Sustainability News Snapshot

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UK Government Eyes Sustainable Aviation Mandate

Published on 14 July after months of Covid-19 related delays, the Transport Decarbonisation Plan outlined the Government’s approach to delivering a net-zero domestic aviation sector by 2040 and net-zero international aviation by 2050. In terms of emissions from planes, Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) were positioned as a key solution. The Department for Transport (DfT) stated that they are likely to reach commercial maturity sooner than electric solutions.

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Airplane Fuel Tank

Building on the Plan, the DfT has launched a consultation on the need for a SAF mandate. It is floating a requirement for jet fuel producers to ensure that at least 10% of their production annually is SAF by 2030, rising to 75% by 2050. These targets could reduce the sector’s annual emissions by up to 23 megatonnes from 2050, the DfT estimates.

The proposed definition of SAF is a fuel that delivers at least a 60% reduction in life-cycle emissions compared to kerosene. Waste-derived biofuels are included in the definition: fuels of non-biological origin, SAF from nuclear energy, and recycled carbon fuels. Biofuel crops are excluded, as is grey (fossil-fuelled) hydrogen.

“We acknowledge high targets will be contingent on multiple technology and policy developments that could unlock a very rapid roll-out of several SAF plants in the short term, the quick commercialisation of SAF technology not yet proven at scale and the certification of new production pathways,” the consultation documents state. “To take into account these uncertainties, we welcome views on the right trade-off between ambition and deliverability at this stage.”

The consultation will run until 19 September.

Green Fuels, Green Skies Competition

The DfT opened the consultation as it revealed the companies shortlisted to receive a share of a £15m competition funding pot designed to support new SAF production plans using innovative methods. The funding forms part of the £20m announced for aviation and shipping in the Ten Point Plan in 2020.

Eight companies have secured a place on the shortlist for the competition, called ‘Green Fuels, Green Skies’. Methods of SAF production include deriving CO2 from the air and mixing it with hydrogen extracted from water using electrolysis; deriving alcohol from flue gases from the heavy industry; converting household waste and converting sewage.

While the DfT’s approach to decarbonising aviation is broadly in line with that of the UK Sustainable Aviation coalition, which prioritises efficient planes with SAF use over electric alternatives and refuses to cap passenger numbers, some have argued that this is the wrong approach. The UK Government’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) recommended that, along with SAF, more should be done to scale electric aircraft and to cap demand growth. In fact, the CCC’s most optimistic for national use of SAFs is 7% by 2030.

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Tech Conglomerate Steps into IoT

Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) announced today that Globalworth, a leading office investor in Central and Eastern Europe, will implement Honeywell Forge enterprise performance management software-as-a-service to drive digital transformation at two of its buildings in Bucharest, Romania.

The company will first implement Honeywell Forge Energy Optimization and Predictive Maintenance to improve sustainability and deliver operational efficiencies. The deployment of Honeywell Forge will support Globalworth’s goal to create high quality and energy efficient real estate spaces in which people and business can flourish. Globalworth continues to invest in sustainable technology and buildings with enhanced energy efficiency, having recently grown its green-certified property portfolio to 48 buildings in both Poland and Romania.

“We see technology as a differentiator in the commercial real estate industry, and in the current landscape, we’re looking for ways to not only improve energy savings and maintenance but also enhance the overall occupant experience and support our tenant’s well-being,” said Valentin Neagu, head of property and facility management, Globalworth. “Honeywell Forge can do those things and help us to achieve our sustainability goals, without sacrificing occupant comfort.”

Honeywell Forge Energy Optimization autonomously and continually optimizes a building’s internal set points across hundreds of integrated assets. It constantly evaluates weather, occupancy levels, time of day and other data, and makes adjustments every 15 minutes to improve a building’s HVAC system for peak efficiency without compromising occupant comfort. This improved efficiency can generate significant energy cost savings.

AI Drives Service Optimization

Honeywell Forge Predictive Maintenance will help Globalworth improve how its buildings and assets are maintained through a proactive maintenance process of curated recommendations. Using sensors and system integration to analyze building controllers and mechanical assets, Honeywell Forge’s intuitive dashboards will provide near real-time insights to track building performance. This data will enable Globalworth to address potential issues earlier, which will reduce unplanned maintenance work on building systems.

Globalworth also recently deployed Honeywell’s Buildings Solutions in its latest development to improve indoor air quality and energy efficiency to help reassure occupants that its buildings are safer, healthier and more efficient.

“Globalworth is a forward-looking company with an enviable portfolio of buildings that understands how digital transformation can maximize efficiencies,” said Usman Shuja, vice president and general manager of Connected Buildings, Honeywell. “Honeywell Forge will further help Globalworth achieve sustainability, operational improvements and occupant experience goals by providing actionable data to help the company make smarter decisions in managing its buildings.”

Honeywell Forge is a purpose-built SaaS solution on a native edge-to-cloud, data-driven architecture designed to accelerate the digital transformation of operations. Learn more at https://www.honeywell.com/us/en/honeywell-forge.

Tune in next week for another round of sustainability news from around the globe.
LUMENSTREAM CEO | Alistair Brown
LUMENSTREAM CEO | Alistair Brown

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