Shell provides approximately five billion litres of finished lubricants annually to customers across the world. From aviation to power generation, marine to mining, both consumer and commercial automotive industries, these lubricants help to keep the world moving by ensuring machinery can operate consistently and efficiently at the peak of its performance.

But behind this performance, there is an ongoing need to balance increased operational output with reduced environmental impact. And as demands evolve, expectations change too. Customers and consumers alike now expect brands to offer sustainable solutions that make it easier for them to make sustainable choices.

Carbon Neutral1 Lubricants by Shell

We know our customers are increasingly in need of more sustainable solutions. So, to meet this growing industry demand, Shell is exploring a range of initiatives that seek to avoid, reduce and offset emissions while helping consumers and customers to find solutions that benefit both their operational and sustainability goals.

The latest step in this journey is the launch of our extended range of carbon neutral lubricants1. As well as helping to avoid or reduce emissions through more sustainable packaging material choices and increased operational efficiencies, these products are now carbon neutral thanks to Shell’s global portfolio of nature-based carbon credits.

They span a number of sectors, including:

  • Premium passenger car motor oil
  • Heavy duty diesel engine oil
  • Industrial portfolios

The initiative is the largest and most significant carbon neutral programme in the lubricants industry today, aiming to offset the CO2e3 emissions of more than 200 million litres of high-quality lubricants.4

For Europe, this includes compensating for over 60 million litres, of advanced synthetic lubricants, the equivalent of taking 130,000 cars of the road and aiming to compensate for around 280,000 tonnes of CO2e per year4.

This represents a key milestone in our ongoing commitment to deliver on two key, strategic initiatives:

1. Reducing the CO2e intensity of our products

This is achieved through:

  • Avoiding emissions by:

    • Embedding circular economy thinking at the heart of our business

      Shell will use more recycled content in our plastic bottles and in Europe, we are working on plans to prove the feasibility of using recycled resin in our bottles. We have reduced our packaging carbon footprint by 4% compared to 2016, aiming to embed a minimum of 40 per cent Post Consumer Resin in our entire bottle portfolio by 2021. We are also moving some of our larger plastic packaging, for example pails, to contain recycled resin.

    • Designing products with reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) and less packaging

      We are exploring different packaging concepts that are more sustainable (i.e. different materials or different supply chain models). For example, Shell’s Ecobox is an alternative to traditional plastic packaging for motor oil for light-duty vehicles, which can reduce plastic usage in the packaging by more than 80% and CO2e emissions by more than 60%5.

    • Improving the energy efficiency of our facilities

      We have reduced the carbon intensity of our lubricants manufacturing operations by over 30% since 2016.6
      Energy monitoring systems (EMS) and LED lighting have been installed at all our facilities which allow us to improve the energy efficiency of our sites. For example, the EMS pilot at the Tianjin plant helped to achieve an 8.5% reduction in electricity use between 2017 to 2018.
  • Increasing our use of renewable energy

    Over 50% of electricity used in our Shell Lubricant Blending Plants now comes from renewable sources, including renewable electricity contracts and we plan to increase this amount through expansion of solar installations in the rest of our Shell facilities. Combined, these panels generate more than 7,500 MWh of electricity annually, and can result in the avoidance of GHG emissions of approximately 4,500 tonnes on a CO2e basis per year.

  • Reducing the CO2e emissions of our supply chain

    Shell has implemented LNG trucks in its fleet, which has a lower CO2e impact than traditional trucks. In addition, we have optimised our transport routes and introduced intermodal routes which has resulted in the avoidance of about 4,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per year.
  • Offsetting emissions by

    • Compensating for CO2e emissions from the life cycle of our products Life cycle of lubricants covers: the raw material extraction, transport, production, distribution, usage and end-of-life.
    • Using globally diverse, externally verified, and high-quality, nature-based carbon credits.
    • Each carbon credit represents the avoidance or removal of GHG equivalent to one tonne of CO2e.

Protecting and restoring natural ecosystems.

Shell Lubricants support internationally accredited, carbon offsetting projects such as the Katingan Mentaya project in Indonesia or the Qinghai Afforestation Project in China. They naturally remove CO2 from the atmosphere every year while also improving biodiversity, protecting endangered species and supporting local communities.

2. Helping customers to manage their sustainability needs

This is achieved through providing high-quality products and leading-edge technology that can:

  • Reduce friction, wear and tear
  • Extend the life of engines and machinery
  • Increase fuel economy, oil-drain interval and energy efficiency
  • Reduce the amount of resources required, waste produced, and emissions emitted.

Low viscosity lubricants can increase fuel economy by up to 3%7 and increase energy efficiency in industrial applications by up to 4%8, while many of our industrial lubricants deliver significant ODI benefits such as reduced maintenance needs and fewer parts replacement. For example, Shell Mysella S7 N, our latest generation natural gas engine oil, more than doubles the previous industry typical oil drain for gas engine oils.

As we all move towards a lower-carbon future, combining these two aims will help to provide customers across the globe with more and cleaner energy solutions. And this is sustainability without compromise, as Shell Lubricants is dedicated to enabling customers to retain the best in operational performance while contributing to lower emissions, less waste and fewer natural resource usage. 

LEGAL DISCLAIMERS:

SHELL LUBRICANTS CARBON NEUTRAL FULL LEGAL DISCLOSURE

1 “Carbon neutral” indicates that Shell has engaged in a transaction where an amount of CO2 equivalent to the CO2e amount associated with the raw material extraction, transport, production, distribution, usage and end-of-life of the Lubricants has been avoided as emissions through the protection of natural ecosystems or removed from the atmosphere through a nature-based process. CO2e (CO2 equivalent) refers to CO2, CH4, N2O.

2 Kline & Co [https://www.shell.com/business-customers/lubricants-for-business/news-and-media-releases/2019/shell-retains-leadership-of-global-lubricants-market-for-thirteen-consecutive-year.html]

3 CO2e (CO2 equivalent) refers to CO2, CH4, N2O.

4 The CO2e lifecycle emissions of this product have been offset with verified Nature-Based Carbon Credits

5 *over 80% plastic reduction in box liner vs. 5 individual 4L Shell Helix bottles.

6 Own operations involved in manufacturing of lubricants and based on Shell Internal Reporting

7 Based on ACEA M111 fuel economy results compared with the industry reference oil

8 Shell Tellus S4 VE can help save up to 4.4% of the energy per hour in a plastic injection moulding machine (Shell and third-party field trial)

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