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Our approach to sustainability

Our commitment to contribute to sustainable development has been part of the Shell General Business Principles since 1997. These principles, together with our Code of Conduct, apply to the way we do business and to our conduct with the communities where we operate.

We have worked to embed this sustainability commitment into our strategy, our business processes and decision-making.

We aim to provide more and cleaner energy solutions in a responsible manner – in a way that balances short- and long-term interests, and that integrates economic, environmental and social considerations.

Our strategy

Today, we continue to build on these foundations while driving change across the organisation to help society meet its most pressing challenges, including those related to climate change, the environment, diversity and inclusion, and human rights.

We seek the views of various groups and individuals about the role of an organisation like Shell in addressing these challenges. Our efforts are informed by major international agreements and initiatives, such as the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

In February 2021, we announced Powering Progress, our strategy to accelerate the transition of our business to net-zero emissions, in step with society. Powering Progress is designed to integrate sustainability with our business strategy. Powering Progress has four main goals in support of our purpose, to power progress together by providing more and cleaner energy solutions:

  • generating shareholder value: increasing value through a dynamic portfolio and disciplined capital allocation;
  • achieving net-zero emissions: working with our customers and across sectors to accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions;
  • powering lives: powering lives through our products and activities, and by supporting an inclusive society; and
  • respecting nature: protecting the environment, reducing waste and making a positive contribution to biodiversity.

Powering Progress is underpinned by our focus on safety and our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people. This means we have a commitment to do business in an ethical and transparent way.

For more information on our Powering Progress strategy, see section “Our strategy”.

Masked Shell worker at Shell gas station  (photo)
Shell staff and contractors worked hard to assist in the global fight against the virus, and to support recovery efforts.

Sustainability reporting boundary and guidelines

Data in this section are reported on a 100% basis in respect of activities where a Shell company is the operator (unless noted otherwise). Reporting on an operational control basis differs from that applied for financial reporting purposes in the Notes of the “Consolidated Financial Statements”.

Additional data on our 2021 environmental and social performance are expected to be published in the Shell Sustainability Report in April 2022.

We use certain guidelines to inform our reporting on sustainability issues: As a member of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, we support the organisation’s updated criteria for membership from 2022, which include requirements for corporate transparency.

  • We report in line with guidelines developed by IPIECA, the global oil and gas association for advancing environmental and social performance across the energy transition.
  • In January 2021, we agreed to adopt the Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics, a set of environmental, social and governance metrics released by the World Economic Forum and its International Business Council.
  • We map our disclosures against the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board’s (SASB) Oil & Gas – Exploration & Production Standard.
  • In the “Climate change and energy transition” section of this Report, we set out our climate-related financial disclosures consistent with all of the recommendations and recommended disclosures of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic – helping colleagues, customers and communities

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a serious impact on people’s health and livelihoods in most parts of the world, including communities where we work. Shell is working hard to assist in the global fight against the virus, and to support recovery efforts.

See our website for information on the steps we took to provide support to our staff and others.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seek to address the world’s biggest challenges, including ending poverty, improving health and education, making cities sustainable and tackling climate change.

Governments are responsible for prioritising and implementing approaches that meet the SDGs, but achieving these tasks will require unprecedented collaboration and collective action across businesses, governments and civil society.

We will play our part in helping governments and societies to achieve the SDGs. The goals were one of the considerations in the development of our Powering Progress strategy. The actions we take as part of our Powering Progress strategy can help directly contribute to 13 of the SDGs, while indirectly contributing to others.

See our website for information on how Shell is contributing to the SDGs.

Board oversight for sustainability

We describe Shell’s overall governance framework in section “Governance framework. It provides information on the roles of the Board, its committees, and the Executive Committee. The Safety, Environment and Sustainability Committee (SESCo) advises the Board on safety, the environment including climate change and broader sustainability. More information on SESCo’s role and activities in 2021 is provided in section “Safety, Environment and Sustainability Committee”.

The “Annual Report on Remuneration” provides details of how the Shell scorecard captures key performance indicators for safety, environment and climate.

Shell general business principles

The Shell General Business Principles set out our responsibilities to shareholders, customers, employees, business partners and society. They set the standards for how we conduct business with integrity, care and respect for people, while seeking to protect the environment and establish mutually beneficial relationships with communities. All ventures that a Shell company operates must conduct their activities in line with our business principles.

International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association
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