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Our strategy

Powering Progress is our strategy to accelerate the transition of our business to net-zero emissions, in step with society.


Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the world faces today, and necessitates a rapid transformation of the energy system to net-zero emissions.

Shell supports the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement, which is to limit the rise in global average temperature this century to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

To achieve this, there needs to be urgent action to reduce emissions across power, transport, buildings, and industries like steel and chemicals. Shell must play its part, purposefully and profitably, in helping to make these changes happen.

The energy transition will bring risk and involve confronting complex and difficult obstacles, while at the same time acting on other great challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, which is continuing to cause unprecedented levels of disruption.

But the energy transition will also offer great opportunities.

More than 120 countries and over 2,000 companies and organisations have made commitments to get to net-zero emissions by 2050. Shell is taking action, sector by sector. We seek to work with our customers to profitably serve their changing needs, and to help decarbonise the energy system and reach net-zero emissions.

Our approach is to start with the customer or sector and ask: what do they want and need – today, and in the future?

By listening to our customers and learning from them, we work out how to profitably provide the low-carbon products and services that they want and need – today and throughout their progress to net-zero emissions.

There will be no single solution that fits all customers. Instead, there will be variations in what customers want and need, with differing approaches and rates of progress across countries, sectors and markets. Shell aims to provide customers with what works best for them in their particular circumstances.

Customers’ use of our energy products accounts for the vast majority of energy-related carbon emissions of our products sold. By helping our customers get to net zero, we will also help ourselves get to net zero.

Powering progress

Powering Progress is our strategy to accelerate the transition of our business to net-zero emissions, in step with society’s progress towards the goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Powering Progress generates value for our shareholders, customers and wider society. It has four main goals which integrate sustainability with our business strategy. These goals support Shell’s purpose, to power progress together by providing more and cleaner energy solutions. We expect our employees at all times to maintain our focus on safety and abide by our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people.

Generating shareholder value

We aim to create the conditions for share price appreciation by preparing our business for the future and seizing the opportunities presented by the energy transition. Shell must take a dynamic approach to its portfolio during the energy transition. This means continuing to provide the energy the world needs today, and increasing our investments in lower-carbon energy products and services. We aim to do this while providing sustainable distributions today through our progressive dividend policy. In 2021, we re-based our dividend to $0.24 per share. We announced a share buyback programme of up to $3.5 billion, including $1.5 billion from the sale of our Permian business. The additional shareholder distributions from the Permian sale will eventually total $7 billion, with $5.5 billion distributed in the form of share buybacks in 2022. We aim to maintain a strong balance sheet and a disciplined approach to capital investment, so we remain strong and resilient. In this way, we will achieve our aim of being a compelling investment case for our shareholders.

On December 10, 2021, the shareholders of the company supported the resolution to amend Shell’s articles of association to enable the simplification of the Company. The simplification entailed establishing a single line of shares to eliminate the complexity of Shell’s A/B share structure. It also involved aligning Shell’s tax residence with its country of incorporation in the UK by relocating the CEO, the CFO and the venue of Board and Executive Committee meetings to the UK. As a consequence, we changed the Company’s name from Royal Dutch Shell plc to Shell plc.

The simplification was designed to strengthen Shell’s competitiveness and accelerate shareholder distributions and the delivery of our strategy to become a net-zero emissions energy business.

Aerial view of buildings in city (photo)

Achieving net-zero emissions

We have a target to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society. In 2021, we set a new target to halve the absolute emissions from our operations and the energy we buy to run them by 2030 (our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions), compared with 2016 levels on a net basis. We also brought forward our target to eliminate routine gas flaring at our Upstream operated assets from 2030 to 2025.

We are transforming our business and finding new opportunities in selling more low-carbon products and services such as biofuels, hydrogen, electricity generated by solar and wind power, and charging for electric vehicles. In 2021, we announced that we are building an 820,000 tonnes-a-year biofuels facility at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. In Germany, we opened the Refhyne electrolyser at our Energy and Chemicals Park Rheinland. This electrolyser is the largest of its kind in Europe, producing 1,300 tonnes of green hydrogen per year from renewable energy.

We are decarbonising sector by sector, forming alliances and working collaboratively with customers, businesses and governments to make progress in the energy transition and reduce emissions. This includes sectors that are harder to decarbonise, such as aviation, shipping, commercial road freight, power, heating and certain parts of industry. We also support government policies to reduce carbon emissions in the economy, including putting a direct price on carbon emissions.

Windmills at the Noordzee Wind Farm, Netherlands (photo)

Powering lives

Shell helps to power lives and livelihoods by providing vital energy for homes, businesses and transport. The supply of affordable, reliable and sustainable energy is crucial for addressing global challenges, including those related to poverty and inequality. Our ambition, by 2030, is to provide reliable electricity to 100 million people in Africa and Asia who do not have it yet. We support livelihoods by providing employment and training in the communities where we operate. We are working to become one of the most diverse and inclusive companies in the world, a place where everyone feels valued and respected. We are focusing on four areas: gender, race and ethnicity, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) and disability. We seek to respect human rights in all parts of our business.

Aerial view of multi-colored tents at market stall in city during night, Thailand (photo)

Respecting nature

We are stepping up our environmental ambitions, and shaping them to reflect the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our environmental ambitions include protecting and enhancing biodiversity. We are also focusing on using water and other resources more efficiently and reusing as much of them as we can. We are reducing waste from our operations and increasing the recycling of plastics. In 2021, we announced that we will build a new pyrolysis oil upgrader unit at our manufacturing site on Pulau Bukom, Singapore. Scheduled to start production in 2023, the upgrader is designed to improve the quality of pyrolysis oil, a liquid made from hard-to-recycle plastic waste that would otherwise have gone into landfill. We are helping to improve air quality by reducing emissions from our operations and providing cleaner ways to power transport and industry.

Aerial view of road and Glengarry forest, Scotland UK (photo)