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A.P. MOLLER – Maersk has announced it would sign an agreement with Air France-KLM to purchase sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to help reduce net emissions in the aviation industry.

The deal includes a contract covering around 40,000 marine and corporate travel journeys each year, and the purchase of an additional 400,000 litres to be used in cargo transportation.

SAF is a sustainably produced fuel similar in chemistry to traditional fossil jet fuel, but which results in lower carbon emissions.  

The two-year deal supports Maersk’s goal to have a minimum of 30% of its air cargo transported using SAF by 2030.

Maersk’s global head of air and LCL Torben Bengtsson said the company is aiming to deliver on its commitments now for impact to occur within the coming decade.

“This agreement is a starting point for us to create the market demand that is required to accelerate the much-needed green energy transition in aviation,” he said.

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Maersk’s global head of indirect category management Mette Christensen said the move to pay a premium to use SAF aligns with many customers’ goals to reduce their carbon dioxide footprints.

“We are embarking on the same journey with our suppliers as our green-minded customers are when they choose to pay a premium for Maersk ECO Delivery, our low-carbon product manufactured from recycled sustainable biomass and one of the only options for green emissions in shipping today,” she said.

Sébastien Guyot, SVP global sales and commercial partnerships for Air France-KLM, said the new contract reinforces the long-term partnership between the companies.

“I am delighted to see A.P. Moller – Maersk participating in our SAF program and leading the way in reducing net emissions in the aviation industry,” he said.

Maersk is reportedly exploring different pathways to source sufficient SAF, though the company also intends to leverage its efforts within green fuel development and sourcing to secure sustainable solutions for air freight customers.

Maersk’s air emissions currently account for less than 1% of its total emissions, but the figure is expected to increase with projected growth as customers take advantage of the company’s air freight solutions.

The company said its climate neutrality objectives for air freight reflect similar goals for sea freight, including forwarding business where the company can engage with carriers offering SAF-based solutions.

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