Shell Malaysia today announced that it had begun its journey to make its fuel stations more environmentally friendly with the introduction of its first two green retail fuel stations in the country. Shell Damansara Jaya and Shell Taman Connaught have been rated to Green Building Index (GBI) standards.

The GBI is the country’s industry-recognised green rating tool for buildings to promote sustainability in the built environment by saving energy and resources, and the two Shell stations mark the first entries in the new retail fuel category introduced for the certification standard. The company is also the first in the Asia Pacific region to go the green route for retail fuel stations.

The move by Shell is in line with the its vision of lowering carbon emissions of its retail stations by 50% by 2025. In the initial stage, the aim is to reduce a station’s energy consumption and improve its emission footprint and its impact on the environment.

Implemented green building index elements include a solar photovoltaic system installed on the canopy of the station, which allows the generation of electricity during the day to supplement the station’s energy requirements and bringing operating costs down.

For example, the 50 kW system at the Damansara Jaya station helps reduce expenditure on electricity from the grid by around 20% – we were told that the average monthly electricity bill for the station is around RM11,000, so that’s quite a bit in savings.

The green station also features physical enhancements to help reduce energy consumption. Surfaces of roofs and walls are painted white to reflect solar radiation, thus helping to reduce overall temperature of the indoor environment and the workload of the air-conditioning system. The improvements translate to around RM22,750 of savings per year from a station.

Lighting elements have also been revised, with the switch to LED lighting promoting not just improved durability but lower energy consumption to the tune of up to 285 kWh per year.

Additionally, water consumption has also been reduced with the introduction of waterless urinals and the use of water-saving taps. This reduces the usage of water by around 60% compared to traditional fittings, and translates to water savings of up to 310 cubic metres a year.

The eco-friendly stations are equipped with an energy monitoring system, which allows the tracking and monitoring of electricity and water consumption, and this data is shown via an electronice display board positioned at the shop’s entrance, offering detailed information on the station’s energy/water consumption in real time as well as its carbon intensity reduction.

Aside from the savings and reduction in carbon emissions, consumers are also set to benefit from stations going green, stepping in to a cooler, better-lit environment, acccording to Shell Malaysia Trading MD Shairan Huzani Husain, who was proud of the fact that the GBI certification for the two pilot project stations was achieved within six months.

Shairan said that the cost of retrofitting the pilot stations was borne by Shell, but did not reveal the cost involved. He added that more Shell stations are expected to be transformed in this manner, the company currently surveying all of its 950 stations nationwide for viability. “Not all stations will be updated as such, because some of the stations are small and old,” he said.