Sustainability at Shell

Our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people – first laid out in the Shell General Business Principles more than 40 years ago – underpin our approach to sustainability. A commitment to contribute to sustainable development was added in 1997. These principles, together with our Code of Conduct, apply to the way we do business and to our conduct with the communities where we operate. Since 1997, we have worked to embed this commitment in our strategy, our business processes and decision-making. We have set clear ambitions, goals and targets that address our key sustainability challenges. Sustainability is core to our project planning and operational activities.

Our approach

Sustainability at Shell means providing more and cleaner energy solutions in a responsible manner – in a way that balances short- and long-term interests, and that integrates economic, environmental and social considerations into decision-making.

Sustainability is integrated across our business on three levels:

  • in Shell company operations – by running a safe, efficient, responsible and profitable business
  • for our customers – by helping to shape a more sustainable energy future; and
  • with communities and wider society – by sharing benefits where we operate and making a positive contribution.

Running a safe, efficient, responsible and profitable business

This is the foundation of our approach. We strive to produce and deliver energy responsibly – in a way that respects people, their safety and their environment. At the simplest level, this means doing no harm. We apply global standards to manage safety, the environment and how we engage with communities and we work to continuously improve our performance.

Shell community liaison officer meets a landowner with a Shell well site in the distance in Appalachia, USA. (photo)

A Shell community liaison officer meets a landowner near a well site at our unconventional project in Appalachia, USA.

Helping to shape a more sustainable energy future

We provide products that people need and want to improve their lives – in their homes and businesses, and for transport. We aim to be responsible stewards for these products. We intend to adapt, innovate and play our part in the global shift to provide more and cleaner energy solutions for all in a sustainable future. This means transforming our product mix over time. We are taking action on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our products. We aim to cut the Net Carbon Footprint of the energy products we sell by around half by 2050, in step with society’s progress to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Making a positive contribution to society

We aim to play a positive role in communities where we operate and in wider society. We contribute to the development of local economies by creating jobs, boosting skills, sourcing from local suppliers, as well as paying taxes and royalties. We support community projects that are based on the needs of local communities. Our ambition that, by 2030, we will be providing a reliable electricity supply to 100 million people in the developing world who do not have this today is also designed to bring wider benefits. We continue to work on developing a longer-term strategy to achieve this ambition.

Young boy with his face illuminated by the tablet he is using. (photo)

We aim to deliver energy products that people need and want – and do this responsibly to help shape a more sustainable energy future.

Support for international agreements

We welcome the ’s sustainable development goals, which seek to tackle the world’s economic, social and environmental challenges by 2030, and aim to play our part in helping governments and society to achieve them (see Sustainable development goals).

We respect human rights as set out in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s core conventions. We also support a number of external voluntary codes that promote responsible business practices.

We support the UN Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to limit the rise in global average temperatures this century to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

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