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Meeting the world’s growing energy needs and protecting the environment requires new technology, partnerships and ways of operating.
Climate change and Shell
The world faces the critical challenge of how to meet rising demand for the energy that powers society, while urgently cutting the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) that energy use generates. Shell is taking action in four areas:
Learning to use energy more efficiently will help to conserve resources and reduce greenhouse gases for the future health of the planet. We continuously look for ways to make our operations and processes more energy efficient and limit our CO2 emissions. Since 2005, we have followed a multi-billion dollar programme to increase the energy efficiency of our existing operations. We design new projects from the start to use energy efficiently. We also offer our customers products and advice that help them to use less energy.
Managing environmental impacts
Protecting biodiversity is an important factor when we consider any new major project or large expansion to existing operations. We work in partnership with leading conservation groups, including Wetlands International and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). If an area is rich in biodiversity we engage with local communities and experts and develop biodiversity action plans. We also consider the possible impact on benefits that ecosystems provide such as purifying water and air and sustaining food supplies to communities. The research we support includes, for example, helping to identify endangered species.
Spills of oil and oil products can harm the environment and put our employees and neighbouring communities at risk. Over the years we have reduced the amount spilled at our operations for reasons we can control, like corrosion or operational failures.
To help prevent spills from oil tankers, our ship quality assurance standard sets out requirements for the ships we use. For example, we require larger ocean vessels to have double hulls.
We have made efforts to reduce the emissions of local pollutants from our operations. This has involved a wide range of investments to upgrade facilities, install cleaner-burning equipment and sulphur dioxide capture technology.
Reducing water use
We are finding innovative ways to make the most of the water needed in our operations. We design and operate our facilities – using advanced technology and new approaches – to help manage our water use.
Our Pearl GTL plant in Qatar, for example, has been designed to take no fresh water from its arid surroundings. The Schoonebeek project in the Netherlands will reuse municipal waste water to make steam.
We are also active in global initiatives guiding sustainable water management in the private sector. For example, Shell is leading a project with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to develop insights into the linkages between water and energy systems to help prepare for future challenges.
Shell business specialists and Shell Philippines Downstream Communications Manager Mylene Santos joined Earthwatch professionals in exploring Malua, Borneo in Sabah, Malaysia as part of the implementation of Business Skills for World Heritage programme to promote biodiversity and conservation.
More and more energy is needed to power the world. This causes emissions that change our climate - see how Shell tries to manage this problem.
We were one of the first energy companies to acknowledge the threat of climate change and we have stepped up our appeals to government for urgent and wide-ranging policies, and our own efforts to develop the technologies needed to reduce CO² and protect the environment.