Shell provides carbon-neutral option for SA’s motor oil industry

Shell Helix Ultra Carbon Neutral delivers the ultimate engine performance, and choosing it is simple

12 October 2021 - 10:00 By Eamonn Ryan
Shell’s target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress in achieving the goal of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change.
Shell’s target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress in achieving the goal of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change.
Image: Supplied/Shell

Shell Downstream SA has introduced a range of carbon-neutral lubricants, making it easier for customers to choose an engine oil brand with lower emissions. Shell Helix Ultra Carbon Neutral is the first oil that offers motorists ultimate engine performance with lower emissions.

There are many ways in which Shell lubricants avoid and reduce CO2 during the manufacturing and transport of products. For example, more than 50% of energy in Shell lubricant blending plants now comes from renewable sources. In total, we have taken out more than 34,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from our own operations, reducing our manufacturing carbon intensity by over 30% since 2016.

It’s not only energy efficiency in the manufacturing process that reduces emissions, but sustainable packaging, nature-based carbon credits and mechanics. “Consumers will be presented with a product that doesn’t compromise on the high levels of performance and engine protection that has made Shell Helix Ultra renowned around the world. 

Shell Downstream SA director Ade Ajala says: “We know our customers choose Shell Helix Ultra because it is designed for ultimate engine performance and improved fuel economy. But they are also looking for ways to lower emissions and reduce their own net carbon footprint. As the world’s leading lubricants supplier, Shell has an important role to play. That’s why I am pleased to announce that our customers can now enjoy the benefits they have come to expect from Shell Helix Ultra in a carbon-neutral way.”

Unlike other oils, Shell Helix Ultra engine oils are made from a 99.5% pure base oil by Shell Pureplus Technology. This is a revolutionary gas-to-liquid process that converts natural gas into a pure base oil with stronger molecular bonds. It can be used for engines such as modern petrol engines and diesel engines without particulate filters.

The range of carbon-neutral products launched include the following viscosity grades: 10W60, 0W40, 5W30 and 5W40. This initiative is part of a broader commitment by Shell to offer customers carbon-neutral lubricants across a range of products for passenger cars, heavy-duty diesel engines and industrial applications.

This is a product trusted by Scuderia Ferrari, Hyundai and other OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to deliver more power and performance in any temperature, with five times better cleaning.

Net-zero emissions by 2050

Shell’s target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress in achieving the goal of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change: “Net-zero emissions” means cutting most emissions through efficiency and clean energy, then offset the rest by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or eliminating emissions elsewhere.

A carbon-neutral impact means emissions caused in the entire life cycle of this product are made carbon neutral — from production to disposal of used oil and packaging. Shell Downstream SA has done this through reducing CO2 emissions by moving to more renewable energy sources in the production process of its oil. For example, this involves using packaging with increased content of recycled plastic. In addition, the company has  offset any remaining CO2 emissions with verified nature-based carbon credits. 

Some of its local initiatives in SA include: 

  • 100% recycled carton material
  • Recycled cage and IBC packaging 
  • Recycled black pails

“Most of our emissions come from the third-party use of the energy we sell them, so we aim to help our customers cut their emissions when they use the energy bought from us. Our target includes emissions not only from the energy we produce and process ourselves, but also from the energy products others produce that we sell to our customers,” says Ajala.

With motorists becoming sensitised to environmental issues, particularly their carbon footprint, having an oil that delivers the same vehicle performance for lower emissions without compromising on quality is an enormous environmental win for all concerned.

Why do net-zero emissions matter?

Greenhouse gases in the form of carbon emissions trap heat near Earth’s surface. When their concentration gets too high, global warming occurs. In 2015, countries around the world agreed to limit global warming to well under 2.0°C compared with pre-industrial times, with a goal of 1.5°C. To keep warming below 1.5°C, the UN says the world needs to be on a path to reach net-zero emissions by about 2050. To put those temperatures into perspective, global warming today is just over 1°C above pre-industrial levels with environmental repercussions already evident. 

The 2021 UN Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is scheduled to be held in Glasgow, Scotland between October 31 and November 12 2021, and will review targets.

This article was paid for by Shell.