Product stewardship

We work to ensure our products – such as fuels, lubricants and chemicals – are safe throughout their life cycle. Our goal is to protect employees, customers, communities and the environment from potential risks posed by these products and to comply with relevant laws such as chemicals management laws.

Good product stewardship means we assess and manage the products’ potential health, safety and environmental risks. We work with customers and suppliers, monitor changes in the science behind our products and support research to reduce risks. We communicate the potential hazards associated with our products and publish safe handling information on labels and safety data sheets.

Visit for more on our approach to product stewardship.

In 2019, we published and distributed more than 346,000 safety data sheets to customers in around 120 countries. We also follow formal internal risk assessment processes to identify and manage risks. In 2019, we carried out more than 600 formal risk assessments for products and additives.

We are also preparing for regulations and requirements that aim to create a more circular economy, such as those arising from changes to waste framework directives. A circular economy is based on the idea that things are designed to last longer and to be reused, repurposed or recycled. In 2019, we worked to define and establish internal health, safety and environmental standards for recycling used oil back into useful motor oils for the market. Our product stewardship team has also helped us use recycled plastics as chemicals feedstock for the first time by assessing risks and assuring regulatory compliance of this circular feedstock.

Activity in the laboratory of the Shell Technology Centre Houston, 2018 (photo)

We have technology centres in our three major innovation hubs – in India, the Netherlands and the USA – with scientists and engineers conducting vital research into our products.