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“Shell has an ambition to reduce our net carbon footprint by approximately 20% by 2035 and 50% by 2050. This critically includes the scope 3 emissions, the emissions that come from the use of the products that we sell to customers. This is a very, very large challenge. We will not be able to do this alone. We have to rely on each other’s strengths with partners.”
Yuri Sebgrets, EVP and Chief Technology Officer, Shell

Mr. Sebregts said that the global energy system will have to change more in the next two decades than it has in the last five. This energy transition is underway, but how it will evolve will depend on many factors: economic growth, customer choice, emerging technologies, and national policies, just to name a few. Energy transition and digital transformation are, he says, in principle independent, but the ways we respond to them have a lot of commonality. He proposed three common ways in which we can respond and live up to these challenges.

Collaborating: different parties can bring different solutions into the same platform to engage with the data in a similar way. The system allows added value through much improved optimization decisions, and much faster field development. We have to rely on each other’s strengths with partners.

Building capability: one way to bring capability is to acquire starter companies, as they come with higher entrepreneurial spirits and new, innovative perspectives. Bringing companies together helps us learn faster and, in turn, help each other grow faster beyond the current market. We learn fast from their experiences and then can bring that into our own. Building in-house capability is also key in the digitalization trend so we’ve chosen to build more in-house capability rather than acquire it through startups.

Giving our customers choice: how the energy transition will play out, depends in large part on the choices customers will make. The market, encouraged by government policies, will decide which particular cleaner energy solutions will thrive. Therefore, our opportunity is to put that decision making in front of the customer, and give them a range of cleaner options to choose from, and flexibility.

CTO, Shell

Yuri Sebregts