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RICHMOND, VA: Virginia has signed an agreement with 15 other U.S. states to grow the market for zero-emission commercial vehicles.

The state is the first to be added to scheme since it was announced in 2020 - joining California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Washington, D.C.

Although they represent just 10 percent of U.S. traffic, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles generate nearly a quarter of emissions from the country’s transport sector.

The multi-state agreement is for all large commercial vehicle sales to be zero-emission by 2050, with an interim goal of 30 percent by 2030.

“As the home to the deepest port on the East Coast, an integrated transportation system, and a highly skilled labour force, Virginia is an attractive investment destination for DHL’s customers, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” commented Reiner Wolfs, DHL Express area vice president, Northeast USA.

“DHL has committed to electrifying 60 percent of our global fleet by 2030 and to invest in sustainable long-haul transportation on our journey to net zero emissions by 2050, and we welcome the support that governor Northam and his administration have shown to the future deployment of zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty trucks on Virginia’s roads,” he added.

In 2020 the Sustainability nonprofit Ceres launched the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance (CEVA) to help companies work together to develop and deploy zero-emission commercial vehicles. They include Amazon, American Airlines, Best Buy, DHL and IKEA.

“Freight delivery is at the heart of our economy, and companies up and down the supply chain want to put cleaner trucks on the road,” noted Jennifer Helfrich, Ceres senior manager, State Policy. “Policymakers must jumpstart this market if we’re going to ensure companies are able to benefit from the cost-savings that electric trucks provide.”

Several states are now considering adopting the Advanced Clean Trucks rule, which would require zero-emission trucks to represent a growing portion of vehicle sales over time, as well as the Heavy Duty Omnibus rule, which would require the sale of diesel trucks to be equipped with technology that significantly reduces emissions of harmful pollutants.
 

MILAN: Airport operator SEA Group says Milan Malpensa has achieved Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) ‘Level 4+ Transition’, joining sister gateway Milan Linate.

The airports are now aligned with the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 Celsius.

Owned and governed by Airports Council International, ACA is the global carbon management certification programme for airports that assesses their efforts to manage and reduce carbon emissions through six levels of certification: ‘Mapping’, ‘Reduction’, ‘Optimisation’, ‘Neutrality’, ‘Transformation’ and ‘Transition’.

Attaining Level 4+ requires setup of a long-term goal and strategy oriented towards absolute emissions reductions, including an emissions trajectory and interim milestones. Both Milan airports are also required to compensate for their remaining carbon emissions by offsetting and ACA has developed guidelines based on a study by environmental consultancy Ecofys.

Meanwhile SEA is investing in a portfolio of projects covering Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), producing green hydrogen and establishing an infrastructure for electric aircraft.

Progress to date includes:

• Electrification of the ground vehicle fleet
• Contracting electricity from renewable energy sources
• Continuous improvement of infrastructure management to reduce energy consumption
• Reduction of emissions related to heating thanks to deployment of new heat pump systems (as part of the revamp of Terminal 2) and use of biogas
• Supporting the modal shift from private vehicles to public transport through improvement of accessibility for passengers and operators
• Implementation of the EU Horizon 2020 Green Airport project ‘OLGA’ for the first hydrogen production site inside an airport
• Introduction of the supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuels in collaboration with business partners and airlines

“After the important ‘4+ Transition’ recognition by Milano Linate airport, one of the few European airports to be awarded, we are proud that [a] few months later, Milano Malpensa airport has also achieved this significant goal,” declared SEA Group CEO Armando Brunini. [“We are] committed to achieving Net Zero CO2 in 2030 and now more than ever we are focusing our efforts on contributing to decarbonisation.”

CHICAGO: As part of its Eco-Skies Alliance programme United Airlines has operated its first commercial flight powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), carrying over 100 passengers from Chicago O’Hare to Washington National airport.

The 737 MAX 8 aircraft carried 500 gallons of SAF for one CFM56 engine and conventional aviation kerosene for the other to demonstrate using SAF makes no operational difference. Currently, airlines are only certified for 50 percent SAF per flight.

United's Eco-Skies Alliance programme was launched in April 2021 in a bid to purchase more than seven million gallons of SAF. The Alliance now has nearly 30 participants including new members American Family Insurance, Biogen, Bolloré Logistics, CWT, Maersk, Meta, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, Salesforce, Visa, Yusen Logistics and Zurich North America.

"Drop-in SAF is something our industry can adopt now to begin making inroads on our commitment to be net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” noted CFM International CEO Gaël Méheust. “Along with our parent companies GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines, we applaud United for taking this bold initiative and look forward to even greater cooperation in the future."

The airline recently agreed to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of SAF from Alder Fuels and is also an investor in Fulcrum BioEnergy where it has an option to purchase up to 900 million gallons of additional SAF.
 

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