1) Which Shell lubricants brands does this announcement cover?

This announcement covers the following premium synthetic lubricants:

  • Shell Helix Ultra 0W in Europe, Asia-Pacific (including China) and the Middle East; Shell Helix Ultra 5W in China
  • Pennzoil Platinum 0W, Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage 0W, and Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 0W products in the United States and Canada
  • Shell Rimula: R5/R6/Ultra/K series products in Europe, Egypt, India, Indonesia and Korea
  • Shell Rotella: T5/T6 in the United States and Canada
  • B2B industry lubricants – a wide range of B2B premium products, including lubricants and greases used in the wind sector, Shell’s range of eco-Label products “Shell Naturelle”, and a variety of other premium products for industrial applications.

2) Shell claims that it will compensate for 700,000T CO2e emissions per year across the products’ lifecycle. How did Shell calculate this figure?

Shell calculates the CO2e emissions associated with Carbon Neutral lubricants across all stages of the product life cycle, an approach referred to as “cradle-to-grave”. This includes raw material acquisition (e.g. base oil and additives), production, packaging, transportation, usage and end-of-life treatment. CO2, CH4, N2O emissions are jointly referred to as “CO2 equivalent” (CO2e) emissions. The calculations have been performed in accordance with international standards and the underlying model, as well as the associated processes have been subjected to review by an independent, 3rd party verification body. Compensation for 700,000 tonnes is a function of the calculated CO2 intensity for each product and how much lubricants business we are planning to achieve over the next 12 months.

3) Shell claims that compensating for 700,000T CO2e emissions per year is the equivalent of taking approximately 340k cars off the road for 1 year. How did Shell calculate this figure?

This analogy is for illustrative purposes only to help to demonstrate the impact of selecting Carbon Neutral lubricants to our customers. In this particular example, we calculated CO2e intensity of a medium size diesel car and its annual distance driven in the EU (11,879 km). The actual emissions from driving are sensitive to parameters such as the type of the car, its age, driving style, load of the car, city vs. highway driving and will therefore vary for each individual application. As such, these numbers should not be taken as representative of any specific case or activity. Driving analogies are based on direct CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions from the vehicles and do not include emissions from fuel production and distribution (life cycle emissions). Fuel emissions factors are from UK DEFRA (2019), driving distances are from Google Maps (2020), and US and EU driver distances are from US DOT (2018) and EU ODYSSEE-MURE (2017).

4) In what countries will Shell introduce these carbon neutral lubricants?

Shell will be launching these carbon neutral lubricants in all European markets, the UK, Russia, the US, Canada, China, South Korea, India, Indonesia and Egypt. This is not the end though, as Shell’s intention is to continue to roll out its carbon neutral offer around the world. 

5) How much does offsetting cost and is Shell passing that cost on to the customer?

For our carbon neutral lubricants, we calculate the full life cycle CO2e emissions and we purchase the equivalent amount of carbon credits to offset these emissions. This is reflected in the cost structure of these products. There are many variables that influence the price of our products, including geography, order volumes and fluctuations in raw material costs. Ultimately, the final price to consumers for carbon neutral lubricants are subject to pricing policies in different markets.

6) What are nature-based solutions?

‘Nature-based solutions’ – also referred to as natural climate solutions – comprise all activities related to the protection, or re-development, of natural ecosystems such as forests, grasslands and wetland systems to lower concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This can include avoiding or minimising greenhouse gas emissions and helping to sequester carbon into so-called ‘carbon sinks’. Each of these activities results in the biological capture and storage of carbon – typically through the process of photosynthesis. Such activities can lead to the marketing, trading and sale of carbon offset credits. They also help, for instance, to reduce soil erosion, protect animal habitats and create products such as timber and biofuels.

7) What are carbon credits?

A carbon credit represents the avoidance or removal of greenhouse gases equivalent to 1 tonne of carbon dioxide. These credits are traded among governments and businesses. In order to ensure the quality and integrity of carbon credits, there is a robust programme of third-party standards, verification processes and registries.

8) How does Shell verify the nature-based solutions projects it is involved with around the world?

To help ensure the projects in which we invest have high levels of quality and integrity, we have developed a bespoke screening process:

  • We only select projects that are certified under credible, high-quality and independent carbon credit standards.
  • We select projects that deliver wider environmental and social benefits.
  • We work to ensure project developers maintain appropriate health, safety, security and social governance standards.
  • Our internal nature-based project screening review and management processes are audited by an independent third-party

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


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The world needs to find a range of ways to reduce carbon emissions and one approach is to protect and restore natural ecosystems that can absorb carbon dioxide, such as forests, grasslands and wetlands. This is known as nature-based solutions.

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