‘We need Shell to fight global warming’

A team of three TU Delft students has reached the finals of the sustainability contest Shell Ideas 360. Shell may not be the first company that comes to mind when you discuss sustainability, so how do these students explain their involvement?

Sometimes the best experiences are the most unexpected. The Shell Ideas 360 contest was definitely one of them. After going head to head with over 1,300 teams from across the globe we have found ourselves in the top five teams. TU Delft is competing in the finals yet again and, again, it will be against top universities worldwide. We are ecstatic to have made it this far.

Our friends and families shared our joy with us and they have been nothing but supportive, butinevitably we hear: "Aren‘t you studying sustainable energy technology?" They real question is clear to us. They just don’t think that Shell and sustainability are words that belong in the same sentence. And the second thing people ask is: "Is Shell promoting this competition to justify its undeniable lack of sustainability?

The oil business
It is always a hard task to break down the strategies of such big multinationals and to figure out what their real intentions are. As cliché as it sounds, today global warming and climate change are winning the race against humanity and innovation is the key to change. Is it something that Shell is aware of?

We cannot assure you that Shell will implement these ideas, nor can we assure you that they will stop with the oil business and shift into a renewables company.What we can tell you is that we saw a huge amount of talent, innovative ideas and number of young people from all over the world trying to solve major crises. And this was all powered by an oil company. We need these big multinationals, we need their voice and their presence if we want to make a change.

Surreal
Quite frankly, there is no right answer to this question. But the only thing that we can say for sure is that we hope that our ideas will become reality one day, standing the test of technology and time. During these months we were saw how students from China to Brazil to Singapore to the United Kingdom were proposing ingenious ideas that would make this planet a better place to live in. For us, it was surreal how the world is coming together to win the race against climate change.

Oil has been the energy carrier that gave birth society as we know it, but in light of recent developments and global repercussions, it is clear that this needs to change. And this is exactly why sustainable energy technology students should be involved in companies like Shell. With our ideas and our mind-set can help the transition of this oil companies towards sustainability. We want to encourage students with a renewable mind-set to challenge the system and promote a real change for the future.

This is a call for all driven and innovative youth to step into the world of energy because we are the key to change.It is up to us to challenge the existing systems and to propose and implement change.

The finals of Shell Ideas360 are on May 25th and May 26th in London, UK.