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.

Social investment in 2020

Total spent globally

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$204 million

Total spent in lower-income countries

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$87 million

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 maths education; and
  • community skills and enterprise development.

For example, in Ethiopia we are working with Mercy Corps on a programme to help displaced people access energy. Together, we are exploring the feasibility of deploying clean, sustainable, reliable and affordable energy services for refugee camps.

Social investment

by theme

Social investment by theme: 24% Required social investment, 21% Disaster relief, 20% Energy access, 12% Education, 10% Community development, 6% Community skills and enterprise development, 2% Health, 2% Biodiversity, 2% Other, 1% Road safety (pie chart)

Social investment programme focus areas are determined by local community needs and priorities. In 2020, we spent almost $204 million on social investment, of which 24% was required by government regulations or contractual agreements. We spent the remaining $156 million (76%) on voluntary social investment. We spent approximately $46 million on COVID-19 contributions, largely as voluntary initiatives. About $5 million of this was part of our contractual obligations.

Around $87 million of our total social investment spend in 2020 was in countries that, according to the Development Programme’s Human Development Index 2019, have a gross domestic product of less than $15,000 a year per person.

Social investment

by region

Social investment by region: 38% Sub-Saharan Africa, 17% Global, 14% Middle East and North Africa, 10% USA and Canada , 9% Europe/Central Asia, 8% Asia Pacific, 4% Latin America (pie chart)
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