May 03, 2022
Measure, Reduce, Offset: How Boom Plans to Achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2025
Boom Supersonic releases its 2021 Environmental Sustainability Report, setting the company’s path toward a sustainable future of travel
Sustainability powers Boom’s mission to make the world dramatically more accessible. Central to that mission is the fundamental belief that travel is a net good for humanity. It connects us, drives economic growth, and fosters global exchange. The 2021 Environmental Sustainability Report sets forth the company’s holistic approach to environmental well-being and commitment to a scalable and sustainable future for travel. The report is defined by two key pillars: climate and community.
Boom’s plan to achieve net zero carbon by 2025 and net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040, builds on the significant progress already made by the company. Notably, Boom achieved carbon neutrality through reduction initiatives and high-quality carbon credits in 2021. Overture fleets will run on up to 100% SAF, validated in new commercial agreements with United Airlines and Japan Airlines prioritizing sustainability, while optimizing for Mach 1.7, balancing speed and efficiency.
Working together with leaders across the travel industry, Boom created the Sustainable Travel Forum in 2021, the first privately-driven global forum that allies industries to create the future of sustainable travel. It also hosted the Forum’s first annual conference, the Net Good Summit, which convened global industry leaders, sustainability experts, and creative thinkers to advance the Forum’s vision.
Part 1: Climate
The efforts that led to achieving carbon neutrality in 2021, and will pave the road to net zero carbon, are defined by three essential steps: regularly measure, reduce, and offset residual emissions.
- Measure: Boom accounts for the emissions of its entire value chain, partnering with Watershed for carbon emissions accounting and climate strategy in order to ensure compliance with the GHG Protocol.
- Reduce: The company evaluates and executes on opportunities to drive reductions in carbon. In 2021, Boom joined the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA), a buyer-led collaboration spearheaded by RMI and the Environmental Defense Fund to accelerate the path to net zero aviation by driving investment in and adoption of SAF, and the Aircraft Fleet Recycling Association (AFRA), ensuring that best practices for recycling and reuse are integrated in Overture's design from an early stage.
- Offset: Boom invests in a broad portfolio of high-impact, high-quality carbon offset and removal solutions for residual emissions that cannot be mitigated. Recently, Boom signed a 10-year agreement with Climeworks to remove CO2 emissions through direct air capture and storage.
Boom is also deploying a two-phased strategy to address non-CO2 emissions: first, understand and quantify any potential impacts; and second, take a methodical approach to implement mitigations. As understanding of non-CO2 climate effects improves, the company is already working to mitigate these impacts by making aircraft modifications, incorporating broad emission-reducing technologies, and investigating new capabilities.
SAF is critical to achieving net zero carbon in the aviation industry. As a sustainable substitute for conventional jet fuel, SAF available in 2021 can reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%, while future SAF technologies could provide up to 100% lifecycle carbon reductions and truly net zero carbon operation.
One part of Boom’s sustainability strategy focuses on scaling SAF: accelerating the advancement, commercialization, accessibility, and price parity of SAF. While Boom is designing Overture to accommodate 100% SAF, its focus goes beyond a sustainable product strategy and its own net zero commitments. The company is working to make sustainable aviation fuels the industry standard, while furthering the scale of SAF through efforts to fast-track future fuels, build strategic partnerships across the value chain, and lead efforts in advocacy.
Boom intends to serve as a bridge between SAF producers and suppliers to promote meaningful adoption of alternative fuels, participating in associations geared toward facilitating SAF advancement. These groups include the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI) and Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB).
In 2021, Boom became a member of the Sustainable Aviation Buyers Alliance (SABA) and joined the new ASTM International 100% SAF Task Force. The latter will oversee development and qualification efforts for increasing permitted blend ratios. Because Overture is not yet capable of directly testing fuel performance, current efforts are focused on deepening engagements as Overture matures. Accommodating 100% SAF is a top-level Overture requirement flowing down to suppliers.
Part 2: Community
In civil aviation, sustainability goes beyond climate and emissions. Boom is focused on several key areas to ensure community consideration remains at the forefront:
Community noise is a consideration for every aircraft that takes flight, supersonic or subsonic. Reducing noise is a key priority for Overture’s design. Boom is targeting current subsonic landing and takeoff noise certification levels through the use of noise-reducing innovations and advanced flight procedures.
The aviation, travel, and mobility sectors of today are at an inflection point—and an opportunity. The need to limit climate change is clear, urgent, and more important now than ever. Consequently, the global travel industry must go beyond isolated commitments and pledges to sustainability and respond in an ambitious, transformative, and collective call-to-action. In response, Boom founded the Sustainable Travel Forum in 2021. The Forum is an independent group with the mission of building the sustainable future of global travel through education, advocacy, and innovation.
Held on the heels of COP26, Boom convened the inaugural Net Good Summit in November 2021, bringing the founding members of the Forum together with other industry leaders, influential thinkers, and sustainability experts in Lake Tahoe under a unifying mission: to define and build the future of sustainable travel. This annual event included a diverse sampling of organizations from across the global travel spectrum— including academia, aircraft equipment manufacturers, airlines, arts organizations, climate consultancies, consumer brands, electric vehicle solutions, financial services, fuel suppliers, government agencies, renewable energy technologies, travel and sustainability nonprofits, travel management firms, and tourism boards.
Boom is passionate about building communities and workplaces to advance sustainability. Within its organizational efforts, the company is building programs that allow all employees to clean up neighborhoods, making a positive impact directly in the community. As Boom expands, it is bringing not only jobs and economic impact, but also prioritizing developing workplaces that enhance the region they're in, an ethos that is exemplified by its recent announcement of the Overture Superfactory in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Read the full report and learn more about Boom’s commitment to sustainability.