The Coffee Line Shell


After two years of preparation, we helped Shell officially launch its world-first collaboration with start-up bio-bean. bio-bean helps to power the iconic red London buses with a B20 biodiesel using a coffee oil component extracted from the city’s recycled coffee grounds.

This is the latest chapter in Shell’s ongoing investment in its #makethefuture energy relay – an initiative which supports entrepreneurs who create bright energy innovations to make a positive impact on communities around the world.

The average Londoner drinks 2.3 cups of coffee a day and the capital produces over 200,000 tons of waste a year. This represents an opportunity for the city’s circular energy economy, as well as being an imaginative solution for the inevitable waste products of a major capital city.

As Shell’s lead creative agency, J. Walter Thompson London (JWT) conceptualized and led a group of agencies in delivering the smart energy idea to a mass audience. After more than two years in development, JWT supported Shell and bio-bean in the set-up and launch of the initiative, creating all visual assets across digital and traditional media. For this project, we also worked with Colloquial on content and social campaign aspects.

Before Shell and bio-bean, the relay used PaveGen’s kinetic tiles to convert players’ footsteps into energy on football pitches in Rio. 2016’s “Best Day of My Life” introduced other bright energy idea collaborations such as GravityLight that brings clean light to off-grid Kenyan homes, and Insolar in Rio.

Jonathan Terry, Head of JWT Live, said, “We first presented this idea to our clients two years ago, but as always with world-first ideas, they take so long to execute. What made this one difficult is the regulation, getting the fuel certified as well as getting it into actual London buses. What makes it all worth it though, is the fact this is a real fuel solution and a great example of how cities should be working. Personally, I get frustrated at how many stunt-type executions we see at the awards ceremonies…one-off prototypes. What’s great here is that this is a long-term answer.”


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2018 Clio Awards

Public Relations / Bronze

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2018 D&AD Impact Awards

Environmental Sustainability / Wood Pencil

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