Skip to main content

HSSE & SP Control Framework

In Shell, health, safety, security, environment, and social performance (HSSE & SP) are vitally important to generating value. They are indispensable elements of our organisation. The Shell HSSE & SP Control Framework (CF) consists of mandatory standards and manuals, which align with the Shell Commitment and Policy on HSSE & SP. Guidance documents, assurance protocols, and training materials support implementation of the standards and manuals.

The HSSE & SP CF applies to every Shell entity and Shell-operated venture, including all employees and contract staff. The HSSE & SP CF defines requirements and accountabilities at each organisational level and sets out processes and procedures. We aim to ensure that all significant HSSE & SP risks associated with our business activities are assessed and managed to minimise them as far as reasonably practicable. Our HSSE & SP functions provide expert advice and support businesses to improve HSSE & SP performance.

We aim to minimise the environmental impact of new projects and existing operations. Shell conducts an environmental, social and health impact assessment for every major project. We engage with local communities and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in order to understand and respond to their concerns in a timely and suitable manner.

HSSE & SP Control Framework

The HSSE & SP Control Framework defines mandatory standards, requirements and accountabilities. The framework applies to Shell entities and Shell-operated ventures, including employees and contractor staff.

Shell Commitment and Policy on Health, Security, Safety, the Environment and Social Performance Personal Safety Transport Social Performance Resources Health Environment Product Stewardship Projects – Purpose of the manual– Accountabilities and responsibili-ties– Scope Mandatory manuals describe: Process Safety Security Contractor HSSEManagement HSSE & SPManagement System Health Process Safety Personal Safety HSSE & SPManagement System Environment Transport Contractor HSSEManagement – Purpose of the manual– Accountabilities and responsibilities – Scope– Requirements to be met Social Performance Mandatory manualsdescribe: Resources Product Stewardship Projects Security Shell Commitment and Policy on Health, Security,Safety, the Environment and Social Performance


The Process Safety and HSSE & SP Assurance team provides assurance to the Board on the effectiveness of the HSSE & SP CF through an audit programme. The full Shell portfolio comprises about 200 organisational groups covered by this programme. Audits are performed with a frequency of between three and five years, depending on the overall risk and complexity of a particular facility or organisational group. The Board approves an annual audit plan. On average, the assurance team conducts about 50 audits on a variety of subject areas per year. The scope of the audits is designed to test risk areas as defined in the HSSE & SP CF. This includes the overall HSSE & SP management system and specific requirements for areas such as personal safety, environment and contractor management. Based on audit outcomes, the audit frequency for an entity may be increased. The relevant business documents the audit findings, records any action items and tracks them to completion.

We expect joint ventures not operated by Shell to apply standards and principles substantially equivalent to our own. We support these joint ventures in implementing such standards and principles. We also offer to help them review the effectiveness of their implementation. Even if such a review is not conducted, we periodically evaluate HSSE & SP risks faced by the ventures that we do not operate. If a joint venture does not meet our HSSE & SP expectations, we seek to improve performance by working with our partners to develop and implement remedial action plans.

From August 2021, we integrated the Process Safety and HSSE & SP Assurance team and the related HSSE & SP assurance programme into the Shell Internal Audit & Investigations (SIAI) team to form a single independent assurance organisation within Shell. Within SIAI, the HSSE & SP and Asset Management Assurance team continues to provide assurance to the Board on the effectiveness of the HSSE & SP CF as outlined above.

Shell aims to work with suppliers that behave in a safe, economically, environmentally and socially responsible manner. Our approach to suppliers is set out in our Shell General Business Principles and Shell Supplier Principles. These cover expectations in areas such as business integrity, health and safety, environment, and human rights.


Responsible divestments are a key part of transitioning our portfolio to deliver our Powering Progress strategy.

When considering divestments, we collaborate with in-house and external experts, where appropriate, to conduct checks and examine key attributes of potential buyers. These attributes may include their financial strength; operating culture; health, safety, security and environment (HSSE) policies; and approach to ethics and compliance. We also consider risk- and people-management processes and standards; community liaison practices; and social performance programmes.

Applicable attributes are assessed against Shell’s policies and the requirements of relevant local regulations. Divestments are often subject to the approval of regulatory authorities, which may in part depend on potential buyers’ HSSE capacity, compliance record, and asset-stewardship capabilities.

health, safety, security and environment
View complete glossary
non-governmental organisation
View complete glossary