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Ethical leadership

Powering Progress is underpinned by our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people, and our focus on safety. This includes our commitment to doing business in an ethical and transparent way.

Our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people underpin our work with employees, customers, investors, contractors, suppliers, non-governmental organisations, the communities where we operate and others.

Shell General Business Principles

The Shell General Business Principles set out our responsibilities to shareholders, customers, employees, business partners and society. They set the standards for how we conduct business with integrity, care and respect for people. As part of these principles, we commit to contribute to sustainable development, balancing short- and long-term interests and integrating economic, environmental and social considerations into our decision-making. All Shell employees and contractors, and those at joint ventures we operate, are expected to behave in line with these business principles.

Code of Conduct

The Shell Code of Conduct explains how employees, contractors and anyone else acting on behalf of Shell must behave to live up to our business principles. The Code of Conduct covers safety, anti-bribery and corruption, fair competition, human rights and other important areas.

Shell employees, contractors and third parties can report any potential breaches of the Code of Conduct confidentially through several channels, including anonymously through the Shell Global Helpline, which is operated by an independent provider. We maintain a stringent no retaliation policy to protect any person making an allegation in good faith.

Anti-bribery and corruption

Shell has rules on anti-bribery and corruption in its Code of Conduct and Ethics and Compliance Manual. Contractors and consultants are also required to act consistently with our Code of Conduct when working on our behalf.

Shell has around 25,000 suppliers worldwide. We offer free training in anti-bribery and anti-corruption practices to selected suppliers and contractors. This training is available in 14 languages. In 2023, we offered training to 131 third-party organisations in 16 countries.


In 2023 there were:

  • 2,134

    reports to the Shell Global Helpline

  • 254

    confirmed breaches of the Code of Conduct

  • 278

    employees or contractor staff subject to disciplinary action

  • 66

    people dismissed

Shell Performance Framework

The Shell Performance Framework is the overarching framework adopted by Shell plc to deliver on its strategy. The framework applies to all Shell companies and provides a consistent approach for how each company in Shell operates. It was introduced in July 2023 and replaces the Shell Control Framework.

Safety, Environment and Asset Management (SEAM) Standards

Our standards and governance structure are currently defined in our Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Performance (HSSE & SP) Control Framework and supporting guidance documents.

We are transitioning to our new Safety, Environment and Asset Management (SEAM) Standards, which come into effect from July 1, 2024. The standards are part of the Shell Performance Framework. Implementation of migration to the SEAM Standards, pursuant to guidance on expectations and process, will continue throughout 2024 into 2025. 

Protecting personal data

Shell respects the privacy of individuals and recognises that personal data belong to the individual.

We maintain a data privacy programme, a comprehensive governance structure and established reporting lines to ensure consistent levels of data protection across the Group. Our staff and contractors receive clear guidance and training on the importance of managing data privacy risks.

Whenever we acquire a company, we work to ensure they follow our privacy compliance framework and information management standards. Some of our newly acquired companies are not yet in full compliance with our Binding Corporate Rules on data privacy. Following assessments for each of those companies, specific actions are planned and put in place to achieve compliance, with regular updates made on their progress to management.

In 2023, we notified a number of data privacy regulators of personal data breaches.

Read more about Shell data privacy rules in our 2023 Annual Report and at

Cyber security

Digitalisation is a key success factor in Shell’s Powering Progress strategy. However, a breach of IT systems or loss of data could cause significant harm to Shell in the form of loss of productivity, loss of intellectual property, regulatory fines or reputational damage,

Shell operates a multi-level defence strategy underpinned by the Shell Performance Framework. Our advanced cyber defence capabilities help us prevent, detect, respond to and evolve as cyber security and data privacy risks become more complex.

Shell employees and contract staff are required to complete mandatory training courses and participate in regular awareness campaigns aimed at protecting us against cyber threats.

health, safety, security, environment and social performance
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Safety, Environment and Asset Management
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