Emirates sets up $200m Aviation Sustainability Fund

Emirates, the world's largest international carrier, has committed US$200 million over three years to fund research and development projects focused on reducing the impact of fossil fuels on commercial aviation operations, the largest single commitment to sustainability by any airline. Emirates will identify partnerships with leading organisations working on solutions in advanced fuel and energy technologies.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, said: "We are committing US$200 million to invest in advanced aviation fuel and energy solutions, as air carriers currently face the biggest barrier in reducing environmental impact. We have long and strongly reflected on the reality we face in commercial aircraft, engine technology, fuel supply chain, industry requirements and environmental regulations. Clearly, the current routes available to tankers in terms of emission reductions will not enable our industry to reach net zero targets within the deadline. We believe our industry needs better solutions. We look forward to partnering with leading R&D institutions. Our aim is to contribute effectively to practical solutions for the long-term sustainability of commercial aviation."

Sir Tim Clark added: "Until viable solutions are found, we at Emirates will continue to adopt environmentally responsible practices across all our operations, including using sustainable SAF fuels where available, ensuring efficient fleet operations and continuing to introduce modern aircraft into our fleet. We have allocated our $200 million fund to research and development, not to operating costs such as the purchase of sustainable fuels or carbon offsets, which are our usual activities."

Payments from the fund will be overseen by the Emirates Airline Executive Steering Group for Environmental Sustainability, with the support of technical experts.

Emirates' long-term environmental policy and strategy focuses on 3 areas: reducing emissions, responsible consumption, and preserving wildlife and habitats.

In January, Emirates successfully completed its first test flight, in which one of the aircraft's engines operated on 100% sustainable SAF fuel, in partnership with Boeing and General Electric. Since its first SAF flight in 2017, the airline continues to actively participate in the SAF fuel market and seek opportunities to use it within its network wherever possible. However, bio-based sustainable fuels, the only commercially available type of SAF, are very limited. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimates that annual global supplies of SAF meet less than 0.1% of airlines' needs.