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 manuals, which align with the Shell Commitment and Policy on HSSE & SP. Guidance documents, assurance protocols, and training materials support the implementation of the manuals.
The HSSE & SP CF applies to every Shell entity and Shell-operated venture. It defines requirements and accountabilities at each organisational level, setting expectations for the management of HSSE & SP risks. We aim to ensure that 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. The applicability of specific HSSE & SP CF requirements to contract staff depends on the defined HSSE & SP risks of the material or services procured as determined by the contracting Shell entity in the context of the HSSE & SP CF. Contractors are required through appropriate contract provisions to adhere to either Shell requirements and standards or applicable industry standards.
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.
The Shell Internal Audit & Investigations (SIAI) team is the single independent assurance organisation within Shell. Within SIAI, the HSSE & SP and Asset Management Assurance team provides assurance to the Board on the effectiveness of the HSSE & SP Control Framework (CF) through an audit programme.
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. We take care to invest responsibly in the energy transition and screen our investments against multiple criteria.
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, 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.
See the section “Risk management and controls” for more information.
Decommissioning and restoration
Decommissioning is part of the normal life cycle of every oil and gas structure. We work hard to close and dispose of installations in a safe, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner. This includes restoring the surroundings of platforms and facilities in line with relevant legislation, while taking our own standards into account. We have decommissioning and restoration activities under way in Brazil, Brunei, India, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. We seek to reuse, repurpose and recycle materials in decommissioning. At the end of 2022, we reported $20 billion on our balance sheet for current and non-current decommissioning and other provisions (see Note 24 to the Consolidated Financial Statements).
Shell invests in innovative technologies for decommissioning and restoration which are developed in-house or by funding third parties. For instance, our Local Expander technology is used throughout the industry to plug unused wells and stop methane and liquids from escaping over time. The expander is easy to deploy and typically reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least half compared to the alternative method of plugging.
See the business sections for more information.