Shell Accelerates Sustainable Initiatives

The global firm has advanced into renewable energy while keeping its roots in fossil fuels. 

June 23, 2021

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Sources

MINETY, England—Royal Dutch Shell has accelerated its alternative and renewable energy initiatives, the New York Times reports. For example, a Shell subsidiary called Limejump is managing a huge battery site in the English countryside that supplies electricity when winds or clouds slow the flow of renewable electricity.

Limejump is just one investment Shell has made in recent years in the clean energy arena. Other green companies Shell has invested in include Sonnen, a German battery supplier. Shell is also working to create electric vehicle charging networks around the world and is supporting hydrogen fueling centers in California.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden has been discussing slashing emissions for years. Since 2016, Shell’s clean energy investments have topped $3 billion—a small slice of its expenditures compared to the $84 billion on its oil and gas business. Van Beurden recently wrote on LinkedIn that “it would not help the world one bit” if the company halted sales of diesel and gasoline immediately. “People would fill up their cars and delivery trucks at other service stations,” he said in the piece.

Shell admits it has been cautious because of a desire to invest in businesses and technologies that would not only produce clean energy but generate a profit from doing so. “We are thinking ahead; where is the future going?” said Elisabeth Brinton, Shell’s executive vice president for renewables and energy solutions.

Last month, a court in The Netherlands ruled that Royal Dutch Shell must reduce its carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. The landmark ruling furthers pressure oil-and-gas companies to take even greater steps to prevent a climate crisis.

To learn more about how your business can incorporate sustainable measures into your operations, read “Creating a Sustainability Game Plan” and “Sustainable—and Safe” in NACS Magazine.