Shell, Accenture and American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) announced the launch of Avelia, one of the world’s first blockchain-powered digital sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) book-and-claim solutions for business travel. (Book-and-claim allows travelers to pay for SAF, and claim the benefits, even if SAF is not available at their departure airport. SAF will instead be fed into another aircraft in an airport where available.)  It is the largest SAF book-and-claim pilot at launch, according to an announcement, offering around 1 million gallons of SAF — enough to power almost 15,000 individual business traveler flights from London to New York. The pilot phase of the program aims to demonstrate the credibility of the book-and-claim model, using blockchain technology to ensure secured allocation of SAF’s environmental attributes to companies and airlines after the fuel has been delivered into the fuel network. With Avelia, airlines and business customers could simultaneously reduce emissions in their respective activities, while ensuring transparency and accountability by avoiding issues such as double-counting.

Developed by Shell and Accenture, with the support of the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), Avelia includes Amex GBT’s travel management services to aggregate global business demand for SAF, which will increase SAF supply and use and help accelerate the aviation industry’s pathway toward net-zero emissions. Paul Abbott, CEO of Amex GBT, said that “a truly viable route to decarbonizing air travel is now open for business.” He said his company is calling on all others to join it and share the costs and benefits of SAF across the travel and aviation sectors. Airlines, he said, will gain access to the buying capacity of businesses, drawing from Amex GBT’s 19,000 customers around the world.