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Meeting the world’s growing energy needs and protecting the environment requires new technology, partnerships and ways of operating. We are sharpening our focus on ways to limit the environmental impact of our operations.
Climate change and Shell
The need to tackle climate change remains urgent. Shell believes the best way to secure a more sustainable energy future is to take action today.
Our efforts focus on four areas:
• producing more natural gas;
• developing lower-carbon biofuels;
• helping to advance carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies;
• working to improve energy efficiency in our operations.
For our customers we provide online tips to help them drive more economically. We are also beginning to offer products such as Shell FuelSave petrol and diesel, and services that can help customers 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.