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.
We follow internal risk assessment processes to identify and manage our products’ potential health, safety, and environmental risks. In 2020, we carried out more than 700 risk assessments for products and additives. We also published and distributed around 100,000 safety data sheets to customers in about 160 countries.
We aim to ensure that products classified as dangerous goods are safely packed and transported according to local and international regulations.
We are preparing for regulations and requirements that aim to create a more circular economy, such as those arising from changes to European Union directives on waste. A circular economy is based on the idea that things are designed to last longer and to be reused, repurposed, or recycled.
In 2020, we continued to strengthen our capabilities in this area; for example, by appointing a dedicated waste adviser to our product stewardship team. We also have internal health, safety, and environmental standards for recycling used oil back into useful motor oils for the market.
Increasingly, we use plastic waste as feedstock at our chemical plants (see Plastics). In 2020, our product stewardship team worked with suppliers on assessing risks and assuring regulatory compliance to enable them to enter the growing circular feedstock market.
We engage with regulators about the safe and sustainable use of chemicals to inform and build trust in the chemicals industry. In 2020, we contributed to the American Chemistry Council sustainability metrics review and the European regulatory agency’s chemicals management review. We provided information on data quality and completeness to the European agency in response to concerns from regulators and wider society.
Visit www.shell.com/product-stewardship for more on our approach to product stewardship.