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Embedding sustainability into our activities


Safety and the impact of our activities on the environment and communities are vital considerations when we plan, design and operate our projects and facilities. We want to help communities benefit from having us as their neighbour by generating jobs, supporting local businesses and promoting human rights and worker welfare.

The mandatory requirements in our Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Performance (HSSE & SP) Control Framework [A] help to ensure projects and facilities are designed and constructed safely, responsibly and in a consistent way.

[A] We are transitioning from the HSSE & SP Control Framework to our new Safety, Environment and Asset Management (SEAM) Standards as part of the Shell Performance Framework. The SEAM Standards will come into effect in mid-2024.

Respecting nature is embedded as a core business principle across our portfolio of projects globally. It extends across the entire lifespan of the facility, from design, engineering and construction to operation over many decades and decommissioning.

Assessing climate-related risks is an important part of our decision to invest in a project. Projects under development that are expected to have a material greenhouse gas impact must meet our internal carbon performance standards or industry benchmarks. This aims to ensure that our projects can compete and prosper in the energy transition.

Potential new projects are screened to determine if they are located in a critical habitat or result in deforestation. If we decide to proceed with a project located in a critical habitat, we develop a biodiversity action plan. This sets out actions needed to follow the mitigation hierarchy and, where there is impact, the actions needed to achieve a net positive impact.

In 2023, we started gas production at the unmanned Timi (Shell interest 75%) offshore platform in Malaysia, which is powered by solar and wind energy and is around 60% lighter than a conventional wellhead platform powered by oil and gas. In the US Gulf of Mexico, our latest Shell-operated development, Vito (Shell interest 63.1%), started production in 2023. Vito is a third the size of its original design, which is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by around 80% over its operating life. We are using the same design concept for our Shell-operated Whale facility (Shell interest 60%) and Sparta project (Shell interest 51%) in the US Gulf of Mexico, which are expected to start production in late 2024 and 2028 respectively. Sparta will also feature all-electric topside compression equipment, significantly reducing greenhouse gas intensity and emissions from our own operations.

Read more about how we embed sustainability into the life of a project at

Read about our major projects at

Decommissioning and restoration

Decommissioning is part of the normal life cycle of every oil and gas structure. We work hard to close and dispose of installations in a safe, efficient, cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner. This includes restoring the surroundings of platforms and facilities in line with relevant legislation, while taking our own environmental standards into account.

We have decommissioning and restoration activities under way in Brazil, Brunei, India, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. We seek to reuse, repurpose and recycle materials in decommissioning. At the end of 2023, we reported $19 billion on our balance sheet for current and non-current decommissioning and other provisions, which is how we account for future decommissioning expenses (see our 2023 Annual Report).

Shell invests in innovative decommissioning and restoration technologies, both in-house and by funding third parties. For instance, in the Netherlands, we have developed technology to deep-clean hazardous contaminants from unused pipelines. This allows us to sell the pipelines for reuse, such as for piping hydrogen, or recycle them and deliver on our ambitions of circularity.

Read more about Shell’s approach to decommissioning at

carbon dioxide
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health, safety, security, environment and social performance
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Net positive impact
Net Positive Impact (NPI) on biodiversity is a target for project outcomes in which the impacts on biodiversity (i.e. the variety of ecosystems and living things) caused by the project are outweighed by the actions taken to avoid and reduce such impacts, rehabilitate affected species/landscapes and offset any residual impacts. (IFC, 2019)
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Safety, Environment and Asset Management
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