Our strategy has three interconnected pillars:
1. Decarbonising our operations: We will eliminate emissions from our own operations (scope 1 & 2) by 2030*. Some facilities will achieve this target sooner, such as our production site at Bristol, UK, which is set to be the first Rolls-Royce facility to achieve net zero carbon status, in 2022.
2. Decarbonising complex, critical systems by enabling our products to be used in a way that is compatible with net zero and pioneering new breakthrough technologies that can accelerate the global transition to net zero. A wholesale transformation of the systems that make up the backbone of our global economy is required to achieve net zero and we can help accelerate that transition firstly by further advancing the efficiency of our engine portfolio through next generation technologies, to improve the economics of sustainable fuels; and secondly by introducing new low or zero emission products, including fuel cells, microgrids, hybrid-electric and all-electric technologies. To help accelerate the take-up of SAFs, we will make all our civil aero-engines in production compatible with 100% SAF, through testing, by 2023. This means two thirds** of our current fleet of Trent large jet engines and three fifths of our business jet engines will be SAF-ready within three years and aligns with the UN Race to Zero breakthrough goal of 10% of all the fuel used in aviation being SAF by 2030. The current generation of SAFs reduce lifecycle carbon emissions by up 70% but this is assumed to increase to 100% as production pathways for synthetically derived fuels mature. We will work with our customers in the armed forces to achieve the same goal for the Rolls-Royce engines they use and, as the use of SAFs increases, we will ensure that our future combat systems are compatible with net zero carbon. By 2023, we also intend to certify for use with sustainable fuels, the new generation of our mtu Series 2000 and Series 4000 engines. These represent the majority of the reciprocating engines we manufacture and are used across a range of applications from power generation to rail and shipping. Achieving all our 2023 targets now forms part of our executive remuneration policy.
3. Actively advocating for the necessary enabling environment and policy support to achieve this ambition.
Among our technological innovations:
- In all-electric aviation, we are moving from demonstrators to commercial deals, such as with the UK’s Vertical Aerospace in the urban air mobility market, and with Italian airframer Tecnam and Norwegian airline Wideroe in the all-electric commuter aircraft. We are also currently testing the most powerful hybrid-electric propulsion system in aerospace and continuing to progress with our UltraFan aero engine, which will be 25% more efficient than the first generation Trent engines and improve the economics of SAFs. We are already exploring the use of SAFs in defence applications, including as part of our involvement in the Tempest programme in the UK.
- We are advancing and selling microgrids, complete with our own battery storage solutions, to help expand the use of renewable energy across remote communities and our energy-intensive digital economy. We are also exploring additional functionality through the introduction of fuel cells to provide clean power for industrial vehicles and processes.
- We are testing hydrogen fuel cell modules at our Power Systems facility in Germany and plan to have integrated 2MW of hydrogen fuel cells into operational microgrid demonstrators by 2023.
- Our SMR consortium is set to make a significant contribution to net zero through its innovative approach to power generation, providing a generational change in the cost of nuclear energy. At 470MW, each SMR could help decarbonise a city of a million homes. With UK Government assistance and third party investment, the programme is now entering a new phase leading to design approval and power on the grid at the end of the decade.
Pioneering sustainable, net zero power sits at the heart of our strategy, future innovation and growth agenda. Our decarbonisation strategy will ensure that Rolls-Royce is not only compatible with, but actively enabling, a net zero future.
For an executive summary of our net zero report visit https://www.rolls-royce.com/~/media/Files/R/Rolls-Royce/documents/others/rr-net-zero-exec-summary.pdf, and for the full pathway including the steps we are taking to lead the transition to net zero carbon visit https://www.rolls-royce.com/~/media/Files/R/Rolls-Royce/documents/others/rr-net-zero-full-report.pdf. We are committed to playing our part in the global journey to net zero. Undoubtedly, the very nature of this transition will mean that there may be general and sector specific circumstances which will influence the output from our roadmap. These are set out on page 32 of the full report. We also recognise that we must be prepared and able to adjust our decarbonisation ambitions in the context of the changing landscape.
*Our current scope 1 & 2 target excludes product testing and development. Currently, only a 50% blend with traditional fuels is approved for use in commercial aviation. We are playing an active role in advocating for this to rise to 100%. As an interim measure we are committing to 10% of the fuel we use in testing and development activities being SAF by 2023.
**Based on in-service fleet as of end December 2019; Based on the in-service fleet as of end December 2020, over 80% of our Trent engine fleet would be SAF-ready by 2023, but usage in 2020 was obviously impacted by the pandemic.