4AIR’s Comprehensive Blockchain-based Registry for Sustainable Aviation Fuel
The Need for Transparency in Sustainable Aviation
With environmental regulation gaining momentum, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) will soon be a requirement in the European Union. Despite such developments, modern aviation operators still struggle to collect and verify key information related to their use of SAF. Blockchain is playing a vital role in adding transparency and auditability to this form of sustainability initiative.
SAF is a type of biofuel with a lower carbon footprint than conventional jet fuel. Some SAF is efficient enough to have a net-negative environmental impact. As planes are responsible for about 9%–12% of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation in the U.S., SAF is an important way to help to reduce this problem.
For companies, it can be challenging to collect upstream documentation from the necessary vendors to identify characteristics of the SAF they use, and to verify that upstream vendors have shared accurate information. Additionally, there is no established way to transfer the SAF directly between operators or assign them indirectly to travelers.
4AIR is a comprehensive sustainability solution for private aviation that solves these challenges.
A Blockchain-based SAF Registry
4AIR aimed to create a blockchain-based registry that included all necessary SAF details, regulatory eligibility, and ownership information. The main stakeholders within the 4AIR platform are fuel producers, fuel distributors, fuel sellers, airlines, and operators.
The goals of the platform were to prevent double-claiming of credits by capping the total number of claims per batch and to provide an immutable source of truth for consistent batch characteristics.
This would help to ensure the accuracy of information for both voluntary and regulatory reporting, and allow a customer to verify their own claim. The platform also needed to provide a means for third parties to verify any claim by checking it against the registry. And it should offer the ability to sell attributes separately from physical delivery, as well as giving producers and airlines better control and visibility over downstream attribute claiming and ownership.
Transforming How Private SAF Ecosystems Function
A team of IntellectEU specialists engaged in the development of 4AIR’s platform. In a space of evolving best practices and changing regulatory requirements, an Agile framework was critical to their success, allowing the team the necessary flexibility to meet the changing requirements of the project. This ensured that the original objectives were reached, while allowing new features to be implemented in order to ensure a robust solution.
Developers used a private-instance of Hyperledger ®Fabric supported by IntellectEU’s Catalyst Blockchain Manager to build the platform. 4AIR’s resulting SAF Registry allows registering, transferring, retiring and tracking of tokenized aviation fuel batches across the platform. Tokens are used to represent the emission reduction claim from one metric ton of SAF. Once created by fuel producers, these digital tokens can be transferred to fuel distributors and fuel consumers, before then being burned/retired when a claim has been finalized.
“We were very pleased to engage and continue working with Intellect EU on our SAF registry. We needed a platform that could evolve to meet changing regulatory requirements and best practices, clearly differentiate and track ownership and attribute information, and be secure, reliable, and trusted. We were able to lay a foundation for a robust SAF tracking solution that enables easy, transparent, efficient, and secure data sharing, and we look forward to working with IntellectEU to scale this into its next phase.”
– Kennedy Ricci, President, 4AIR
The platform incorporates privacy features, including role-based permissioning that ensures that fuel producers, distributors, and consumers can only view information about tokens within their own wallets.
The platform provides verification that no excess claims or double-selling of credits has occurred with upstream vendors, while also enabling auditability and externally verifiable ownership tracking for governments and independent bodies to validate claims.
As a result, the blockchain-based registry increases transparency for both direct and indirect emissions claims, ensuringpurchasers know exactly what they bought, what it is eligible for, and where it came from.
The initial scope of the project aimed to produce a simple MVP/proof of concept. With the need for more robust features to solidify 4AIR’s role within the ESG and SAF ecosystem, IntellectEU will assist in the development of the project going forward, ensuring that it is the most comprehensive solution on the market.
IntellectEU is proud to be participating in this pivotal sustainability initiative and we look forward to seeing it evolve and contribute further to the transformation of the aviation industry.