Sustainability: Every little helps

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is key to reaching net zero by 2050 but is not the only change to make, writes Lucas Peterson, Global Support Director at AEROTUF.

Everyone is talking about Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) when striving for sustainability in the air cargo industry.

Naturally, everyone is aiming for the ambitious and necessary targets which have been set by governments, and institutions worldwide, and are looking for ways to contribute towards these goals.

We’re all very familiar with the target by now – net zero by 2050.

SAF is a complicated and extensive topic.

For perspective, IATA predicts that using sustainable fuels and carbon offsetting reduces fuel emissions by more than 80% and will contribute 65% of the overall contribution to achieving net zero within aviation, which highlights its importance, but that still leaves a significant amount of reductions and improvements to be achieved through other solutions.

What if SAF doesn’t achieve these predictions?

We can only assume that SAF will make the impact we all hope for, however, we cannot ignore that the other sustainability solutions become even more prominent to plug any shortfalls.

Here at AEROTUF we are aiming for improvements which can be made right now and we want to make sure these are not being overlooked and are brought to the forefront of the discussion... every little (or a lot) helps!

What are these ‘other’ solutions?

We’re talking about ‘other sustainability solutions’ here, but what exactly does this mean?

AEROTUF is here to show you where you can make easy improvements in operational efficiencies, which will immediately contribute positively to a greener industry.

Today we will identify two scenarios which illustrate where we believe our products make these simple improvements to reduce the level of emissions in the supply chain.

Firstly, let’s talk about food wastage – roughly a third of all food produced in the world is wastage, 70% of which is perishable foods (Gardas, 2018).

Of course, the air cargo industry deals with only a portion of this, but as the fastest form of transport we can lead the way by being a beacon of high quality and sustainable performance in this field. Let’s lead by example.

So let’s get down to the real-life options… AEROTUF’s solution in this arena is the AeroTHERM, a performance driven ULD container, which is used to protect perishable goods from extreme temperature changes during transport.

It protects and ensures fresher products with longer shelf life, which delights retailers, consumers and the supply chain end-to-end.

This solution enables an increased number of products to be shipped at a time, due to having no requirement for thermal blankets and less ice being used (a better ice/ product ratio).

The environmental benefits don’t stop there, the composite honeycomb thermally insulated panels and unique sealable thermal curtain door ensure your contents are protected from extreme temperatures during transportation.

Solar radiation effects are mitigated as well as sub-zero temperatures, ensuring the integrity of the product and keeping it safe from damage – the AeroTHERM containers require 75% fewer repairs than standard ULDs.

Clearly, we are proud of these innovations which support the move towards a sustainable future, but ultimately we are talking about clear benefits for the wider environment and that is a topic we should all be discussing.

So the solutions don’t stop there, let’s talk about the reduction in the use of shoring.

Another simple way of a significant reduction in fuel and carbon savings (amongst other benefits) is to adopt the AeroPALLET, a robust composite pallet, to be used within supply chain operations.

It comes in two models – PMC and PAG, both holding TSO-C90d certification.

Its 3D composite structure cannot delaminate and is eight times stiffer than aluminium, thus negating the requirement for shoring boards.

This manifests in a 40kg+ reduction in weight, meaning less handling time in operations, lower procurement and storage costs, as well as the aforementioned fuel and carbon savings.

We believe these products are two examples of how we can all contribute to reducing emissions via operational efficiencies.

The target of net zero will be achieved by improving in all facets of the industry.

We have our ‘headliner’ in SAF but we need all the other acts to make a festival!

We hope this article has piqued your interest, if you would like to talk about how the AEROTUF range of solutions could help your business as it strives towards its sustainability targets, we would welcome any opportunity to discuss how we can collaborate and assist.

Even if you have suggestions of how we can improve, let’s open up these discussions and improve our industry together.

This article was published in the December 2023 issue of Air Logistics International, click here to read the digital edition and click here to subscribe.