Jet Zero council: ‘90% of population unaware of SAF’ 

A new survey supported by the UK’s Jet Zero council, a partnership between the government, industry and academia, has found that 90% of the general population are unaware Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) is commercially available.  

SAF typically achieves greenhouse gas savings of 70% or more compared to traditional jet fuels

Many major airlines such as Wizz Air, British Airways, Japan Airlines and Ryanair currently use SAF blends or have pledged to. Jet2.com is the most recent airline company to jump on board, set to use a SAF blend at London Stansted Airport (see letsrecycle.com story). 

Despite the lack of awareness surrounding SAF, the survey found the public is open to the possibility of SAF-powered flights, even willing to pay 26% more for doing so. 

The Jet Zero council have highlighted that SAF is a “more environmentally friendly alternative” to traditional fossil fuels. It is made from waste materials including used cooking oil, wood waste, waste gases from industries, agricultural residues and even household rubbish.  

According to the body, SAF typically achieves greenhouse gas savings of 70% or more compared to traditional jet fuels. 


Jonathon Counsell, chair of the Jet Zero council SAF Delivery Group, said: “When you see news stories about the future fuels of aeroplanes, it often comes with a heavy dose of cynicism. There’s this false idea that SAF is made from fresh crops that we could have eaten, or that, because it isn’t 100% zero-emissions, it’s pointless pursuing. This is totally wrong. 

“Zero-emissions flights using batteries and hydrogen, are a few years away yet, but SAF is already in use, diverting waste streams and turning them into an alternative jet fuel that lowers the carbon emissions of flights. This is a critical step in cleaning up the environmental impact of flying.” 


The announcement of the results of this research comes after the UK government, in April of this year, confirmed plans to implement a sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) mandate. The mandate, which is pending parliamentary approval, will become law in January 2025.  

It proclaims that 10% of jet fuel used in UK flights must be sourced from sustainable sources by 2030.  

The mandate was introduced following consultations with industry stakeholders and states that the government has committed to ensuring an annual supply of approximately 1.2 million tonnes of SAF to the UK airline industry.  

The SAF mandate includes a review mechanism to help manage prices and minimise the impact on ticket fares for passengers. 

To support the growth of the SAF industry, the government has allocated £135 million through the Advanced Fuels Fund, facilitating the development of 13 innovative SAF projects across the country.  


Mr Counsell added: “It’s fantastic to see that the public is so receptive to SAF when presented with the facts; what it’s made of and what it does to reduce environmentally damaging emissions.  

“Although work is ongoing to reduce the cost of SAF, the fact that the general public would be willing to pay more to use SAF is a really strong indicator of the enthusiasm. The Jet Zero Council members are keen to get the message out there and let the people know what SAF is, how it’s being used, and why it’s so important.”  

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