Finnair has carried out its first flight using a biofuel blend supported by its new carbon decreasing initiative.

The Finnish flag carrier used a 12 per cent biofuel mix to fly from San Francisco to Helsinki on August 5, and will perform another flight today. Use of the fuel will reduce CO2 emissions for the two flights by around 32 tonnes, according to Finnair.

The sustainable fuel was produced from used cooking oil in California.

Finnair partnered with two biofuel providers – US-based World Energy and Netherlands-based SkyNRG. Logistics were provided by Shell Aviation.

The airline launched its “Push For Change” initiative this year, which sees customers able to contribute towards the cost of biofuels when buying a ticket.

Finnair customers are also able to support a CO2 emission reduction project by making offset payments of €1 for a return flight within Finland, €2 for a return flight within Europe, and €6 for a return intercontinental flight.

Projects are funded through the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation, and the charges are based on the average emissions and costs of reducing a CO2 tonne within a project.

Many airlines are looking at ways to reduce their environmental impact amid growing public concern over the effects of aviation.

United recently performed a short-haul “eco-flight” using a 30/70 blend of sustainable jet fuel made from agricultural waste. The flight was also free of single-use plastics and saw pilots use methods of reducing fuel burn.

United has committed to buying 38 million litres of biofuel from World Energy over the next two years, which KLM says it will purchase 75,000 tonnes per year for ten years from SkyNRG, starting in 2022.

The sustainable jet fuel industry is currently being limited by production issues, a lack of concrete demand, and the cost to airlines, which is around three times that of petroleum-based fuels.

Some have raised concerns that too big an increase in production could lead to new problems, such as land grabs of areas used for agriculture by big corporations.

Read more in our recent feature:

Sustainable aviation: Fuelling change

Here you can read more about Finnair’s Push For Change initiative.