Emirates Partners with Aviation Impact Accelerator

Emirates Partners with Aviation Impact Accelerator - TRAVELINDEXDubai, United Arab Emirates, May 4, 2024 / TRAVELINDEX / Emirates has become an industrial partner of the Aviation Impact Accelerator (AIA), based at the University of Cambridge. The new partnership marks Emirates’ first USD $200 million Sustainability Fund investment for research and development (R&D) projects focussed on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation.

The partnership aims to foster collaboration, providing evidence for a number of the AIA’s climate impact tools, support their data modelling work advancements, and actively engage in future projects dedicated to cutting global aviation emissions.

The AIA initiative is co-led by the University of Cambridge’s Whittle Laboratory and Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). It is an international group of multi-disciplinary experts developing evidence-based systems, modelling capability, visualisations, and specialised tools to support policy makers, the aviation industry and the wider public with the insights necessary to map, understand and accelerate pathways towards sustainable aviation.

Emirates is joining Boeing, Rolls-Royce, The Royal Air Force, IATA, 4Air, and Flexjet as industrial partners. The modelling capability of the AIA is a collaboration between the Bennett Innovation Lab (a new innovation laboratory set up as part of the New Whittle Laboratory) and CISL, with the objective of looking for ways to accelerate net zero aviation.

Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “Emirates is proud to support the Aviation Impact Accelerator as the first project under our Sustainability Fund. As an industrial partner, we have a unique opportunity to play an active role in constructively sharing our knowledge and insights, broadening the AIA’s reach across geographies and supporting the development of tools that address a spectrum of new aviation technologies and their critical gaps if implemented in the future. The work being undertaken by the Aviation Impact Accelerator provides the potential blueprint for the changes and solutions underway to reduce the long-term climate impact of commercial aviation.”

Professor Rob Miller FREng, Director of the Whittle Laboratory, University of Cambridge and AIA lead said: “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Emirates, which will support us in our mission to accelerate the world towards net-zero aviation. Airlines will play a crucial role in the sector’s transition, and we are delighted that Emirates is demonstrating this leadership. We believe that the Sustainability Fund will be pivotal in unlocking actions in the sector.”

Emirates will explore potential collaboration on a number of tools being developed including:

– RECCE: Resource to Climate Comparison Evaluator is designed to allow the industry to quickly compare the potential of a wide range of fuels and technologies in 2035. It allows the user to compare the CO2 and all the non-CO2 climate impacts of aviation, the resource requirements and the costs, and provides a detailed breakdown of where in the system the uncertainties lie. The tool also allows the user to understand the impact of the rate of decarbonisation of neighbouring sectors, such as the power grid or heating, on aviation. RECCE is available free on the AIA webpage.
– JIST: Journey Impact Simulator Tool, is currently under development and allows users to explore the way that they might fly in the future, helping them understand the pathways to net zero aviation. Future fuel and propulsion technology potential and flight operations settings can be adjusted to compare the climate impact.
– CRAFT: Climate Response to Aviation Future Scenarios Tool, allows users to analyse future scenarios, exploring how they might use combinations of technologies, fuels and changes to operations to achieve net zero aviation. The tool is especially powerful for real time exploration of scenarios in interactive policy workshops, allowing leaders in government and industry to chart their way through the complexities of the aviation sector. The tool has been used to power several policy workshops with US, UK and EU governments.

Partnership with the AIA will allow Emirates to participate in workshops exploring all aspects of net-zero aviation, designed to identify opportunities for accelerating action.

The Emirates Sustainability Fund aims to support research and development (R&D) projects focused on reducing the impact of fossil fuels in commercial aviation. Funds will be disbursed over three years to globally recognised organisations, start-ups and academic institutions working on and contributing to solutions in advanced fuel, energy and propulsion technologies and other emissions reduction solutions. The airline works with technical experts to evaluate opportunities, and disbursements are managed by Emirates’ Environmental Sustainability Executive Steering Group.

Alongside its industrial partners, the AIA works in collaboration with:

– HRH King Charles III’s Sustainable Markets Initiative
– The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Target True Zero (TTZ) initiative
– The Aerospace Global Forum
– Cambridge Zero
– The UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero
– The UK Department for Transport

And academic partners:

– The University of Melbourne
– Imperial College London
– University College London
– The University of Technology Sydney

About Emirates
From its global hub in Dubai, Emirates serves customers on six continents, providing high quality air transport services that facilitate tourism and trade. Emirates operates the world’s largest fleet of wide-body Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft, offering spacious cabins and iconic inflight features such as its A380 Shower Spa and Onboard Lounge, and its ice inflight entertainment system available in all seats across its fleet, which has topped “best in sky” awards for 16 consecutive years. Emirates is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its operations across all its businesses and activities, and focusses on three areas: reducing emissions, consuming responsibly, and protecting wildlife and habitats.

About the University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is one of the world’s oldest universities and leading academic centres. The University is a self-governed community of scholars with 31 colleges and six schools. Its mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. Established in 1209, the University is rich in history and discoveries that have benefitted humanity. Cambridge has produced 121 Nobel laureates and the University’s reputation for outstanding academic achievement includes such discoveries as the theories of gravity and evolution, decoding the structure of DNA and splitting the first atom.