Korean Air partners with SK Energy to adopt carbon-neutral jet fuel

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Korean Air has partnered with SK Energy, a major petroleum and refinery company in Korea, to introduce carbon-neutral jet fuel to actively counter climate change. Through the partnership, the airline will purchase a month’s worth of carbon-neutral jet fuel for domestic flights departing from Jeju and Cheongju.

Carbon-neutral jet fuel can be achieved by measuring the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced through fuel production, transport and consumption, and purchasing carbon credits to offset the carbon footprint.

Greenhouse gases generated from aircraft operations account for 2 to 3 percent of total global emissions. In line with the global aviation industry’s efforts for sustainable growth, Korean Air is seeking various methods to reduce carbon emissions to achieve carbon-neutral growth and fight climate change.

Korean Air is actively participating in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), and introducing eco-friendly and high-efficient aircraft. The airline’s recently introduced A220-300 is equipped with the latest engine, which reduces carbon emissions per seat by 25% compared to existing models of similar capacity.

In 2017, Korean Air became the first Korean airline to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF); SAF was trialled on a flight departing from Chicago to Incheon. In June this year, the airline also partnered with Hyundai Oil Bank to develop a foundation for biofuel manufacturing and its usage.

In 2019, Korean Air replaced single-use plastics such as straws, coffee stirrers and cups with eco-friendly paper products, and has also conducted tree planting activities in Mongolia and China’s Kubuqi Desert.

Korean Air has been working to improve its environmental, social and governance (ESG) management, and established an ESG committee, which reviews its management strategies focusing on ESG. The airline also issued ESG bonds in July to raise funds to purchase eco-friendly Boeing 787-10 aircraft.

Korean Air will continue its efforts to enhance ESG management and reduce carbon emissions to help tackle climate change.