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Shell Layoffs: Low-Carbon Solutions Business Faces Job Cuts

October 25, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Shell layoffs will impact about 15% of the energy company's Low Carbon Solutions (LCS) employees, Reuters reported.

Shell will cut 200 jobs in 2024 and has placed another 130 positions under review as part of a drive to reduce headcount in the Low Carbon Solutions unit, the report said. The LCS operations include the hydrogen and other businesses seeking to decarbonize the transport and industry sectors, but does not include the renewable power business, Reuters noted.

Shell CEO Wael Sawan Shakes Up Energy Company

The Shell layoffs surface roughly one month after two employees posted an open letter to CEO Wael Sawan -- urging him not to scale back renewable energy investments, reports said at the time.

Shell CEO Wael Sawan

Sawan, who became Shell's CEO in January 2023, has been shaking up the energy company and doubling down on Shell's most profitable revenue streams.

Among the shifts: Sawan quietly ended Shell's corporate plan to develop carbon offsets, Bloomberg reported in August 2023. Moreover, the company's Renewables and Energy Solutions news page has not been updated since 2022. The last page update involved Shell acquiring solar solutions provider Daystar Power Group.

Nevertheless, Shell is committed to delivering "more value with less emissions," the company asserted in a July 2023 earnings statement. Shell plans to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050.

According to the company: Shell's Renewables and Energy Solutions business includes renewable power generation, the marketing and trading and optimization of power and pipeline gas, as well as carbon credits, and digitally enabled customer solutions. It also includes the production and marketing of hydrogen, development of commercial carbon capture and storage hubs, investment in nature-based projects that avoid or reduce carbon emissions, and Shell Ventures, which invests in companies that work to accelerate the energy and mobility transformation, the company asserts.

Growing Green Job Market Faces Targeted Layoffs, Staff Cuts

Meanwhile, the overall sustainability job market remains strong -- as businesses seek employees to fill green IT, renewable energy, and energy transition jobs.

Indeed, demand for green jobs in the United States has grown roughly 50% since 2019, according to Lightcast. In response, companies such as AccentureEYGoodwill and Microsoft have launched green jobs training programs.

Still, the rising tide involving green jobs will not lift all boats. Sustainability-oriented companies announcing layoffs and staff cuts in 2023 so far include ChargePointFlexportMaxeon SolarMorningstar Sustainalytics and Navigator CO2.

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