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Shell Foundation

Shell Foundation is an independent charity that applies business thinking to tackle global development challenges. It focuses on job creation by small enterprises, making supply chains more sustainable, enabling access to energy services and products, and improving urban design and transport systems.

Many major cities in developing countries have deprived neighbourhoods on their outskirts with no access to public transport, and central districts brought to a halt by traffic gridlock. In 2002, Shell Foundation and the World Resources Institute co-founded EMBARQ, a global network of transport specialists that help cities address such challenges.

EMBARQ has worked with 58 cities on a range of solutions including creating bus rapid transit systems, cycling routes, improved auto-rickshaw services and better urban planning, benefiting nearly 4 million people each day in countries including Brazil, India, Mexico, Peru and Turkey.

Access to energy

Around 1.3 billion people lack access to reliable, affordable energy – a critical requirement for improving health, education and livelihoods. In 2008, Shell Foundation formed a partnership with Husk Power Systems (HPS), a small business in Bihar, India, that generates affordable electricity by converting rice husks – a plentiful agricultural waste product in rural villages – to gas for power. HPS now runs 90 power plants that provide around 150,000 people with electricity, many for the first time. HPS has secured funding to expand in Asia and Africa.

Shell Foundation also supported a collaboration between two of its partners, M-Kopa and D.light Design, to launch their first product in 2012 – a solar lighting system which low-income consumers can pay for in instalments using their mobile phones. Around 20,000 people in Nairobi, Kenya, have benefited from using this system.

Shell Foundation was set up in 2000 with Shell providing a $250 million endowment and further contributions of $176 million over time.