Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are defined as renewable or waste-derived aviation fuels that meets sustainability criteria1. Technical analysis done at ICAO shows that SAF has the greatest potential to reduce CO2 emissions from International Aviation.
ICAO is working to facilitate SAF development and deployment through four main streams:
1) Globally-accepted environmental Standards for SAF
CORSIA includes methodologies that allow aircraft operators to reduce its offsetting requirements through the use of SAF and Lower Carbon Aviation Fuels (LCAF). These include globally-accepted sustainability criteria and life cycle methodologies.
Specific details on how SAF is considered under CORSIA are provided in the ICAO Environmental Report 2019, Chapter 6 - An Overview of CORSIA Eligible Fuels (CEF). Related documents are provided in the CORSIA eligible fuels website.
2) SAF policies and goals
The "SAF Rules of Thumb" can be utilized to support policy development. They provide order of magnitude estimations related to SAF costs, investment needs and production potential. These "SAF rules of thumb" complete a toolbox of guidance material for use by ICAO Member States together with the "Guidance on potential policies and coordinated approaches for the deployment of SAF"
2050 ICAO VISION - the Second ICAO Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/2) was held in October 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico. It endorsed the 2050 ICAO Vision for Sustainable Aviation Fuels, which calls on States, industry and other stakeholders for a significant proportion of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) use by 2050. The 2050 ICAO Vision will be updated at the CAAF/3, to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates as an in-person event from 21 to 24 November 2023.
SAF Trends - The possible contribution of SAF to the ICAO environmental goals is also being assessed by CAEP as part of the ICAO Global Environmental Trends.
ACT-SAF - ICAO Assistance, Capacity-building and Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels
SAF technical references
Several other references on SAF are being compiled by ICAO and provided to the general public. More information can be found in the "other resouces" webpage.