Shell’s purpose is to power progress together by providing more and cleaner energy solutions. Our strategy is to strengthen our position as a leading energy company by providing oil, gas and low-carbon energy products and services as the world’s energy system transforms. Safety and social responsibility are fundamental to our business approach. Shell will only succeed by working collaboratively with customers, governments, business partners, investors and other stakeholders.

Our strategy is founded on our outlook for the energy sector and the chance to grasp the opportunities arising from the substantial changes in the world around us. The rising standard of living of a growing global population is likely to continue to drive demand for energy for years to come. The world will need to find a way to meet this growing demand, while transitioning to a lower-carbon energy system to counter climate change. While liquid and gaseous fuels, including biofuels and hydrogen, will continue to be an important part of the energy mix, over time electricity needs to play a bigger part in the world if it is to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Technological advances and the need to tackle climate change mean there is a transition under way to a lower-carbon, multi-source energy system with increasing customer choice. We recognise that the pace and the path forward are uncertain and so require agile decision-making.

Strategy: Thrive in the energy transition; World-class investment case, Strong licence to operate (bar chart)

Strategic ambitions

Against this backdrop, we have the following strategic ambitions to guide us in pursuing our purpose:

  • to thrive in the energy transition by responding to society’s desire for more and cleaner, convenient and competitive energy;
  • to provide a world-class investment case. This involves growing organic free cash flow and increasing returns, all built upon a strong financial framework and resilient portfolio; and
  • to sustain a strong societal licence to operate and make a positive contribution to society through our activities.

The execution of our strategy is founded on becoming a more customer-centric and simpler, more streamlined organisation, focused on growing returns and organic free cash flow. By investing in competitive projects, delivering increases in cash flow from operations, and driving down costs, we are continually reshaping our portfolio to become a more resilient and focused company.

Our ability to achieve our strategic ambitions depends on how we respond to competitive forces. We continually assess the external environment – the markets and the underlying economic, political, social and environmental drivers that shape them – to evaluate changes in competitive forces and business models. We use multiple future scenarios to assess the resilience of our strategy. We regularly review the markets we operate in, assessing our competitive position by analysing trends and uncertainties, and the strengths and weaknesses of our traditional and non-traditional competitors. We maintain business strategies and plans that focus on actions and capabilities to create and sustain competitive advantage. We maintain a risk management framework that regularly assesses our response to, and risk appetite for, identified risk factors.