The oil and gas multinational giant Royal Dutch Shell will cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs as the company shifts toward renewable energy sources.
The job cuts were announced in an interview with Shell’s CEO Ben van Beurden published on the company’s website, which stated that the company plans to become a “net-zero emissions energy business.”
“As a society, we need to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius, and ideally below 1.5 degrees Celsius. That means society needs a net-zero emissions energy system,” van Beurden said in the interview.
“Now, if you work your way through all of this, you do come across many opportunities to just do things more simply, and that brings cost savings too. Reducing cost is essential. We have to be competitive. We have looked closely at how we are organized and we feel that, in many places, we have too many layers in the company,” he continued, adding: “But we can say that, because of the efficiencies we expect to gain, we will reduce between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022.”
Van Beurden said that the number of job cuts included 1,500 employees who had already volunteered to terminate their contracts in exchange for compensation.
The shift toward renewables is a major move for Royal Dutch Shell, one of the globe’s largest oil and gas companies with fuel stations across the U.S. and elsewhere. It has been working on expanding into renewables for years, and in 2017 moved to purchase a top producer of electric vehicle charging stations.
The company said at the time that it planned to roll out electric charging stations at many of its 45,000 existing gas stations around the world.