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Governance and standards

Effective governance, standards and controls within Shell help to ensure good sustainability performance, in health, safety and the environment, and in our work with communities.

Corporate & Social Responsibility Committee visiting the site of the proposed LNG development at Kitimat, Canada. (photo)
In 2014, the CSRC visited the site of
the proposed LNG development at
Kitimat, Canada.

Our governance procedures are applied to all areas of decision making across Shell. This involves the Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc, four Board Committees, the Executive Committee, and the teams and individuals who work in our operations. We take rigorous care to ensure that decisions are cascaded within the business.

The Corporate & Social Responsibility Committee (CSRC) is one of the four Board Committees. Their views and findings about our sustainability practices are integrated into Shell’s business to strengthen our procedures and operations within countries.

The Corporate & Social Responsibility Committee

The CSRC was established in 2005. The Committee’s role is to review and advise on policies and performance against the Shell General Business Principles, the Shell Code of Conduct and mandatory Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Performance (HSSE & SP) standards.

The Committee met five times in 2014 and currently consists of four Non-executive Directors. They bring experience from industry and national government. The Chairman of the CSRC during 2014 was Charles O. Holliday, former CEO and Chairman of DuPont. He is assisted by: Sir Nigel Sheinwald, a former British diplomat; Patricia A. Woertz, a business leader with extensive experience in the oil sector; and Gerrit Zalm, a former Minister of Finance from the Netherlands.

“The Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee plays a crucial role in governance by reviewing sustainability performance,” says Charles O. Holliday. “We are here to help Shell’s executive management to achieve the continual improvements in safety, environmental and social performance that are so essential to the energy sector.”

Activities in 2014

The CSRC undertakes regular in-depth reviews of key parts of our business and monitors any major issues of public concern that are relevant to Shell. They review a broad range of sustainability topics, including environmental, social and health impacts of our projects and operations drawing on performance updates and data that are gathered from across Shell. In 2014, topics included climate change, human rights and process safety management. The CSRC assesses Shell’s sustainability performance, audit results and the sustainable development metrics that apply to the Executive Committee. (See “Economic”).

Each year, the Committee visits locations to speak with Shell employees, contractors and suppliers and to help assess whether we are putting our standards into practice. During these visits, they also meet with members of the local community and other interested parties, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs). After each visit, the Committee shares its observations with the Board and with the management responsible for that project.

In 2014, the Committee visited Shell’s operations in Canada, including the oil sands in Alberta, the Groundbirch tight gas and oil field, and the site of the proposed liquefied natural gas development at Kitimat. They also met several NGOs in Washington, DC, USA and visited research facilities at Rijswijk in the Netherlands. In 2013, the CSRC visited Shell sites in Alaska and South Africa.