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Sustainable Aviation Fuels Certification with ISCC

CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation)

ISCC supports the CORSIA approach with its well-experienced certification system and is prepared to contribute to a successful deployment of sustainable aviation fuels.


CORSIA, the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, is an emission mitigation instrument to address the increase in total CO2 emissions from aviation. It has been developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and is the first Global Market Based Measures (MBM) scheme for an industry sector.

ICAO Member States have set ambitious targets to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions from air transportation, including carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and a 50% reduction of net aviation carbon emissions by 2050. 81 states (including all EU Member States), representing around 80% of international aviation, intend to participate in CORSIA. Hence, the majority of airlines will be affected by the emission mitigation scheme.

The Council of ICAO establishes and maintains international Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) that build a core aspect of ICAO’s mission and role and which are published in the form of Annexes. The first edition of Annex 16, Vol. IV, Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) has been adopted by the Council of ICAO on 27 June 2018 and became effective on 22 October 2018. Among other things, the Annex outlines CO2 offsetting requirements from international flights and the calculation of emissions reductions from the use of CORSIA eligible fuels.



Sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) have the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions substantially. Compared to other measures like operational improvements or more eco-friendly aircraft technologies, SAF play a much greater role in reducing international aviation emissions (see figure 2). Hence, the large-scale deployment of SAF is highly important to reach CORSIA’s ambitious targets.



In addition, lower carbon aviation fuels (LCAF) may allow the production of fossil fuels with a lower carbon footprint, such as carbon capture, utilization and storage and the use of renewable energy in oil refineries.

For both technologies, it is essential to verify compliance with voluntary or mandatory sustainability criteria. CORSIA SAF and CORSIA LCAF are defined in Annex 16, Vol IV (ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices) as CORSIA eligible fuels that meet CORSIA’s sustainability criteria (see figure 3) and may be used by an operator to reduce offsetting requirements.



CORSIA eligible fuels should generate lower carbon emissions on a life cycle basis and not be made from biomass obtained from land with high carbon stock. Further sustainability criteria are being discussed at ICAO, such as:

  • Water, soil and air
  • Conservation
  • Waste and chemicals
  • Human and labour rights
  • Land use rights and land use
  • Water use rights
  • Local and social development
  • Food security

Please click here to find the ICAO Documents on CORSIA eligible fuels.

ISCC does not only meet current requirements for CORSIA eligible fuels, but also fulfils many additional sustainability criteria (examples):

  • Environmentally responsible cultivation, protection of soil, water and air
  • Application of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)
  • Safe working conditions, e.g. adequate training to minimize health and safety risks
  • Protection of human, labour and land rights, e.g. fair contracts and farming arrangements


ISCC CORSIA Certification System

ISCC applies for recognition with its newly developed ISCC CORSIA Certification System that can verify CORSIA’s required sustainability criteria. ISCC will be able to implement new requirements as required by ICAO promptly and to publish regular updates.

System specific certificates are issued in the ISCC CORSIA program. You can find a template here:
Download ISCC CORSIA Certificate Template

In addition, we developed ISCC CORSIA System Documents that are adapted specifically to the requirements of CORSIA eligible fuels.

As soon as ISCC CORSIA has been recognised by ICAO, specific web-based ISCC CORSIA trainings will be offered. The participation will be a precondition for auditors before conducting ISCC CORSIA audits. In addition, the participation is highly recommended for System Users who would like to become familiar with the ISCC CORSIA system.

If you have any questions regarding the ISCC CORSIA Certification System or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact the ISCC CORSIA team at corsia(at)iscc-system.org.

ISCC CORSIA System Document 102: Governance

The document lays down the general principles according to which the ISCC systems are governed globally. It specifies the goals and internal structure of ISCC, as well as the relationship between ISCC and its stakeholders.

ISCC CORSIA System Document 103: Requirements for Certification Bodies and Auditors

The document specifies the requirements for certification bodies to become recognised by ISCC and requirements and necessary qualifications of auditors conducting ISCC CORSIA audits.

ISCC CORSIA System Document 201: System Basics

Describing the ISCC CORSIA Certification System, the document outlines the certification criteria (sustainability requirements, traceability and life cycle emissions), relevant participants in the certification system and the registration and certification procedure.

ISCC CORSIA System Document 201-1: Waste, Residues, By-products

The document provides the principles for the certification of raw materials and feedstocks qualifying as waste, residues and by-products, their supply chains and specific certification requirements that may differ from crop-based biomass.

ISCC CORSIA System Document 202: Sustainability Requirements

The document explains the sustainability requirements that are valid for farms or plantations in the ISCC CORSIA System. The sustainability requirements are divided into six principles:

  • Principle 1: Protection of land with high biodiversity value or high carbon stock
  • Principle 2: Environmentally responsible production to protect soil, water and air
  • Principle 3: Safe working conditions
  • Principle 4: Compliance with human, labour and land rights
  • Principle 5: Compliance with laws and international treaties
  • Principle 6: Good management practices and continuous improvement

ISCC CORSIA System Document 203: Traceability and Chain of Custody

This document describes the requirements for traceability and chain of custody applicable to all elements of an ISCC CORSIA supply chain handling sustainable material.

ISCC CORSIA System Document 204: Audit Requirements and Risk Management

How to conduct ISCC CORSIA audits: the document describes requirements, the risk management process according to ISCC CORSIA and implications of risks for ISCC CORSIA audits.

ISCC CORSIA System Document 205: Life Cycle Emissions

The intention of the document “Life Cycle Emissions” is to provide the methodology, rules and guidelines for calculating, reporting and verifying emissions reductions. The methodology described here is based on the ICAO Document “CORSIA Methodology for Calculating Actual Life Cycle Emissions Values” (2019).

ISCC CORSIA System Document 206: Group Certification

This document specifies requirements for the certification of groups, including the principles for sampling. The requirements laid down in this document apply on a global basis.