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The Low Carbon Economy Ltd

13 Aug 2008 05:08:36

Shell sustainability claims slammed

Shell sustainability claims slammed
An attempted 'greenwash' by Shell has been slammed by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), which prohibited an advert claiming the oil giant's operations were sustainable from being run again.

Alongside the publication of its financial results in the Financial Times, Shell ran an advert which the ASA ruled used the word "sustainable" in a "misleading" way.

The WWF, which raised the complaint against the advert, noted that the oil firm's operations to extract oil from so-called tar sands in Alberta caused eight times more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil extraction.

It also claimed that half of the remaining boreal forest in the world is in Canada and that oil sands extraction had destroyed large areas. A recent study by the Australian National University revealed that natural forests absorb and store 60 per cent more carbon than tree plantations.

"Oil sands are one of the world's dirtiest sources of fuel and have a major impact on the environment," said David Norman, director of campaigns at WWF-UK. "Their extraction cannot be described as a sustainable process and for Shell to claim otherwise is wholly misleading."

In making its ruling, the ASA quoted Canada's independent National Energy Board which said that oil sand development had significant impact on water conservations, greenhouse gas emissions and waste management.

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