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In focus Tax and sustainability

Tax is an important part of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach that companies like Shell are implementing. Tax and tax policy can play a critical role in the development of a more sustainable future by raising revenues for social investment and encouraging investment in lower-carbon energy, for example through incentives and grants.

In 2021, at the World Economic Forum, Shell joined a global coalition of more than 70 businesses that have agreed to incorporate a range of ESG performance factors, such as tax, in their key reporting materials, including annual reports and sustainability reports. These Stakeholder Capitalism Metrics comprise 21 disclosures which are mapped to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. One of the metrics is for companies to disclose their total tax borne.


With regard to the environmental aspect of ESG, tax can play an important role in government policies relating to the energy transition, such as taxes on plastics, carbon and waste, and incentives for investment in renewables and lower-carbon energy. Read more in the UK environmental taxes and Electric vehicles and tax in-focus sections.


A sizeable share of taxes paid by individuals and businesses generates the revenues that governments need to fund society’s basic needs, as well as its development and progress. Shell is committed to contributing to the communities where we have activities.


Shell’s commitment to contribute to sustainable development has been part of the Shell General Business Principles since 1997 and we are a founding member of the B Team Responsible tax principles. Read more in Our approach to tax.

A woman in the front passenger seat of a car looking through the windshield. (photo)
Tax is an important part of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach.
Tax borne
Tax that represents a cost to Shell and impacts upon its financial results. This includes Tax Paid (see Introduction to country-by-country reporting) as well as non-corporate taxes, such as employer social security contributions.
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The B Team
The B Team is a not-for-profit initiative aimed at ensuring that business becomes a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit. Shell is a founding member of The B Team Responsible Tax Working Group but is not a member of the overall B Team initiative. Through The B Team, Shell and other companies have been able to give a voice to the companies’ views in the debate on fair taxation. The B Team Responsible Tax Principles, which Shell has helped to develop, reflect the views of leading companies and civil-society organisations on a responsible approach to tax.
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