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Cathay Takes Lead in Sustainable Aviation with the Inaugural HKSAFC

Cathay has taken a major step in its journey to eco-friendly skies by establishing the Hong Kong Sustainable Aviation Fuel Coalition (HKSAFC). As a founding member, Cathay is at the forefront of the aviation sector’s move towards decarbonization. This initiative signals a bold commitment to sustainability and positions Cathay as pioneering in the industry’s green evolution.

Cathay has taken a major step in its journey to eco-friendly skies by establishing the Hong Kong Sustainable Aviation Fuel Coalition (HKSAFC).
By establishing the Hong Kong Sustainable Aviation Fuel Coalition (HKSAFC), Cathay advances eco-friendly skies.

Cathay’s Role in Pioneering Sustainable Aviation

On Monday, January 29, 2024, Cathay unveiled its role as a key player in the sustainable aviation movement through the inception of the HKSAFC. This coalition will spearhead the transformation of Hong Kong into a central hub for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), a game-changing shift supported by the Hong Kong SAR Government’s 2023 Policy Address.

Uniting for a Greener Future

The groundbreaking HKSAFC consists of 13 founding partners, including leaders in SAF production, fuel supply, infrastructure development, corporate sector users, and policymakers. Led by the Business Environment Council (BEC), the coalition embodies a comprehensive approach to fostering Hong Kong’s role in climate change mitigation and aligning with China’s carbon-neutrality goals.

Advancing SAF Through Collaborative Efforts

Cathay and its partners are driving the adoption of SAF by conducting comprehensive research and developing whitepapers on SAF. The HKSAFC engages with various stakeholders and the Government to facilitate a unified push for eco-friendly fuel solutions while also working to elevate public understanding and acceptance of SAF’s positive impact and inherent challenges.

Boosting Hong Kong as a SAF Hub

The strategic vision of HKSAFC is to make Hong Kong a regional leader in SAF usage, thereby contributing to global efforts to tackle climate change. With integral support from Cathay, the coalition is positioning Hong Kong as an influential player in the sustainable aviation space.

Cathay and the HKSAFC seek to revolutionize the aviation industry by leveraging research, collaboration, and public awareness. The sustainable road ahead is clear, with Cathay paving the way for a cleaner, greener future in aviation. The journey promises a healthier planet and sustainable skies.

A SAF Program Fully Endorsed by Government

Mr. Liu Chun San, JP, Acting Secretary for Transport and Logistics, said at the launch ceremony, “The Government fully endorses the direction of using SAF to decarbonize the aviation sector, which helps to maintain the leading position of Hong Kong International Airport (“HKIA”) in green and sustainable development. Apart from the environmental benefits, ensuring the sufficient supply of SAF at HKIA would help consolidate Hong Kong’s international aviation hub status. Most airlines now have their own sustainability goals or requirements imposed by their base governments on the use of SAF. The availability of SAF at airports will be, if not has been, one of the major considerations of airlines in flight planning and expansion.”

Cathay Group Chief Executive Officer Ronald Lam said: “Sustainability is a key focus for Cathay, and we are committed to achieving our carbon net-zero goal by 2050. We firmly believe that SAF is a key enabler for the aviation industry to achieve its long-term environmental targets and to support the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Hong Kong has to be able to cultivate the development and use of SAF in order to retain and enhance its leading international aviation hub status. However, we cannot do this alone – it requires collaboration among all parties, and the HKSAFC is an important step in this direction. I look forward to working with all of the Coalition Partners in the coming months and years to join the global efforts to tackle the climate challenge.”

HKSAFC Chair and Chief Executive Officer of BEC Simon Ng said: “Aviation is widely recognized as one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonize. In the foreseeable future, SAF is considered the most viable way for decarbonizing the sector. Through the launch of HKSAFC, BEC will engage with multiple stakeholders to accelerate the deployment of SAF at Hong Kong International Airport, ensuring its availability and affordability.”

Cathay’s Partners for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Cathay will collaborate with the Government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s aviation fuel authority. The airline aims to foster a supportive Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) market. Cathay has pledged to increase its use of SAF to 10% of its total fuel consumption by 2030. In 2022, Cathay kick-started its Corporate SAF Programme, partnering with nine companies from different sectors. This initiative is meant to promote the use of SAF and demonstrate a strong, collective demand.

Cathay is a contributing member of the HKSAFC. It works alongside the BEC and other coalition partners to further progress in the aviation industry’s decarbonization efforts. The airline’s program partners include:

  • AFSC Operations Limited
  • Airport Authority Hong Kong
  • Board of Airline Representatives Hong Kong
  • Business Environment Council
  • Cathay Pacific Airways Limited
  • China Aviation Oil (Hong Kong) Company Limited
  • ECO Aviation Fuel Services Limited
  • EcoCeres Limited
  • PetroChina International (Hong Kong) Corporation Limited
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited
  • Shell Aviation
  • Sinopec (Hong Kong) Aviation Co., Ltd
  • Standard Chartered Bank (HK) Ltd
  • Swire Pacific Limited

For further details, visit Cathay’s official website.

What is SAF?

Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is an eco-friendly substitute for traditional jet fuel. It can cut flight-related greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80%. SAF is sourced from multiple raw materials like waste oils, biomass, and municipal waste. It is blendable with standard jet fuel, requiring no changes to current aircraft.

What is Cathay’s Corporate SAF Programme?

Cathay’s Corporate SAF Programme, initiated in 2022, is a pioneering initiative in Asia. It allows corporations to mitigate the carbon emissions from their business travel and airfreight by investing in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). Cathay plans to expand this eco-conscious program to include more corporate clients throughout the year.

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