and more efficient, along with various initiatives to make all phases of air travel more efficient. Altogether, our initiatives aim to achieve net zero emissions.

What targets has SAS set?

Our short-term target at SAS is to reduce climate impacting emissions by 25% by 2025 compared to the base year of 2005. At the end of 2019 our emissions were about 6% lower than in the base year. In the light of the pandemic, there has been a marked reduction in total climate impacting emissions. Primarily on account of the dramatic fall in demand but also because of the continuing reset that has been happening despite the pandemic.

In the longer term, we are striving to achieve net zero emissions.

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