Investing in communities

Investing in communities where we operate – what we call social investment – is an important part of being a good neighbour. Most of our social investment is at country and community level. Our businesses tailor their social investment strategy to the communities’ needs, while working to a common global vision and framework.

Shell has three core themes of social investment in areas that are closely connected to our business: enabling access to energy, improving road safety, and enabling employment within communities. Local Shell teams determine which social investment themes are relevant to the community and design programmes accordingly, working within a common framework for measuring social and business outcomes. (See box). Social investment teams also have the freedom to implement locally-tailored programmes for community development, education, biodiversity and conservation in response to local needs. We also partner whenever possible with other businesses, development agencies and non-governmental organisations to implement our programmes.

Our global framework enables us to measure the impact of our social investment programmes in terms of positive outcomes for the community as well as achievement of our business goals. Our social performance teams also work closely with our contracting and procurement organisation to encourage local procurement of goods and services, contributing to local or regional economic development. (See Social performance).

Encouraging local enterprise

The need to develop local enterprise, skills and jobs is one of the most common topics raised by local communities. Shell has many programmes in place to support and encourage the building of new businesses and generate local employment. Our LiveWIRE programme helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into long-term sources of income. The programme was extended to Malaysia in 2015 and is active in 15 countries where we operate. In 2015, more than 8,000 people took part in LiveWIRE and small business development programmes and more than 90 businesses were established.

We further support communities by offering training for jobs in the oil and gas industry. For example, in Argentina, we are working with the mayor of San Patricio del Chañar on two local training initiatives. One programme trains adults to work in the welding and electrical trades; the other prepares students for specific jobs in the energy industry, such as working on a drilling rig or inspecting equipment.