Shell's Plan To Achieve Carbon Neutrality

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March 3, 2021—With the general public’s growing expectations and demands for environmental responsibility, corporations around the globe have responded by making carbon neutral pledges. Auto manufacturers are laying out timelines to move to an all-electric fleet and oil companies, like Shell, are trying to cut down its carbon emissions. 

In February, Shell announced its plans to become carbon neutral by 2050. But what steps does it need to take to get there?

National Oil and Lube News discussed the company’s plan with Machteld de Haan, the CEO of Pennzoil-Quaker State Company and vice president of Shell Lubricants Americas. 

“We know there’s going to be more demand for energy going forward but it has to be cleaner energy. Customers are increasingly expecting brands to offer more sustainable products and services,” de Haan said. 

The process of achieving carbon neutrality within the company’s operations and productions will involve three parts: avoiding, reducing and offsetting emissions, de Haan said. 

It will also come in educating the end-user, which accounts for a majority of the current emissions. 


The first step is finding any and all ways to avoid unnecessary emissions. For Shell’s lubricants, this has primarily come in the packaging of its oils and other products, increasing the percentage of post-consumer resin (PCR) in its plastic bottles. 

The company has also explored alternatives to traditional plastic packaging, including eco-boxes that have cut down plastic usage by 80 percent and as a result reduced the amount of CO2 in its packaging by 60 percent. 

The company has also tried to supply in bulk , which requires much less packaging, and use refined based oils and biodegradable products whenever possible. 


The reduction of emissions have come in many simple ways, such as establishing LED lights in its buildings and using electricity from renewable power sources like solar panels. Shell manufacturing plants also have energy consumption monitors to make sure everything is being optimized. That’s allowed the company to save roughly 20,000 tons of carbon dioxide. 

It’s also come in the transport sector as they’ve tried to optimize travel and stay as efficient as possible.

“We know the transport sector is hard to decarbonize. But by being smarter in the logistics, we have already reduced about 10 percent of CO2 in that area compared to 2018,” de Haan said. 


Despite the company’s best efforts, there will still be emissions it cannot avoid or reduce, de Haan said. To counteract this, Shell has and will continue to create carbon-credits by protecting or redeveloping areas such as forests and wetlands, which absorb carbon dioxide. These carbon credits will then offset the carbon emissions that the company is still producing. 


What does this mean for quick lubes?

The company has already announced that several existing products within the Pennzoil Platinum line of full synthetic motor oils, Shell Rotella T6 Full Synthetic, and Shell Rotella T5 Synthetic Blend engine oils are now carbon neutral. 

Shell deliberately picked its products that are most efficient to become carbon neutral, further incentivizing quick lubes and consumers to purchase it. 

“We want to make sure that we encourage and educate not just the quick lubes, but their customers about what are the more efficient products to use and make sure that we help them to select those lubricants that help to reduce emissions in everyday use,” de Haan said. 

With a global portfolio of carbon neutral products, de Haan estimates they’ll eliminate 700,00 tons of carbon dioxide that would’ve been emitted without any changes. 

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