The Shell garage in Gold Street, Wellingborough, has a huge sign and banners proclaiming that their petrol is carbon neutral. We have had an exchange of emails with their customer service department to find out how this is supposed to work.
Shell’s response was: ‘You have to sign up for a Shell Go+ loyalty card, which gives you a discount on purchases in their shop. In addition, when you buy petrol. Shell will determine the associated carbon emissions from that fuel purchase, relevant to the type of fuel and the amount bought, and then pay to offset them accordingly. Furthermore, the carbon offsets available via the Shell Go+ scheme cover the life-cycle emissions from customers’ fuel purchases; that is all emissions from the production right through to the use of the fuel.’
Anthony replied to this statement, saying: “The trees that you plant will take time to grow and begin to absorb carbon. The carbon emissions will start straight away as soon as the customer leaves the garage. So the damage to the environment starts well before the beneficial effects of the tree planting kick in. It is generally accepted that we have to cut our carbon emissions this year to avoid potentially catastrophic consequences in the near future.”
“Your carbon offset scheme only applies to people who have a Go+ loyalty card, but your heavy forecourt advertising implies that everybody who uses Shell is driving carbon neutral. “
“I think that Shell should withdraw the carbon neutral signs and banners on all of their forecourts. They may possibly be legal as far as the Advertising Standards Authority are concerned, but they are misleading, for the reasons I have given.”
So far, we have not had a reply, so it might be time to take action…