Virgin Atlantic wins 2013 Sustainable Biofuels Award

Virgin Atlantic wins 2013 Sustainable Biofuels Award.jpg

We’re delighted to announce that we have won the 2013 Sustainable Biofuels Award in the Sustainable Aviation sector.


The award win follows our ground-breaking work towards the development of a world-first low carbon aviation fuel that is set to achieve 50-60 per cent carbon reductions compared to the standard fossil fuel alternative.  Our partnership with LanzaTech represents a breakthrough in aviation fuel technology that will see waste gases from industrial steel production being captured, biologically fermented and chemically converted for use as a jet fuel. The revolutionary fuel production process recycles waste gases that would otherwise be burnt into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Richard Branson described this process as “one of the most exciting developments of our lifetime and a major breakthrough in the war on carbon”.


Our vision is to be a leading airline on sustainability, driving solutions for the whole industry, and our work on sustainable fuels, part of our Change is in the Air sustainability programme, is certainly pushing boundaries.


We received the award at this year’s World Biofuels Markets currently being held in Rotterdam. The awards recognise innovation and leadership in the development of truly sustainable and renewable fuel and chemical solutions in the global biofuels market.


“In 2008, we were the first commercial airline to conduct a biofuel test flight,” said our Head of Sustainability, Dr Emma Harvey. “We’re now working hard to see sustainable fuels through to commercial use in our aircraft. We are so proud of our partnership with LanzaTech and to be able to produce a next generation, low-carbon aviation fuel is a major step towards radically reducing our carbon footprint. World Biofuels Markets provides a platform to drive the biofuels energy sector forward and to win this award is a great honour.”


Richard Branson and LanzaTech.jpg

Richard Branson and the LanzaTech team



“It’s an honour to continue our partnership with Virgin Atlantic developing next generation, sustainable, low-carbon aviation fuels,” said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. “Innovative technologies don’t commercialize themselves; rather they are commercialized through investment by and coordination with forward-looking companies like Virgin Atlantic. With their support, sustainable aviation fuels will become a reality.”


The eighth annual World Biofuels Markets is taking place over three days at the Beurs-World Trade Center in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Bringing together more than 1,500 participants from around the world, the conference has covered key topics including energy security, finance, policy, technology, transport and production with the aim of accelerating the uptake of sustainable business practices with the biofuels sector.

About Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.
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