Shell commits $300 million to massive tree planting project

Written by

Tim Greenhalgh

Posted on

April 17, 2019

Shell has announced a $300 million reforestation project to offset carbon emissions from its fossil fuel products.

The initiative was launched last week by Shell CEO Ben van Beurden and fleshes out his statements to an oil and gas industry event last October where he spoke about the need for massive reforestation projects – “about the size of another Brazil” – to combat climate change.

The UN’s intergovernmental panel on climate change views reforestation as an essential element in the drive to restrict global warming to 1.5C, with a range of tree species removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Location of trees

The three-year project aims to plant more than five million trees in the Netherlands and Spain as well as supporting forest regeneration in Australia with the potential to aid conservation work in Malaysia.

The Shell reforestation project is a new strand in the developing strategy to shrink its net carbon footprint by 2-3% by 2022.

Big step in the right direction

The Anglo-Dutch company is accelerating its development of alternative fuel sources, doubling the amount it spends on green energy to £3.2 billion a year, while acknowledging that fossil fuels will remain the main revenue driver for some time to come.

The reforestation project will go some way to offset carbon emissions in the long term and the company is working with Staatsbosbeheer, the Dutch forestry service, to plant more than five million trees over 12 years.

Shell will also partner with Land Life Co. on a 300-hectare reforestation project in northern Spain to plant 300,000 trees by the end of this  year and is backing an 800-hectare forest regeneration project in Queensland, Australia, while studying potential government reforestation projects in Malaysia.

“Investments in renewable sources of energy”

Ben van Beurden explained in a statement: “Our focus on natural ecosystems is one step we are taking today to support the transition towards a low-carbon future. This comes in addition to our existing efforts, from reducing the carbon intensity of oil and gas operations to investments in renewable sources of energy.”

Beyond tree planting, Shell has been busy in building its portfolio of clean energy businesses, with investments in household battery storage systems and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. Last week, the company announced plans to install 200 more rapid charge points in the Netherlands for electric vehicles.

While Shell already gives business customers the opportunity to offset carbon emissions from their fleets, it has now also launched a scheme in the Netherlands where drivers buying enhanced V-Power gasoline and diesel can contribute to the company’s purchase of carbon credits from nature-based projects, including the Cordillera Azul National Park Project in Peru and the GreenTrees Reforestation Project in the U.S.. It plan to extend the scheme later this year, starting in the UK.

Helping the planet (and your bottom line)

Reducing carbon footprint is central to our work at SaveMoneyCutCarbon and the Shell initiative is warmly welcomed. We partner with Hudson Energy to provide renewable electricity and gas to businesses of all sizes at competitive prices. Switching to renewable energy can help the bottom line, and attract new clients and customers.

Whether you have fewer than 100 employees and are looking for a fixed tariff, or you’re a large business searching for a flexible plan, Hudson Energy can help to keep costs low, cut carbon emissions and remain competitive.

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