Embraer Hosts First ‘Start-Up Day’ to Encourage Sustainability Ideas

A total of 16 companies pitched technologies through Embraer’s Energia Initiative.

Energia is considering several energy sources, propulsion architectures, and airframe layouts that seek to reduce carbon emissions. [Courtesy: Embraer]

Embraer plans to encourage positive solutions around climate change through its Energia sustainable flight initiative, which is designed to explore a range of sustainable concepts for carrying up to 50 passengers. 

To do so, Energia is considering several energy sources, propulsion architectures, and airframe layouts that seek to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent starting in 2030, which is a critical step to being net carbon neutral by 2050. 

To that end, Embraer completed its first “Start-Up Day” earlier this week to encourage startup organizations and new entrants with the most innovative technologies to join and collaborate on its Energia sustainable flight initiative. The company says it is looking for technologies with the most significant potential to meet the challenges of the climate crisis, particularly early-stage startups that will have an essential role in resolving technical obstacles. 

In this first iteration of Start-Up Day, 16 organizations from across the globe pitched their technologies to the Energia team, with solutions in electric and hybrid-electric powertrain, fuel cells; hydrogen storage; and battery technology.

“It is pleasing to have attracted so many exciting organizations from around the globe, including France, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea, United Kingdom, and the United States, to our Energia initiative,” Arjan Meijer, president and CEO of Embraer Commercial Aviation, said in a statement.

In the third quarter of 2022, the Energia team will aim to make its first down selection after reviewing all the proposals.

Meanwhile, Embraer’s head of Zero Emissions Innovation, Carlos Ilario, added that meeting the “climate challenge” required encouraging innovation and said, “we believe the growing ecosystem of small, tech-savvy startups have a huge contribution to make—if given the opportunity.” Ilario also added that it was necessary to harness all the world’s available talent, who’d be able to work towards practical answers for climate change.

Ahead, Embraer will host more Start-Up Days and plans to add other areas of interest, such as sustainable cabin design, connectivity, ground handling, clean energy generation, and more.

[Courtesy: Embraer]

Embraer and 4AIR Partner Up

In keeping with its march towards sustainable aviation, Embraer announced a partnership with 4AIR to allow Embraer customers to tap into its carbon offset program. Of the partnership, Johann Bourdais, president and CEO of Embraer Services and Support, said, “our partnership with 4AIR will incentivize business jet customers to make their long-term commitment to sustainability. 

“We want to demonstrate ways they can start acting now, even as alternatives like SAF are not yet abundant and new technologies are still in development.”

To achieve this, customers can tap into Embraer’s Executive Care program. They will receive 25 hours of complimentary carbon-neutral flight hours through 4AIR, allowing them to offset their carbon emissions during their first year of ownership.

Kennedy Ricci, president of 4AIR, said the partnership would “start owners” on the “right foot” in their sustainable journey and said the offset would have a “real impact.” Projects funded by 4AIR carbon offset credits include renewable energy programs, the enhancement of carbon-absorbing forests, and the support of local projects that reduce deforestation, generating social and economic benefits.

“These credits will offset the climate impact of their flight activity and produce real economic benefits for people in the countries where these credits fund projects,” Ricci said.

After completion of the 25 flight hours through the inaugural Executive Care program, Embraer’s customers will be able to continue their commitment through various 4AIR programs. These programs will offer solutions to eliminating emissions from direct missions, such as using SAF or making operational changes to how they do business on the ground.

Embraer announced new ESG targets in 2021 and said it is in the process of manufacturing products that are 100 percent compatible with SAF. Some of its other solutions will come through its work with Energia, where Embraer is encouraging research and developing sustainable technologies and services. The company will also be offsetting any residual emissions that customers cannot reduce through efficiency projects, available alternative energy, or advancing technology.

Michael Wildes holds a master’s degree in Logistics & Supply Chain Management, and a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Science, both from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Previously, he worked at the university’s flight department as a Flight Check Airman, Assistant Training Manager, and Quality Assurance Mentor. He holds MEI, CFI & CFII ratings. Follow Michael on Twitter @Captainwildes.

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