The Sustainable Aviation Challenge: Accelerating Decarbonization of the Aviation Industry

Salesforce, Deloitte, and a coalition of aviation and energy companies have joined forces to launch the Sustainable Aviation Challenge. This initiative aims to support the decarbonization of the aviation industry by seeking game-changing solutions. The challenge focuses on alternative fuels and propulsion technologies, as well as innovations in feedstock, engineering, and market infrastructure.

The Sustainable Aviation Challenge is supported by industry leaders such as Airbus, Breakthrough Energy, Boom Supersonic, JetBlue Ventures, Qantas Airways Limited, and World Energy. It builds on the World Economic Forum’s Airports of Tomorrow initiative and is a collaboration between the forum’s First Movers Coalition and its UpLink innovation platform.

The UpLink platform, launched in partnership with Salesforce and Deloitte, has already facilitated over 48 challenges across critical areas of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It has selected over 400 “Top Innovators” with solutions related to various sectors, including climate, health, food, and education. The Sustainable Aviation Challenge now offers a unique opportunity to connect promising startups with the ecosystem needed to achieve net-zero aviation and drive action for the SDGs.

The aviation industry currently contributes approximately 2 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. To address this, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), produced from renewable resources or waste feedstocks, could play a vital role in decarbonizing aviation. However, SAF is still expensive and not widely available. Salesforce has taken steps to support the initiative by purchasing SAF from World Energy, United Airlines, and JetBlue, stimulating a market for low-carbon alternatives to traditional jet fuel.

In addition to alternative fuels, the challenge also invites solutions in alternative-propulsion technologies like hydrogen and batteries, as well as innovations in feedstock, engineering, and physical and market infrastructure.

Interested parties can submit their proposals from August 24 to October 2, 2023. “Top Innovators” will be announced later in the year, receiving support for commercialization and deployment efforts, as well as assistance with brand building, visibility, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities.

With the Sustainable Aviation Challenge, Salesforce and its partners are tackling one of the hardest-to-abate sectors in terms of climate impact. By fostering innovative ideas from ecopreneurs, they aim to play a significant role in decarbonizing the aviation industry and shaping a sustainable future for air travel.

Sources:
– Salesforce
– World Energy
– Sustainable Brands