Social investment

We invest in community projects so that local people can benefit from social and economic development. This investment is sometimes voluntary and sometimes required by governments, or part of a contractual agreement.

The intent of our social investment programmes is to benefit society and the environment where we operate, and also to create a more positive local business environment for Shell.

As well as responding to local social investment priorities, we have three global social investment themes:

  • access to energy;
  • science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM); and
  • community skills and enterprise development.

Social investment in 2019


Dollar sign in a head (icon)
$173 million


World with marker on it (icon)
$84 million

Social investment programme focus areas are determined by local community needs and priorities.

In 2019, we spent almost $173 million on social investment, of which 33% was required by government regulations or contractual agreements. We spent $116 million on voluntary social investment, of which around $60 million was in line with our global themes. The remaining $56 million was spent on local programmes for community development, disaster relief, road safety, health and biodiversity.

Around $84 million of our total social investment spend in 2019 was in countries that are part of the Development Programme’s Human Development Index 2018. These countries have a gross domestic product of less than $15,000 a year per person.

Social investment

proportion of spend

Social investment – proportion of spend: Required social investment: 33%; Community development: 21%; Education: 20%; Access to energy: 8%; Community skills and enterprise development: 7%; Health: 3%; Biodiversity: 3%; Other: 3%; Road safety: 1%; Disaster relief: 1% (pie chart)

Social investment

by region

Social investment – by region: Asia Pacific: 12%; Europe/Central Asia: 8%; Middle East and North Africa: 20%; Sub-Saharan Africa: 38%; Global: 6%; Latin America: 4%; US and Canada: 12% (pie chart)
United Nations
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