February 29, 2024

Amex GBT joins Shell and Accenture for SAF initiative

American Express Global Business Travel, Shell, and Accenture have jointly announced the launch of Avelia, a blockchain-powered digital sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) book-and-claim solutions for business travel.

The three companies claim it will be the largest SAF book-and-claim pilot at launch, offering around 1 million gallons of SAF, which is enough to power almost 15,000 individual business traveller flights from London-to-New York.

The pilot phase aims to demonstrate the credibility of the book-and-claim model, using blockchain technology to ensure secured allocation of SAF’s environmental attributes to companies and airlines after the fuel has been delivered into the fuel network.

It was developed by Shell and Accenture, with the support of the Energy Web Foundation (EWF) and includes Amex GBT’s travel management services.

Jan Toschka, President Shell Aviation, said: “SAF is a key enabler of decarbonisation in the aviation industry, and it’s available today. However, it’s currently scarce and costs more than conventional jet fuel.

“Avelia will help trigger demand for SAF at scale, providing confidence to suppliers like us to further increase investment in production, and in turn helping to lower the price point for these fuels.”

Paul Abbott, CEO Amex GBT, said:“A truly viable route to decarbonising air travel is now open for business. We’re calling on all companies to join us and share the costs and benefits of SAF across the travel and aviation sectors. Airlines will gain access to the buying capacity of businesses, drawing from Amex GBT’s 19,000 customers around the world.”

Rachel Barton, Europe Strategy Lead, Accenture, added: “Blockchain technology will be piloted to help ensure trust via data integrity, validate proof of ownership, and enable transparent tracking of the environmental benefits of SAF for customers.”

Shell has committed to purchasing the environmental attributes equivalent to 100,000 gallons of SAF over the pilot phase of the Avelia programme and will increase this commitment as soon as more SAF is available.

Its target is to abate 45% of Shell’s corporate travel emissions through SAF by 2030.

For more on SAF, see our beginner’s guide