Shell's latest step in journey of sustainability is launching - extended range of carbon neutral lubricants[1].

Shell as the biggest supplier of lubricants in the world is aiming to become a net-zero carbon emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner![2]

Shell provides approximately five billion litres of finished lubricants annually to customers across the world.

And we know our customers are increasingly in need of sustainable solutions. So, to meet this growing industry demand, Shell is exploring a range of initiatives that seek to avoid, reduce and offset emissions.

As well as helping to avoid or reduce emissions through material choices and 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


Made from o 99.5% pure bese oil
by Shell Pureplus Technology

60% lower engine surface friction compared to other fully synthetic oils

Stronger for longer lasting engine performance

Anti-wear shield designed for ultimate engine protection

Up to 3% fuel saving

Carbon Neutral impact’ across its entire lifecycle from production to disposal of used oil and packaging

Protects in extreme temperatures from -40° C to
1000° C

Helps save up to 2L fuel for every full tank

The initiative is the largest and most significant carbon neutral programme in the lubricants industry today, aiming to offset the CO2e[3] 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 year[4].



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 technically prove the use of 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 our carbon intensity in our 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.


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.

Helping customers to manage their sustainability needs, through providing high-quality products and leading-edge technology that can:

Reduce friction, wear and tear and 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.

As we all move towards a lower-carbon future, our aim is 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

fewer natural resource usage


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 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

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.

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, CH4and 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).

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.

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

Shell calculates the amount of CO2e emissions generated and will purchase carbon credits to compensate these emissions. The cost is absorbed by Shell and is subject to pricing policies in different markets. For the latest pricing information please contact a local Shell sales representative.

Why isn’t Shell doing more to reduce CO2e emissions rather than simply offsetting them?

There are many ways that Shell Lubricants avoids and reduces CO2 during manufacturing and transportation of its products. For example, over 50% of the electricity in Shell Lubricant blending plants now comes from renewable sources. In total, we have taken out over 34,000 tonnes CO2e emissions from our own operations, reducing our manufacturing carbon intensity by over 30% since 2016[1]. We also aim to design products to reduce CO2e emissions in our value chain and with the customer, such as our specialised lubricants for hybrid vehicles as well as E-Fluids that help electric vehicles perform better and more efficiently.

While avoid and reduce measures are the leading means to help tackle emissions, until scalable solutions are deployed, carbon offsetting programmes provide an immediate solution to reduce CO2e impact of our products.

Is this just greenwashing by Shell?

No. We have carefully listened to our critics, supporters and shareholders. We have heard what they expect from us as a company, and a leading manufacturer, and we have made the necessary changes to ensure we are contributing positively back to the environment.

Carbon emissions is a complex challenge with many contributing factors. This is why the response will need to be as equally multi-faceted, requiring every stakeholder to do its part in developing cleaner ways of working.

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.

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.

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] “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 []
[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] Internal Shell analysis.