Directors’ Remuneration Report
“It has been a year of impressive financial performance and strong strategic progress.”
Pay outcomes for Executive Directors
Annual bonus: €2,560,000 CEO and €1,600,000 CFO (129% of target).
Long-term Incentive Plan (LTIP): below-target vesting of 49% based on three-year performance.
Single-figure outcome: €7.4m (26% increase from 2020) for the CEO and €4.6m (24% increase from 2020) for the CFO.
This Directors’ Remuneration Report for 2021 has been prepared in accordance with relevant UK corporate governance and legal requirements, in particular Schedule 8 of The Large and Medium-sized Companies and Groups (Accounts and Reports) Regulations 2008 (as amended). The Board has approved this report. This report consists of two further sections:
- the Annual Report on Remuneration (describing 2021 remuneration and the planned implementation of the Directors’ Remuneration Policy in 2022); and
- the Directors’ Remuneration Policy, which was approved by shareholders at the 2020 AGM.
It has been a year of impressive financial performance and strong strategic progress.
Shell delivered a very strong set of financial results in 2021, generating more than $45 billion of cash flow from operations (CFFO) including working capital and $40 billion of free cash flow (FCF). This reflects the strength of Shell’s integrated business and the ongoing development of a strong and resilient portfolio. Together with robust operational performance in 2021, this enabled Shell to capitalise on dynamic energy markets and improved prices in the second half of the year. The strong financial performance in 2021 allowed Shell to reduce net debt, increase our quarterly dividend and start share buybacks again. The remaining $5.5 billion of proceeds from the divestment of our US Permian business that have been allocated for share buybacks will be distributed to shareholders in the first half of 2022.
Over the year, Shell also delivered a number of key strategic milestones to accelerate the transition to being a net-zero emissions business, including:
- launching of our updated strategy, Powering Progress in February 2021;
- being the first energy company to ask shareholders to cast an advisory vote on its energy transition strategy, achieving support of 88.74% votes cast in May 2021;
- implementing a simpler, more cost-effective organisation needed to support delivery of our strategic ambitions under Powering Progress, in August 2021;
- setting a new target, in October 2021, for Shell to halve the absolute emissions from our operations and the energy it uses to run them by 2030, compared with 2016 levels on a net basis;
proposing to simplify the share structure and increase the speed and flexibility of capital and portfolio actions. In December 2021, 99.77% of shareholder votes cast were in support of amending the required Articles of Association of Shell plc (then named Royal Dutch Shell plc) to enable the changes. The alignment of Shell’s tax residence with its country of incorporation took place in December 2021, including relocating the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to the UK. The corporate name change and implementation of a single line of shares, eliminating the complex A/B share structure, occurred in early 2022.
Among this success, however, we were also deeply saddened by a number of tragic deaths that occurred as the result of three separate incidents during the year. Six contractor colleagues working under Shell operational control were deliberately killed in an attack by gunmen in Nigeria. In Pakistan, a lorry driver died during a refuelling accident, and in Indonesia, a contractor died following a construction accident. Later in this letter, I will share the REMCO’s assessment of these incidents and how we have reflected on them in determining the final pay outcomes.
I also reflect on REMCO’s assessment of Shell’s wider performance and its progress in adapting to the energy transition, when considering the pay outcomes for 2021 and the year ahead.
2021 Performance and Remuneration Decisions
Summary of scorecard outcome: the overall mathematical outcome of the annual bonus scorecard was above target, at 1.32. But after reflecting on safety performance, in particular the number of fatalities, the REMCO used downwards discretion to determine the final outcome for Executive Directors to be 1.29. Taking into account the impact of the fatalities on the formulaic outcome and the discretionary adjustment, the total reduction in bonus outcome as a result of the fatalities was equal to 10% of base salary.
This brings our 10-year average scorecard outcome to 1.03.
The complete scorecard with all targets, ranges and weightings is set out in the "Directors' remuneration" section.
Financial delivery (35%): robust operational performance and a strong portfolio have led to very strong cash generation. CFFO (including working capital) of $45.1 billion exceeded our outstanding performance threshold of $34 billion, leading to a maximum outcome on this measure.
It is worth repeating that the REMCO has long had a policy of not adjusting remuneration measures to take account of changes in energy prices and currency fluctuations. This means Senior Management also experience the ups and downs of the macroeconomic environment that affect our business and shareholders. In engagements with our largest shareholders, many have appreciated the transparency that this brings.
Operational excellence (35%): Powering Progress emphasises operational excellence and the delivery of value over volume. In 2021, the REMCO updated the scorecard to reflect this by removing measures based on hydrocarbon production. The focus now is on ensuring Shell operates its assets efficiently and to plan, and that material projects are delivered on time and on budget. Performance was mixed across the segments. Downstream availability was better than target, as was delivery of projects against schedule. But Upstream and midstream availability was lower than plan, and aggregated project costs exceeded budget. Overall, the outcome was below target.
Progress in the energy transition (15%): Powering Progress sets out a strategy to accelerate our transition to net-zero emissions. We linked this to the scorecard in 2021 by focusing on our operational emissions. The outcome was broadly on target.
- On greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity, performance has been mixed. Intensities from the Chemicals business were better than target, partly because of higher utilisation at Bukom and Deer Park. But shutdowns in the Gulf of Mexico from Hurricane Ida and operational difficulties in Nigeria led to a below-threshold result for the combined Upstream and Integrated Gas intensity measure. Refining intensities were also below target due to the impact of Hurricane Ida and the February freeze on our refineries in the USA.
- GHG abatement tracks the implementation of identified projects that will reduce absolute GHG emissions. Shell made excellent progress in 2021, with a score that was close to outstanding, reflecting the cumulative effect of a wide range of actions taken across the portfolio to reduce absolute emissions, including abatement projects in QGC Australia and Pearl GTL in Qatar.
Safety (15%): overall, the outcome on safety was slightly above target.
- Process safety continues to be measured through the number of Tier 1 and 2 operational safety incidents and was above target for 2021, meaning a better than expected safety performance was achieved.
- In 2021, Serious Injury and Fatality Frequency (SIF-F) was introduced as the measure of personal safety performance which focuses on the incidents with the most serious consequences. The outcome was consistent with our expectations based on the number of serious incidents experienced across our businesses in recent years, but not our aspirations.
REMCO reflections on safety
Safety is Shell’s number one priority. The Powering Progress strategy is underpinned by our focus on safety, and it is critical that our day-to-day operations run safely, and the well-being of all our people is ensured. As a result, the REMCO and the Safety, Environment and Sustainability Committee (SESCo) have carefully considered the fatalities which occurred in the year, paying attention to both the nature of the incidents and Shell’s wider progress on safety.
Nigeria is a high-risk country, in which we review our larger contractors’ safety plans, including those for moving personnel to sites in the Delta. These plans are then implemented by the contractors. At times, there have been up to around 4,500 escorted personnel movements per month for Shell companies in Nigeria. The number is significantly larger for our contractor movements. Existing safety protocols have been effective in supporting these movements. The 2021 incident in Nigeria was unprecedented. The attack on a routine personnel transport was perpetrated by a criminal group which operates for extortion. The criminal group’s leader has been arrested and has admitted responsibility. The extreme violence of the attack has been shocking to Shell and the local community. A review is ongoing, which given the deteriorating security situation in Nigeria, may lead to some changes.
Sadly, two contractors also died following separate incidents at retail sites in Pakistan and in Indonesia. In Pakistan, a contractor colleague died after a fire at a dealer-operated retail site. Another contractor lost his life when a wall fell over during demolition work at a retail site in Indonesia.
In addition to reflecting on these tragedies, the REMCO also considered safety performance as a whole over the year. The REMCO noted that, in an industry where road safety continues to present one of the single most material risk areas, we passed 1 billion kilometres of road journeys without a recordable fatality in our operated assets. The REMCO also noted that in 2021, the ongoing transition of the Safety refresh programme reached full implementation, creating the bedrock for the changes aimed at eradicating fatalities and life-changing incidents from Shell’s business. Our updated approach to safety is rooted in a consistent focus on human performance, and the way people, culture, equipment, work systems and processes all interact. People are key to completing complex tasks and to finding solutions to problems. To deliver the Safety refresh, Shell aims to apply a learner mindset, believing people can always improve, enhance their capabilities, learn from mistakes and successes, and speak up freely. The REMCO acknowledges the commitment and contributions of the Executive Directors in embracing a learner mindset and driving this cultural change across the organisation. The Safety refresh also included the introduction of the Serious Injury and Fatality Frequency (SIF-F) metric designed to ensure we focus on those incidents with the potential to cause most harm. This metric ensures a heavy weighting is given to fatalities in determining the scorecard outcome, in a manner that was not captured by Total Recordable Case Frequency (TRCF) metrics.
The REMCO carefully considered the fatalities in the context of Shell’s overall safety performance in 2021. It took account of the impact the fatalities had on the formulaic outcome. Without the fatalities, the overall scorecard outcome would have been 1.37, not 1.32, reflecting the heavy emphasis that SIF-F rightly gives to serious incidents. The REMCO determined that the overall scorecard outcome should be further adjusted downwards to 1.29. The overall reduction in the bonus outcome for the CEO and CFO as a result of fatalities is equal to 10% of their base salary.
Vesting of the 2019 LTIP awards
Overall LTIP vesting outcome: Overall, the mathematical outcome of the LTIP was 49%. For the avoidance of doubt, no LTIP targets were adjusted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or any other reason.
CFFO (22.5%): In absolute terms, 2021 performance was very strong with CFFO at $45 billion, including working capital. The LTIP, though, does not consider the absolute value of CFFO. Instead, it looks at growth from a base year, in this case 2018, when Shell’s CFFO performance was also exceptional with more than $50 billion generated. The LTIP compares the growth of Shell’s CFFO with the increases in CFFO of the other energy majors (BP, Chevron, Exxon and TotalEnergies). On this basis, Shell ranked fifth, resulting in a nil vesting for this measure.
Total shareholder return (TSR) (22.5%): Over the performance period, Shell returned more than $43 billion to shareholders in the form of dividends and share buybacks. However, similarly to CFFO, TSR is measured on a relative basis, compared with the other energy majors, Shell ranked fourth, resulting in a nil vesting for this measure.
Return on average capital employed (ROACE) (22.5%): Shell’s absolute 2021 ROACE for LTIP purposes was 7.8% (note ROACE for the LTIP calculation is based on disclosed net income and is not adjusted for the after tax interest expense and therefore differs from disclosed ROACE). Again performance is measured on a relative basis against the 2018 base year when Shell had ROACE (for LTIP purposes) of 8.3% and on growth Shell ranked fifth, resulting in a nil vesting.
FCF (22.5%): Performance is assessed on an absolute basis over the three-year performance period. Strong performance in 2021 has more than offset the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, with FCF of $87.5 billion generated over the three years, above the target of $82 billion. This resulted in a 137% vesting outcome on this measure.
Energy transition (10%): The vesting of the 2019 LTIP also marks the first time that we have vested an element under the LTIP energy transition performance condition.
Shell was the first major energy company, that we are aware of, to include such a comprehensive metric, which measures progress in transforming Shell’s businesses for a lower-carbon future, within long-term pay frameworks. This is a broad metric that assesses performance against a range of strategic business developments, as well as measuring our ultimate success in reducing the net carbon intensity of all energy products sold.
The first set of metrics were focused on laying the foundations for Shell’s future growth, building the customer base and developing the organisational capability to deliver against the key strategic ways of decarbonising Shell’s business: growing a power business, developing lower-carbon energy products and developing emission sinks. The REMCO has been pleased with the tangible progress shown over the performance cycle, with management demonstrating that it can create a pipeline of new business opportunities and mature projects through to investment. This includes reaching new customers through our growing power business, with acquisitions like ERM in Australia, developing renewables projects such as CrossWind, and investment in ventures such as Enerkem Varennes, which will produce low-carbon fuels and renewable chemicals products from non-recyclable waste, and LanzaJet, which converts ethanol from waste materials into low-carbon jet fuel. While many of these projects are small in comparison to some of Shell’s existing businesses, they lay the foundations for future growth.
The REMCO paid particular attention to the metric of net carbon intensity of all energy products sold. This provides a concrete marker of Shell’s success in decarbonising, with Shell the only major energy producer which has sought to connect executive pay with an intensity reduction target based on the full Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions from all energy products sold. The REMCO noted that the target for this had also been met with a reduction of 2.5% against the target range of 2-3%. The REMCO is pleased to see this target met over the performance period.
Taking everything into account, the REMCO determined that the final vesting outcome of the element of the 2019 LTIP weighted to the energy transition should vest at 180%.
Based on the above outcomes, the overall LTIP vesting outcome was 49%. This brings the ten-year average vesting outcome to 97%. This is broadly aligned with our target grant, although there have been a number of high and low-vesting outcomes over the last 10 years. The REMCO believes this illustrates the fundamental effectiveness of the LTIP and the close alignment between pay and performance the structure has provided over time.
Finalising the 2021 pay outcomes
In finalising pay outcomes, the REMCO considered the wider performance of Shell during 2021 and the LTIP performance period. It paid particular attention to:
- safety performance, in particular the eight fatalities within Shell’s operational control which occurred in three incidents and the downward adjustment to the annual bonus scorecard resulting in an overall bonus reduction equivalent to 10% of base salary of the Executive Directors;
- the strong financial and operational performance in 2021, with more than $45 billion of CFFO, including working capital, and $40 billion of FCF generated in the year;
- the work to accelerate Shell’s progress in the energy transition, including setting out our Powering Progress strategy, reshaping the organisation, simplifying the share structure, aligning Shell’s tax residence with its country of incorporation and setting targets for reducing absolute emissions;
- the shareholder experience, including the decline and extent of recovery in the share price over the LTIP performance period, as well as shareholder feedback provided during my engagements with major shareholders during March and April 2021;
- the reduction in net debt, which has supported the restart of share buybacks in 2021, and the progressive dividend policy;
- the employee experience, where the REMCO noted that the Group scorecard for all employees was set at 1.50 following an upwards management adjustment in recognition and appreciation of the extraordinary contributions made by our employees over a challenging period, and the Performance Share Plan, used to make discretionary share awards below senior executive level, which vested at 67%;
- the year-on-year comparison between single figure outcomes in 2020 and 2021, noting that the REMCO had decided there would be no 2020 annual bonuses for Executive Directors and Senior Management and year-on-year increases are primarily as a result of a 2021 bonus being awarded; and
- the ten-year average outcomes of the annual bonus scorecard (1.0) and LTIP (97%), which demonstrate the effectiveness of the current reward structures in aligning pay outcomes with targets over the longer term.
This resulted in a single-figure outcome of €7.4m for the CEO, an increase of 26% from 2020. The CFO’s single-figure outcome was €4.6m, a 24% increase from 2020. The REMCO was satisfied that the remuneration policies had operated as intended, and these outcomes were appropriate in the context of Company performance and the target pay opportunity under the shareholder-approved Remuneration Policy.
2021 pay outcomes summary
Updating Remuneration in line with our Developing Strategy
Relocation of the CEO and CFO to London
The CEO and CFO relocated to the UK, effective from December 31, 2021. Their transition to the UK is being supported in line with our existing shareholder-approved Directors’ Remuneration Policy, including the Group’s international mobility policies:
- There is no change to the target pay opportunity as a percentage of base salary. Base salaries have been converted from euros to pounds sterling using a 12-month average exchange rate.
- Target annual bonus and long-term incentive awards are unchanged.
- The CEO has moved from his Dutch pension plan to the standard UK Shell pension. This provides a contribution level of up to 20% of base salary, which is the same as that available to the general Shell employee population in the UK. This is less than the benefits provided under the CEO’s Dutch arrangements.
- The CFO will remain within her existing US pension arrangements. The REMCO manages this membership prudently as the annual bonus continues to be not pensionable for the CFO while it is for other US employees.
- The CEO and CFO will be responsible for their own taxes in the UK, except for some limited benefits such as relocation.
- In line with our Group-wide International Mobility policies, the CEO and CFO will receive support with temporary commuting costs such as travel and accommodation for the first six months, while their families remain in the Netherlands as their children complete their respective school years. The CEO will receive relocation benefits for his family’s move to the UK in due course.
- The CEO will receive a gross housing allowance for a time-limited period of 24 months from when his family relocates. This is a reduced benefit from Shell’s usual arrangements as Shell’s International Mobility policy would normally provide for housing throughout the overseas position where the employee is asked to move at the Company’s request.
- The approach the REMCO has taken is within the confines and provisions of the existing approved remuneration policy and the REMCO has taken a prudent approach in applying elements of Shell’s International Mobility policies.
Appointment of new CFO
On March 1, 2022 Shell announced that Sinead Gorman will replace Jessica Uhl as CFO with effect from April 1, 2022. Mrs Gorman will be based in London and will receive an annual base salary of £900,000 from appointment as CFO. There will be no change to the current target bonus and LTIP awards for the CFO of 120% (annual bonus) and 270% (LTIP). Mrs Gorman’s pension provision is aligned with the standard UK pension arrangement for new employees in the UK, with an employer contribution of 20% which she has elected to receive as a cash allowance. A further announcement regarding the terms of Mrs Uhl’s departure will be made in due course.
Other changes to 2022 remuneration
To ensure that Shell’s remuneration structures continue to be closely aligned with strategy, we will make the following changes to the 2022 annual bonus scorecard:
- The progress in the energy transition measure has to date focused on managing and reducing our operational emissions. However, succeeding in the energy transition requires us to change what we sell. To date, this has been reflected in pay through the LTIP’s energy transition performance condition. Starting in 2022, we will widen the scope of the progress in the energy transition measure on the annual bonus scorecard, to be based on three key themes:
- Selling lower-carbon products – as an energy supplier, we help customers to reduce their emissions by supplying lower-carbon products. We will measure our success at this according to the earnings share of our Marketing business from low- and no-carbon products.
- Reducing our emissions – as an energy user, our target is to achieve a 50% reduction by 2030; and this measure will be based on reducing our Scope 1 and 2 operational emissions.
- Partnering to decarbonise – as a partner, we work with our customers to help them reduce their emissions. In 2022, we will measure success in this area in terms of our progress in rolling out our electric vehicle charging network.
- Powering Progress emphasises the importance of building on our strong customer relationships to help transform Shell in the energy transition. To emphasise the importance of becoming increasingly customer-led, we will introduce a new customer excellence measure for 2022 under operational excellence. This will be based on our customer satisfaction scores, and the extent to which people prefer Shell over competitor brands, measured via brand preference scores. The customer excellence measure will combine elements of business-to-business and business-to-customer performance.
The year ahead promises to be another busy one, as the REMCO continues to make changes that will help Shell succeed in the energy transition and finalises proposals for the 2023 Directors’ Remuneration Policy, ahead of a vote at the 2023 AGM. I look forward to ongoing dialogue with our shareholders in the coming months.
Chair of the Remuneration Committee
March 9, 2022