November 10, 2022

A brand new episode of ‘Sustainability in the Air’ podcast is out.

This week, Dr Ramon Sanchez, Principal Investigator and Research Associate at Harvard University, spoke with SimpliFlying CEO Shashank Nigam and shared how academic institutions and airlines can work together as allies to decarbonise aviation.

Here are some of the issues they covered in the podcast:

  • Ramon’s journey from plant operations to sustainability (3:00)
  • Carrot vs Stick: comparing EU and the US (6:55)
  • Why do airlines need to work with smaller companies (8:09 & 28:27)
  • Forecasting the cost of SAF (11:06)
  • Metrics that Aviation Executives must consider (12:52)
  • Let’s not blame the user (16:30)
  • Theory vs Practice: consulting academics and activists (19:24)
  • Can economic growth and sustainable development go hand in hand? (22:20)
  • Why is the Circular Economy the need of the hour? (30:10)
  • Working with academia to improve airline operations (32:15, 39:23 & 45:15)
  • Rethinking ESG vs SDG (35:45)
  • Hopes for a sustainable future of aviation (49:10)

Listen to the episode here or on your favourite podcast platform.

Together with our season partner CarbonClick, we will plant one tree for every new listener and 50 trees for each review. All funds will go to the Maputo Bay Reforestation Initiative in southern Mozambique.

Sustainability takes centre stage at WTM

Sustainability was a big focus of this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) in London, with a number of panels dedicated to it.

One was a ‘Future of Transport’ session, which included Haldane Dodd, Executive Director of the Air Transport Group (ATAG), Kata Cserep, Global Managing Director Aviation at ICF, and Tom Grundy, CEO of hydrogen airship company Hybrid Air Vehicles.

Most of the panel felt that more effort should be going into drop-in fuels, either Sustainable Aviation (SAF) biofuels or eventually Power to Liquid Fuels.

Both Haldane Dodd and Kata Cserep said that tech fixes and new engine types could only get us so far, due to regulatory and cost barriers.

Instead, they advocated more incentives for SAF production of the kind currently in place in California.

Meanwhile, a greenwashing panel saw Sunday Times Chief Travel Writer Chris Halam claim that he’d received a press release where the word ‘sustainability’ was mentioned over 40 times.

The greenwashing panel, hosted by travel magazine Wanderlust, advocated that sustainability become part of the traveller experience.

They also suggested that travel brands start redefining what aspirational travel means, to start getting around the perception that sustainable tourism means “lentils instead of chocolate cake.”

We have a report on greenwashing out next week. If you are an email subscriber, you’ll receive a link to read and download. It will also be available on our Green Hub.

Previous Newsletters

In Conversation: Jeremy Bowen, Cirium


In Conversation: Adam Goldstein, Archer Aviation


In Conversation: Airbus’ Amanda Simpson


Report: The Rise of Green Travel 2023 – 2028

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