United Airlines Increases Biofuel Commitment

by Megan Hill

Jun 23, 2019

United Airlines Boeing 737-800 Leaving Los Angeles

Feature

United Airlines recently renewed its contract with Boston-based World Energy, agreeing to purchase up to 10 million gallons of cost-competitive, commercial-scale, sustainable aviation biofuel over the next two years.

United currently uses the biofuel to help power every flight leaving its Los Angeles hub, which means a more than 60 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on a lifecycle basis.

The original agreement, signed in 2016, helped make United the first airline in the world to use sustainable aviation biofuel on a continuous basis. United is also the only U.S. airline to use biofuel in its regular operations.

The biofuel from World Energy is made from agricultural waste and received sustainability certification from the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials. World Energy recently announced it will invest $350 million to convert its Paramount, California, facility to renewable diesel and sustainable aviation jet fuel. When completed, the company’s total capacity will rise to more than 300 million gallons of production annually at that location, one of the company’s six low-carbon fuel manufacturing plants.

“Investing in sustainable aviation biofuel is one of the most effective measures a commercial airline can take to reduce its impact on the environment,” said Scott Kirby, president, United. “As leaders in this space, United and World Energy are setting an example for the industry on how innovators can work together to bring our customers, colleagues and communities toward a more sustainable future.”

“Great companies lead,” said Gene Gebolys, chief executive officer, World Energy. “We are honored to renew our commitment to United to advance their efforts to drive change to a lower carbon future.”

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