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United Airlines Flies Historic Passenger Flight Using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel

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United Airlines has become a game-changer in the aviation industry’s effort to combat climate change. In 2016, it was known as the world’s first airline to combine sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with traditional jet fuel in its regular operations. Continue reading to learn more about the historic United flight. 

After five years of investments and preparation, United is set to make history again. On December 1, 2021, a commercial carrier piloted an aircraft using 100% sustainable aviation fuel. At the same time, United announced the second round of corporate partners in the airline’s Eco-Skies Alliance Program to contribute to SAF investment. The growing list of partners contributed to United’s purchase of almost twice the size of the rest of the world’s airlines combined efforts on sustainable aviation fuel acquisitions.  

According to the company, the engine using sustainable aviation fuel emitted about 75% less carbon dioxide than a flight using traditional jet fuel.

More About United Airlines SAF Demo Flight 

The plane took off O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. It then landed in Reagan National Airport in Washington, DC, with over 100 passengers. United tweeted that “aviation history is cleared for take-off. Passengers of the historic flight included United CEO Scott Kirby, business leaders, government officials, members of the press, and NGOs. Also on board were executives from partner companies like Boeing and World Energy, which produces SAF.

In a company press release, CEO Kirby said that the airline continues to be at the forefront of climate change action in the aviation industry. 

“The SAF flight is not only an essential milestone for the effort to reduce carbon footprints in the industry but also demonstrates the scalable ways companies can participate in addressing the biggest challenge of our lifetime, ” says United CEO Scott Kirby. 

Image Source: United

The demo flight was on a new United Boeing 737 MAX 8. The commercial aircraft used 500 gallons of sustainable aviation fuel in one engine. Meanwhile, it used the same amount of conventional jet fuel in the other engine. The said process was to show no operational variances between the two powers. Similarly, it will pave the way for more scalable uses of SAF by all airlines in the future. Airlines now can only use up to 50% SAF on board. The amount of SAF used on December 1 United flight is drop-in ready and compatible with current aircraft fleets. 

United said that the plane flew 612 miles, and the engine using SAF emitted an estimated 75% less carbon dioxide than a flight using traditional jet fuel.

The Eco-Skies Alliance Program

Launched in April 2021, the Eco-Skies Alliance Program is an innovative program. It involves corporations working with the airline to promote sustainable aviation. This year alone, the program contributed to the purchase of over 7 million gallons of SAF. The group aims for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) on a lifecycle basis compared to traditional jet fuel. The available supply of SAF is already sufficient to eliminate about 66,000 metric tons of GHG emissions. It’s also enough to fly passengers at more than 460 million miles. 

Along with the newly announced participants, the Eco-Skies Alliance Program has almost 30 participants. This includes companies like Nike, HP Inc., and DHL. The new contributors include     American Family Insurance, Biogen, Bollore` Logistics, CWT, Maersk,  Meta, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, Salesforce, Visa, Yusen Logistics, and Zurich North America.

The SAF demonstration flight and new Eco-Skies supporters are among the latest accomplishments of United’s goal to be 100% green by 2050. In a further move to build transparency and enable certification on SAF emissions reduction, United collaborated with Microsoft, Air bp, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Aviation Biomaterials in the book-and-claim pilot.

Milestones: United’s Commitment Towards 100% Green

Here are some of the latest accomplishments of United in its efforts towards environmental sustainability:

2021

The company recently decided to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of SAF from Alder Fuels and invested in Fulcrum BioEnergy. They can acquire up to 900 million gallons of additional SAF.

In July 2021, United Aviate Ventures (UAV) revealed that Breakthrough Energy Venture and Mesa Airlines had invested in electric aircraft startup Heart Aerospace. 

Also in July 2021, Air Transport World magazine acknowledged United as Eco-Airline of the Year for the third time. 

In June 2021, United bared plans to purchase 15 of Boom Supersonic “Overture” airliners. There’s an estimate that it will carry passengers in 2029. It’s the net-zero aircrafts that will be flying on 100% sustainable aviation fuel. 

In February 2021, United released an agreement to partner with Archer Aviation to fast-track the development and production of electric aircraft. It is considered an urban mobility solution. It can also serve as an air taxi, providing United Airlines customers to reduce their carbon footprint even before boarding a United flight. 

2020

United became the first airline to demonstrate commitment to investing in direct air capture, carbon capture, and sequestration technology. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) has chosen United as the only airline in its 2020 Climate’s A-List in the same period. The airline received recognition for its commitment to reduce GHG emissions, combat climate change and develop a low-carbon economy. It is already the seventh consecutive year that United achieved the highest CDP score among US airlines.

2019

United introduced the “Flight for the Planet”. This represented the most-eco-friendly commercial flight of its category in the history of commercial aviation.

2018

United became the first airline in the US to target GHG emissions reduction by 50% by the year 2050. United’s 100% green commitment has since surpassed this goal.

2016

United became the first airline across the globe to utilize sustainable aviation fuel in regular operations. 

The success of sustainable aviation fuel-powered flight and the continued support of global corporations working with United is a great opportunity to reduce the industry’s environmental impact. To learn more about their initiatives, visit the Eco-Skies Alliance Program website. 

For other stories, read more here at Owner’s Mag!

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Business

Adobe Drops Pantone Colors From Creative Cloud

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Print and pre-press professionals were worried about the information gap regarding Adobe’s decision to remove the Pantone color system from the upcoming versions of its Creative Cloud products. 

In November, Adobe released a technical bulletin about the changes to the Pantone Color Libraries. The company stated that: In March 2022, the Pantone Color Libraries pre-loaded in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign Color, and Adobe Captured will be deleted from future software updates. While Adobe drops Pantone, they said they are working on an alternative solution for the affected products. With that said, Adobe encourages its users to stay tuned for updates. 

Still, the news has caused dismay among influential users of Adobe in print and graphic arts.

Color management whiz Paul Sherfield, the founder, and owner of The Missing Horse consultancy, told Printweek that they have been talking to their customers about Adobe’s decision. For him, it is a disappointing example of big firms in the graphic arts supply chain not supporting the industry itself. He noted that there’s a need to pay for a subscription to download the latest library. Printers can afford that, but the thing is, how many graphic designers and publishers will. 

Adobe and Pantone’s Comments

Pantone official Marcie Foster responded and said Adobe and Pantone have been and will continue to be long-standing business partners. 

But, the current implementation of the Pantone color system with Adobe’s Creative Cloud products is outdated, with many missing colors and inaccurate information. The two companies have decided to remove the obsolete libraries and continue to work together on better in-app features. 

Similarly, Pantone will continue to explore new collaborations with other companies. It’s to ensure that Pantone users can easily access the latest color libraries depending on the design application they are using. 

Danaher owns Pantone, which also runs Esko, X-rite, Videojet, and Linx.

On the other hand, Adobe had not commented at the time of writing. 

Industry Reactions

From Simon Eccles, Printweek

As a long-time user of Adobe products, Simon Eccles said Pantone libraries were always an essential element of their usability for print across the whole industry, especially labels and packaging. 

Mr. Eccles expressed that the “Adobe drops Pantone” announcement is quite disrespectful to many designers and printers who dutifully pay Adobe’s subscription fees regularly.

Mr. Eccles wonders if Adobe consults any users before arriving at such a decision. 

From Bill Greenwood, high-end image manipulation and retouching specialist

Bill Greenwood told Printweek that Pantone creates an Adobe Extension known as Pantone Connect, allowing users to access the Pantone libraries. I hope that Adobe integrates the Pantone Connect extension automatically. Otherwise, users can download it from another site (exchange.adobe.com).

The software mainly operates on a rental basis, and Adobe minus the Pantone libraries in its suite is an exciting development. Sadly, the changes will force them to register for the Pantone monthly subscription plan.

If Pantone wants to retain its customers, it must offer more standard vital features accessible to designers and other users. Smaller companies and designers will choose not to pay a monthly subscription. After all, Pantone is just a guide – there are many different ways to specify color. Users may decide to select RGB values or HTML Hex color codes or just CMYK print color values in exchange for Pantone colors. 

Mr. Greenwood concluded that people might start to move away from Pantone if the cost is not worth it.

Simon Gambling, Zebra managing director

It would be somewhat scary and hard to imagine when Adobe drops Pantone. Also, it would be challenging for them to prove that an alternative solution to Pantone removal will be a hassle-free transition. Users could only await further updates from Adobe to be sure.

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Sony Stocks Plummet After Microsoft-Activision Deal

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Sony shares fell by more than after a Microsoft-Activision deal was announced. 

There is no doubt that this deal weakens Sony’s position in the market.

“Whether or not Activison Blizzard’s content is progressively made exclusive to Xbox platforms and services, inclusion of new releases into Xbox Game Pass for several major games franchises, including Call of Duty, will undermine Sony’s third-party business.” 

Piers Harding-Rolls, games research director at Ampere Analysis, explains the situation. 

Sony has benefitted from the ability to negotiate timed exclusive content for Call of Duty but this is now under threat.” 

Shots fired in the never-ending console war. 

Did The Market Overreact?

Serkan Toto, CEO of Kantan Games, thinks so:

I think the market has totally overreacted in Japan today.

See?

Sony will continue to push out blockbusters, there can be no doubt about that.

Those PlayStation exclusives are pretty sweet. Spider-Man, The Last Of Us, Ghost of Tsushima? Come on now. 

Sony can, of course, fight back: they still have their own top in-house studios spread around the world, PlayStation remains a powerful brand in gaming, and acquisitions are in the cards for Sony as well.” 

PlayStation isn’t going down without a fight. 

The Console Wars Continue

For some time, Sony has been ahead of Microsoft. But the $68.7 billion Microsoft-Activision deal raises the stakes the highest they’ve been since the Black Friday Battle of 2013. Franchises like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft could become exclusive. 

How will Sony respond? We shall see what happens next in the seemingly never-ending console wars.

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Silicon Valley Blue-Collar Workers Hope To Return To Their Posts

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While big tech companies are delaying return to offices, Silicon Valley Blue-Collar workers anticipate full return in the coming months. 

Despite the economic disruption experienced due to the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses tried their best to ensure business continuity. Big tech companies were the first to allow their white-collar employees to work from home when the pandemic hit. However, not everyone can work remotely, like in the case of service workers.

Madeleine Rivera, 33, is a contractual food service worker at Google’s campus. Rivera is holding on to the slightest signs that workers will return to the company in the future. Recently, she handed out free peach ice pops to Google employees who have returned to work already. She’s trying not to overthink about the rising COVID cases in the country. According to her, being optimistic and happy matters. 

As the Delta variant enters a new troubling phase, more tech companies like Lyft and Facebook delay re-opening their workplaces early next year. Because of this, the companies’ contracted cafeteria workers, cleaners, and shuttle drivers are becoming more anxious. 

Most Silicon Valley blue-collar workers are not sure whether the Delta variant will delay their returns even longer or, worse, risk their jobs entirely if in-office work becomes less significant than it was before. As many white-collar employees have settled into work from home, blue-collar workers are struggling even more because of the unpredictable situation. 

“My kids don’t want me to go back to work, but I said I have to do it,” said Liliana Morales, 37, a food service staff at Facebook. Morales recently returned to work after having been on paid vacation since the pandemic started. Everyone needs to go back to their everyday routines, and it has been months that she has been out of work, Morales said.

Image Credit: SIPA USA via AP

Country-wide Concerns

While some Silicon Valley blue-collar workers are in better condition, they still have the same concerns as many fellow workers across the country. UCLA Labor Center director, Kent Wong, co-authored a book about the late Mike Garcia, a janitorial labor organizer who led strikes at Oracle and Apple. Wong said that because Morales and Rivera are members of a labor union, they are likely to be doing better than their non-union member counterparts. 

Previously, on a website Amazon created this year to convince workers in Alabama to vote against unionization, the company announced that they provided them with excellent hourly rates, attractive healthcare benefits, and career advancement. There is so much more than the workers can do with their career and family without paying premiums, Amazon said. 

But Wong said all blue-collar workers face problems, whether or not they have union membership. The bottom line is, they are still very vulnerable. 

Image Credit: SIPA USA via AP

Looking Ahead

In interviews, Silicon Valley blue-collar workers said that big tech companies primarily supported them throughout the pandemic. Others said the companies tried to find them other jobs when their original work was gone. Take, for example, the experience of Rivera, a former kitchen staff across Google’s campus in Mountain View, California. She was temporarily assigned to work as a receptionist in almost empty office buildings.

Some companies like Google are already starting to upgrade their headquarters. It’s to return to a sense of normalcy in Santa Clara County, the geographic heart of Silicon Valley.

Facebook is starting to recall their contractors. On the other hand, drivers are being asked to do training and practice driving empty buses, said Stacy Murphy, the representative for Teamsters Local 853 – the union of some Silicon Valley bus and shuttle drivers. 

Morales said that whatever her company orders, they will abide by it. If they say return to work, they will return to work.

Murphy believed that it had been a mixed bag for Silicon Valley firms needing shuttle drivers. Facebook continues to let its drivers make practice trips. While, Netflix and Amazon have been back to 100% capacity since June 2021. Tesla even expanded their service during the pandemic. On the contrary, Apple, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Salesforce never returned. 

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