Boeing Cascade Climate Model: Advancing Sustainable Aviation

Posted on May 22 2023 - 7:42am by Matt Holtzen
Boeing Cascade Climate Model

Boeing has taken a significant step towards achieving net zero carbon emissions in the commercial aviation industry by unveiling the Boeing Cascade Climate Impact Model. This data modeling tool is designed to analyze and quantify the effects of various sustainability solutions aimed at reducing carbon emissions in aviation. As part of Boeing’s commitment to a sustainable aerospace future, the tool is accessible to the public through their new Sustainable Aerospace Together hub.

The Cascade Climate Impact Model considers the complete life cycle of alternative energy sources for aviation, including production, distribution, and usage. By doing so, it provides insights into the potential of different solutions to cut carbon emissions in aviation. The model evaluates the impact of airplane fleet renewal, operational efficiency improvements, the use of renewable energy sources, and market-based measures as pathways towards decarbonization.

Chris Raymond, Boeing’s Chief Sustainability Officer, highlights that Cascade was developed as an industry tool to foster collaboration among aviation, energy, finance, and policy sectors. By prioritizing data and sharing the model with the public, Boeing aims to enable cooperation, feedback, and alignment among all stakeholders involved in achieving a more sustainable future for aerospace.

Key findings from the Cascade assessments emphasize the importance of minimizing energy and emissions associated with the production, distribution, and storage of fuels for achieving net zero carbon emissions. Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is expected to play a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions, as it can be used in both new and existing commercial airplanes. While electric- and hydrogen-powered aircraft are anticipated in the future, their contribution to emissions reduction is likely to be limited until 2050 due to infrastructure requirements.

The introduction of Cascade took place during Boeing’s inaugural Sustainable Aerospace Together Forum, where leaders from commercial aviation, government, and the energy and finance sectors gathered. In addition, Boeing established the Cascade User Community, a working group comprising key organizations such as IATA, NASA, the University of Cambridge’s Aviation Impact Accelerator, and MIT Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment. This community will provide feedback to ensure the continuous development and improvement of the tool.

Boeing recognizes the crucial role of the Cascade User Community in refining the tool and its data sources. By engaging industry experts, researchers, and policymakers, Boeing aims to enhance the effectiveness and accuracy of Cascade, enabling more informed discussions on achieving net zero emissions.

The release of the Cascade Climate Impact Model and the establishment of the Cascade User Community demonstrate Boeing’s commitment to sustainable aviation. By providing access to this data-driven tool and promoting collaboration, Boeing is actively addressing the environmental impact of aviation and working towards a more sustainable future for the industry. The Cascade Climate Impact Model will guide decision-making processes, providing valuable insights into effective pathways for decarbonization. With the engagement of the Cascade User Community and continuous refinement of the tool, the aviation sector is taking proactive steps towards a more sustainable future.