Pennzoil Embraces Carbon Neutrality

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
pennzoil embraces carbon neutrality

Pennzoil has announced it will offer carbon neutral passenger car lubricants in North America, starting with their Platinum line of full synthetic motor oils. This is a quantum leap forward for parent corporation Shell to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner.

Carbon neutrality is the word worldwide, as Shell’s global portfolio looks to offset the impact of 52 million gallons of synthetic lubricants. In their estimation, this would cancel out some 700,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions a year, or the effect of removing 340,000 vehicles from the road for one year.

“Motorists are conscious of contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle and are looking for ways to reduce their net carbon footprint,”said Machteld de Haan, CEO of Pennzoil-Quaker State Company and vice-president Shell Lubricants Americas.“Pennzoil is proud to be a part of the largest carbon neutral program in the lubricants industry, one that compensates for the full lifecycle emissions of these select products.”

In order for Shell to reach its target, they’ll need to avoid, reduce, and offset emissions. They plan to avoid emissions by using more recycled content in their packaging. Reduced emissions will come from energy efficiency, using electricity from renewable sources in their lubricant blending plants. The company maintains that while avoiding and reducing emissions is a good long-term strategy, carbon offsets are an immediate solution to CO2e emissions. Carbon offsets or carbon credits are attempts to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) growth. One carbon credit equals one ton of carbon dioxide, or CO2e gases. GHG mitigation projects generate these credits, a carbon reduction strategy between trading partners and those who are interested in lowering their carbon footprint.

All of this operates almost like a stock exchange for carbon credits. The validation process and sophistication of the carbon project fund or development agency determines the quality of those credits, and is reflected in their price. Rigorously validated units sell for more, although the value of all carbon credits is expected to rise as more governments commit to going green as COVID-19 recedes.

As far as the lubricants themselves, carbon neutral product integration across Pennzoil’s Platinum line of full synthetic oils has occurred, without a loss of protection or performance. With higher fuel economy standards that have increased range, vehicles are designed to run low viscosity oils to help achieve better fuel economy. This is part of the product lifecycle, from extraction to production, packaging to its use by the customer, and how it is recycled at the end of life. Choosing a carbon neutral motor oil is a start towards lowering emissions and creating change.

[Images: Pennzoil]

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  • Jeff S Jeff S on Feb 28, 2021

    Yes I know that oil is from dead plants and dead animals like dinosaurs. Oil based products are considered a hazardous waste once they are used up especially when they are disposed of but plant based lubricants not so much. My point is that lubricants made of soy or other vegetable based are environmentally safer.

  • Jeff S Jeff S on Feb 28, 2021

    Well if you want to get technical even if oil did not originally come from decayed plants there are probably traces of plant in oil. There is even a theory where the center of the Earth is liquid and that this could be where oil comes from and oil picks up traces of animals and plants as it seeps up the surface. There could be a finite supply of oil but then there might be so much that it might take us centuries to use it up. No one knows for sure. Experts estimate that there could be as much as a 200 year supply of coal. There have been cameras at the bottom of offshore wells off the Louisiana coast that have captured oil seeping in from the bottom wells. These wells with the cameras have been operating since the 70s and it had been estimated that they would be depleted by the 90s. Now it is estimated that the oil reserves in these wells are greater today than they were in the 70s. This technology did not exist 30 or more years ago. There are also known reserves of oil that decades ago were not economically feasible to drill for but because of newer technology these reserves can now be economically produced. Additionally refineries are more efficient and can now produce more product from a barrel of oil. There is more concern about greenhouse gases and global warming which increased use of hydrocarbons have brought this to more attention in recent years. Companies like Pennzoil are concerned about their public image and showing that they too can be cleaner and greener.

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