Castrol Vecton and REDD Forests, Australia

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In 2016, Castrol launched Castrol Vecton – Australia’s first certified carbon neutral diesel engine oil. The oil is particularly aimed at the transport and fleet industry which is one of the most highly regulated industries in Australia. The oil has net greenhouse gas emissions equal to zero across its entire lifetime thanks to offsetting efforts by Castrol, BP Target Neutral and the Redd Forest Grouped Project in Tasmania, Australia.

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Vecton is independently certified against Australia’s National Carbon Offset Standard (NCOS), which provides a benchmark for businesses that are voluntarily seeking to be carbon neutral with their operations, products, services and events. The standard sets out requirements for achieving carbon neutrality, based on a rigorous and transparent framework that is based on relevant international standards and tailored to the Australian context.

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To achieve the carbon neutral status, data from Castrol’s production plants, product formulations, manufacturing, packaging, and logistics were all taken into account. Once the data was collected, Castrol then created a carbon reduction plan and committed to the certification process. The average time to become certified is about six to twelve months.

The measured CO2 produced during the life of Castrol Vecton is then offset by supporting projects that either avoid the release of CO2 or by supporting projects that absorb the amount of CO2 from the air that would have otherwise stayed in the atmosphere.

In this case, Castrol worked with BP Target Neutral to acquire carbon offset credits from a forest conservation project in Tasmania to make Vecton carbon neutral in its first year of certification. The project is Australia’s first Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) scheme to meet Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.

The project works on protecting Tasmania’s native rainforest and involves an agreement with local farmers to leave tracts of land unfelled and timber unharvested. Providing an alternative income for these landowners means they no longer have to partake in destructive forestry practices. By deciding to protect their forests rather than logging them, the farmers involved will help to prevent the release of more than half a million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere over the lifetime of the project.