Ryanair has pledged to commit to using sustainable aviation fuels as it announced it has joined the Fuelling Flight Initiative.

This initiative provides recommendations on the sustainability aspects of the EU’s policy to support sustainable aviation fuels and has the ultimate goal of a transition to carbon-neutral flying.

Other airlines are already members, along with environmental groups and research organisations.

Ryanair’s director of sustainability, Tom Fowler, said: “Sustainable aviation fuels are a key component of airlines’ efforts on the road to carbon-neutrality.

“A transparent and future-proof regulatory framework for SAFs can support and equip airlines in their fight against climate change, and we are proud to be part of this initiative.”

He said Ryanair’s environmental record “speaks for itself” and pointed to investment in modern aircraft, committing to removing non-recyclable plastics within five years and taking donations from passengers to cover carbon offsetting projects.

“With this new initiative, we take a further step to the achievement of our decarbonisation targets and the broader UN Sustainable Development Goals,” added Fowler.

Pete Harrison, executive director of EU climate policy of the European Climate Foundation said the foundation was “delighted” Ryanair has joined this initiative.

“Europe must ensure that future policies only promote the most sustainable fuels for reducing the climate impact of aviation, and the EU needs to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past,” he said.

“The current Renewable Energy Directive does not ensure that fuels used in Europe meet the sustainability standards desired by civil society nor of leading airlines.

“In the Fuelling Flight Initiative, aviation companies, research organisations and environmental groups have now reached agreement on this important topic, and we propose shared guidelines on how to minimise environmental impacts.

“Policymakers should take this into consideration when defining a policy framework that is fair, affordable and meets the highest sustainability standards without compromise.”