UK drivers set to go carbon neutral with Shell

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Shell is reportedly set to become the first fuel retailer to offset the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from customers’ fuel purchases at its UK service stations at no extra cost from 17 October 2019. This will be available at more than 1,000 Shell-branded service stations in the UK.

According to a recent survey conducted by Edelman Intelligence in March 2019, 71% of people in the UK would like to reduce their CO2 footprints, but nearly half are not clear on the actions they can take. ‘Switching to an electric vehicle (EV) is the best way for drivers to reduce their CO2 footprints and they can now charge on a growing number of our UK forecourts with 100% renewable electricity,’ comments Sinead Lynch, Shell UK Country Chair. ‘But today the majority of people still use petrol and diesel. We can help them address the impact of their emissions by offsetting their fuel purchases, starting now.’

Drivers will automatically take part in the offsetting programme every time they scan their Shell Go+ app or card with their fuel purchase. The reward programme is available to join free of charge. Through the scheme, customers will be regularly emailed a personal carbon statement, so that they can see how much is being offset on their behalf.

Today, around 20% of fuel sold by Shell in the UK goes to customers already registered with Go+. A similar service will also be available to business customers who use a Shell fuel card.

Shell will offset customers’ emissions by purchasing carbon credits generated from projects in the UK and internationally that protect and regenerate forests.* These projects are independently verified to ensure they have the intended impact. Over the next year, Shell will spend approximately £10mn to purchase carbon credits to offset the fuel purchases of Shell Go+ customers.

In the UK, Shell supports the government’s target of net-zero emissions by 2050. The programme will also contribute to the company’s ambition to reduce its own net carbon footprint. This covers all the emissions from the life cycle of its energy products  from finding and producing oil and gas and manufacturing products, to customers’ emissions from their use of the energy products they buy from Shell.

The launch in the UK follows a similar programme for drivers in the Netherlands, which Shell announced in April. One in five Shell customers in the Netherlands are now driving carbon neutral.

Shell has also launched a partnership with Forestry and Land Scotland, the Scottish government agency that manages and protects 640,000 hectares of Scotland’s forests and land. Over the next five years, the two organisations will generate carbon credits by helping to plant or regenerate around 1mn trees, at a cost of some £5mn.

‘Tackling the climate emergency involves a global effort – concerted, co-ordinated action across a range of approaches, including carbon capturing natural solutions, such as peatland restoration and woodland creation,’ comments Simon Hodgson, CEO of Forestry and Land Scotland. Scotland aims to be a net-zero emission country by 2045.

*Shell has sourced some carbon credits from within the UK, including the Overkirkhope project in the Scottish borders and the Longwood project in Cumbria, both woodland creation projects verified to the UK Woodland Carbon Code. However, the UK market for carbon credits is small. Therefore, to have enough to offset UK drivers in this scheme, these will be supplemented by carbon credits purchased from naturebased projects globally, including the Cordillera Azul National Park project in Peru, the Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation project in Indonesia and the GreenTrees Reforestation project in the US.

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hoto: Shell

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