Embraer [NYSE: ERJ] is partnering with Raízen, one of the largest energy companies in Brazil, to develop more sustainable aviation fuel. Embraer said the two companies signed a letter of intent designed to grow the SAF production marketplace amid an industry-wide push to reach zero carbon emission by 2050.
Embraer will be the first manufacturing customer to use Raízen’s SAF. Adding SAF to its operation gives Embraer another tool toward achieving its goal of being carbon neutral company-wide by 2040. Currently, more than 60 percent of the company’s emissions derive from its use of aviation fuel in test and production flights. Therefore, the partnership with Raízen would allow it to reduce its carbon footprint significantly.
In a statement, Embraer’s vice president of people, environmental, social and governance (ESG), and communications, Carlos Alberto Griner, said using SAF would reduce the company’s aviation emissions in the short and medium terms. Griner said the partnership with Raízen would also spur further growth in the energy sector as companies search for sustainable solutions.
“ESG is one of the pillars of our strategic plan, and we are looking at every opportunity to accelerate the reduction of our carbon emissions,” Griner said.
Publicly-traded companies are taking preemptive steps to curb their carbon footprint, primarily through direct operations (such as fuel burn in flight operations), as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed a rule to force them to report information about climate-related risks in their annual reports.
Raízen’s Push to Develop SAF
The overwhelming need for SAF across the entire energy market has outpaced current production of the fuel. This partnership will allow Raízen to gain footing in a fast-growing market. Raízen operates 35 bioenergy parks with an installed capacity of 105 million tons and some 1.3 million hectares of cultivated area using the latest technology and completely mechanized harvesting. The company also has a distribution network of more than 7,900 reseller service stations under the Shell brand in Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay, allowing it to sell more than 34 billion liters or 8.9 billion gallons of fuel in the 2021-2022 crop year alone.
“As the largest sugarcane ethanol producer in the world, it is only natural that we are looking at a possible supply of SAF. This partnership with Embraer, a global reference, reinforces the sustainability agenda and expansion of the company’s portfolio,” said Antonio Cardoso, vice president of marketing and services at Raízen.
Cardoso said the company would need to coordinate its operations across business segments to increase the production of renewable fuel sources by 80 percent in the most efficient way possible for the business.
To benefit both companies’ aggressive growth plans, Raízen will help Embraer reach its 2030 goal of having SAF blends represent 100 percent of its fuel consumption in Brazil.
Embraer’s chief procurement officer, Roberto Chaves, said the partnership symbolized many opportunities for strategic partnerships across the rest of the sector that could generate other businesses in the area of sustainable fuel for the aviation industry.