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The article was published in Inflight Magazine May / June 2022

Reliable figures based on a scientific study at last: the ecological footprint of beverage catering has now been measured for the first time.
The aviation industry’s voluntary commitments to climate and environmental protection make it necessary to find innovative solutions to significantly improve the ecological footprint of flying.

Thus far, the focus has been on rather long-term projects, such as more efficient aircraft, electrical power or CO2-free fuels. All of these solutions still need years, if not decades, before scaleable market-readiness. Is it possible to make a significant contribution to greater sustainability in aviation today?

Wolfgang von Krogh, the CEO of SkyTender Solutions, has always been certain about this.
“Onboard post-mix based beverage solutions which use locally sourced tap water dramatically reduce waste and CO2 emissions compared to incumbent beverage services based on plastic bottles and cans,” he says.

While this seems logical, there was a lack of reliable comparative figures – until now.

A recent scientific study by the UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change aims to provide some reliable comparative figures for in-flight cold beverages for the first time.

Study participant SkyTender Solutions AG plans to share the findings at the WTCE in Hamburg. The company could not share full facts or figures at the time of writing as the study is in the final stage of being reviewed by an independent panel.

50% lower carbon footprint

Preliminary findings reveal that the company’s mobile beverage system has a carbon footprint that is 50% lower compared to other current solutions.

In addition, SkyTender says this will be the first time in the history of commercial aviation that reliable figures have been made available on the impact of beverage catering on the environment.

The full life cycle of all “material and energy contributions to environmental impact” was examined. Figures on waste generation, energy consumption and consumption of non-renewable resources were collected for the first time, and the CO2 footprint, acidification potential and eutrophication potential were analysed.

Optimizing the supply chain

SkyTender sees the results as a confirmation of its idea that beverage systems can be developed that are both sustainable and commercially successful for airlines and caterers.

Wolfgang von Krogh notes: “In joint workshops with some of the largest airlines worldwide, we have jointly determined that the use of the SkyTender System is not only self-financing but also generates a significant ROI next to contributing a large portion to the airlines’ ESG goals.”

The SkyTender system relies on trolleys with integrated post-mix technology. To better deploy resources, SkyTender also provides full connectivity: all consumption data can be analysed to optimise the supply chain and provide detailed insights into the ecological footprint.
With SkyTender SPLASH, the company is driving the launch of its multi-beverage offering with leading traditional airlines to introduce a comprehensive solution for a more efficient and sustainable offering of soft drinks from leading brands from 2023.

Later this year, SkyTender will roll out its SkyBarista ONE coffee system to leading airline caterers and airlines. This will make it possible for the first time to prepare and serve coffee specialties such as espresso, cappuccino or flat white directly at the seat.
Initial tests show that both passengers and flying personnel are enthusiastic about the new solution.