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Managing waste

  • Circularity and waste: Our businesses are developing local waste management plans. We are exploring ways to improve the application of circular economy principles by developing circularity strategies.

As part of our overall respecting nature ambition, we aim to use water, other resources and materials efficiently, and to increase reuse and recycling. We have been conducting detailed assessments across our businesses to better understand our waste streams and define our approach.

In 2023, we started to embed the findings from the 24 waste and circularity assessments we conducted in 2021 and 2022 into local performance management systems. Our businesses are now developing local waste management plans. We are investigating options to reduce some of the more significant of our waste streams such as biosludge, potentially contaminated soils and drilling fluids.

We are exploring ways to improve the application of circular economy principles and to identify and integrate the risks and opportunities associated with a “rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, repair, recycle” hierarchy. We also work with our supply chain to help our businesses progress towards our aim of zero waste (see Supply chain).

Waste disposal

Thousand tonnes

0 1,500 3,000 23 22 21 20 19 18 17 16 15 14 Hazardous Non-hazardous

In 2023, we disposed of 631 thousand tonnes of hazardous waste, compared with 878 thousand tonnes in 2022. The decrease was due, in part, to lower volumes of sour water for deep-well disposal from processing activities at the Shell Scotford Refinery in Canada.

We disposed of 1,619 thousand tonnes of non-hazardous waste in 2023, compared with 1,135 thousand tonnes in 2022. The increase was primarily caused by higher volumes of water from production and maintenance activities that required disposal at the Shell-operated Scotford Upgrader (Shell interest 10%), Canada, and the ramp-up of low-carbon solutions and other project work.

In total, we disposed of 2,251 thousand tonnes of waste, compared with 2,012 thousand tonnes in 2022. We also sent 654 thousand tonnes of residual materials for reuse, recycling or use as a raw material in another process. For example, waste that might otherwise go to landfill can be incinerated to generate energy.

Find out more about waste and our circular economy approach at

Zero waste
The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse and recovery of products, packaging and materials without burning, and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health (Zero Waste International Alliance, 2018).
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