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Aramco unveils $1.5bn sustainability fund

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Aramco cut its official selling prices for all crude grades to Asia for June-loading cargoes amid lower refining margins
  • Fund supports the operation’s net-zero 2050 ambition
  • Oil giant also participated in the first voluntary carbon credits auction 
  • Saudi and Middle East green initiatives include planting 50bn trees 

Saudi Aramco has announced the creation of a $1.5 billion Sustainability Fund to invest in technology to support energy transition. 

Unveiled at the Future Investment Initiative currently taking place in Riyadh, Aramco said it is among the largest sustainability-focused venture capital funds globally.

Managed by Aramco Ventures, its venture capital arm, the Sustainability Fund is an extension of the company’s efforts to meet the world’s growing energy demand, with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The fund plans to invest in technologies that support the company’s announced net-zero 2050 ambition in its wholly-owned operational assets, as well as development of new lower-carbon fuels. 

Initial focus areas will include carbon capture and storage, greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, nature-based climate solutions, digital sustainability, hydrogen, ammonia and synthetic fuels. The fund will target investments globally.

Sustainability factors have become increasingly critical for Aramco, which produces approximately one in every eight barrels of the world’s oil supply, as it aims to balance profitability, environmental protection, and the growth and prosperity of the communities in which it operates.

In addition, subsidiary Aramco Trading Company has participated in the first voluntary carbon credits auction organised by the Public Investment Fund (PIF). 

Yasir O Al-Rumayyan, Aramco chairman, said: “Climate change is a critical issue, which is why sustainability is well-integrated in Aramco’s strategy and investment decisions. The company is harnessing innovation and collaboration as it seeks long-term solutions to global energy challenges. 

“By driving large-scale investments and building key domestic, regional and international partnerships, Aramco aims to enable a stable and inclusive energy transition that meets the world’s need for energy with lower emissions.”

Aramco president and CEO, Amin H Nasser, added: “The fund reinforces our commitment to leverage innovative technologies that will make a difference in addressing the dual challenge of achieving greater energy security and sustainability, and show how these two great imperatives can and must co-exist. 

“Our participation in the Mena region’s first voluntary carbon market in Saudi Arabia represents another pathway towards our long-term net zero ambition and demonstrates how we can deliver a multi-pronged approach in addressing the climate challenges we face.”

Aramco aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its operated assets by 2050.

Person, Human, Villa
The greening of Riyadh is part of the Saudi Green Initiative which includes ambitious tree planting projects

In June, the company also announced a set of interim targets that it aims to achieve by 2035, which are intended to reduce or mitigate net GHG emissions across its wholly-owned operated assets by more than 50 million metric tons of CO2e annually, when compared to the business-as-usual forecast.

The company is also developing its blue ammonia and hydrogen business, with the aim of producing up to 11 million metric tonnes of blue ammonia per year by 2030.

Aramco’s sustainability drive comes amid Saudi Arabia’s efforts to combat climate change.

The Saudi Green Initiative and Middle East Green Initiative represent an ambitious roadmap that rallies the region and drives the kingdom on its path to sustainability. 

The initiatives will include the planting of 50 billion trees. For example, the Saudi Green Initiative will see the rehabilitation of 40 million hectares of degraded land and increase the percentage of protected areas across the kingdom to more than 30 percent of the total land area, equivalent to 645,000sq km.