LanzaJet is gaining more altitude as it joins the ranks of some of the biggest names in business. The company, which produces sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), has been named to the Time100 Most Influential Companies List – an honour highlighting companies making a significant impact around the world. This year’s selection also includes Nvidia, Stanley, Dyson and Google.

Suncor helped LanzaJet take flight as a founding investor with $15 million in funding for its proprietary alcohol-to-jet SAF technology and Freedom Pines SAF commercial demonstration facility. Japan-based Mitsui & Co. and LanzaTech were also early investors, with British Airways, Shell and Breakthrough Energy following soon after.

“Back in 2020, LanzaJet had the vision to commercialize and scale up sustainable aviation fuel. We believed enough in the potential of this technology to become a founding investor,” said Mark Townley, Senior Vice President, Supply, Trading and Optimization, Downstream at Suncor. “It’s great to see LanzaJet being recognized for the critical role they play in providing customers with a product that they want.”

LanzaJet’s ethanol-to-sustainable aviation production facility is the first of its kind. It produces sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) – helping the airline sector to reduce its carbon footprint and accelerating the clean energy transition.

“LanzaJet’s inclusion in the TIME100 Most Influential Companies list is a testament to the dedication and ingenuity of our entire team to enable a transition to a net-zero future,” said Jimmy Samartzis, Chief Executive Officer of LanzaJet. “This recognition affirms our commitment to building a new fuels industry for aviation through leading edge technology and the production of low-carbon, sustainable fuels.”

LanzaJet opened the doors on its SAF facility in January. It is expected to be operational by the middle of this year. Once that happens, the plant aims to produce 10 million gallons of SAF and renewable diesel annually — a technology that has the potential to cut the airline industry’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than half.

“What we liked about LanzaJet is it is taking raw material that is in plentiful supply and it’s put through a more sophisticated process to create a SAF — one that you could build out to scale over time and have a big impact on the jet fuel market,” said Mark.

Mark points to the St. Clair Ethanol plant, which opened in 2006, as another example of Suncor’s long-term efforts in the renewable space and says we continue to do exploratory work — and make exploratory investments — in area such as hydrogen and other initiatives under the Pathways Alliance.

“We believe these are good investment opportunities in their own right and we want to put ourselves in a position that we can take advantage of them as they arise,” said Mark. “The energy transition will affect our business, so we want to learn about it and be part of it because we take net zero seriously.”

Mark adds LanzaJet is a project that is not a ‘one off’ investment, but rather part of a process of how to understand how to best participate in the energy transition and renewable fuels.

LanzaJet’s inclusion on the Time100 Most Influential Companies list is no small feat. The list is compiled of businesses across all sectors globally. A team of contributors and outside experts comb through the biggest movers and shakers of the year. To make the ranking, companies must be influential - showing impact, innovation, ambition, and success in their field – and exemplify what success looks like in 2024.