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Shell chemicals companies are firmly committed to the management of the risks associated with our operations and products, to the delivery of continuous improvements in Health, Safety, Security and Environment performance and to advancing sustainable development.
As part of that commitment we also follow the principles of Responsible Care®.
In late 2009 the Shell Executive Committee approved revisions to the Shell Group Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Commitment and Policy. The changes reflect Shell’s consistent integrated approach to health, security, safety, the environment (HSSE) and social performance (SP). Shell first adopted an HSE Commitment and Policy in 1997.
Our commitment and policy reflects the integrated way we work across Shell in the areas of health, security, safety, the environment (HSSE) and social performance (SP). All Shell companies, contractors and joint ventures under our operational control must manage HSSE and SP in line with the commitment and policy.
In Shell we are committed to:
- pursue the goal of no harm to people
- protect the environment
- use material and energy efficiently to provide our products and services
- respect our neighbours and contribute to the societies in which we operate
- develop energy resources, products and services consistent with these aims
- publicly report on our performance
- play a leading role in promoting best practice in our industries
- manage HSSE & SP matters as any other critical business activity
- promote a culture in which all Shell employees share this commitment
In this way we aim to have an HSSE & SP performance we can be proud of, to earn the confidence of customers, shareholders and society at large, to be a good neighbour and to contribute to sustainable development.
Every Shell company:
- has a systematic approach to HSSE & SP management, designed to ensure compliance with the law and to achieve continuous performance improvement
- sets targets for improvement and measures, appraises and reports on performance
- requires contractors to manage HSSE & SP in line with this policy
- requires joint ventures under its operational control to apply this policy and uses its influence to promote it in its other ventures
- engages effectively with neighbours and impacted communities
- includes HSSE & SP performance in the appraisal of all staff and rewards accordingly
The companies in which Royal Dutch Shell plc directly and indirectly owns investments are separate entities. In this Policy the expression “Shell” is sometimes used for convenience where references are made to companies within the Shell group or to the group in general. Likewise, the words “we”, “us” and “our” are also used to refer to Shell companies in general or those who work for them. These expressions are also used where no useful purpose is served by identifying specific companies.
Responsible Care® helps the chemical industry to operate safely, profitably and with due care for future generations. It was commended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as making a significant contribution to sustainable development at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development.
Responsible Care is both an ethic and a commitment that seeks to build confidence and trust in an industry that is essential to improving the quality of life. Around 90% of the world’s major chemical companies are members.
Implementing Responsible Care
In February 2006, Fran Keeth, then Executive Vice President of Shell Chemicals Limited, signed the Responsible Care Global Charter. It was then signed by her successor, Ben van Beurden, and in February 2013 by Graham van't Hoff, the current Executive Vice President of Shell Chemicals Limited.
By implementing this Charter, Shell chemicals companies will continue to strive to improve their HSSE performance, to advance sustainable development, to champion and facilitate the appropriate extension of Responsible Care across the business value chain, and to address stakeholder expectations in continuing to develop Responsible Care.
Our chemicals raw materials are used in everyday items so it is vital that appropriate controls are in place, especially in the development of new products or new markets. These controls are delivered through our product stewardship programmes.
We check the safety of all our chemical products and assess any potential harmful effects on people, property and the environment. We consider the type of market we want to sell into and which applications or uses may be unsuitable.
The four main steps we follow to assess our chemical products are:
- Identify - we record information about any product, its potential hazards and uses.
- Assess - we assess the potential health and safety risks of any product.
- Control - we implement procedures to address these risks.
- Review - we repeat these steps regularly, or when new information becomes available.
New technologies and markets
We apply product stewardship principles when we consider new manufacturing technology, assess the business risks of bringing new products to market, or evaluate the introduction of products into a new country.
When we start to do business in a new country our product stewardship activities include checking compliance with local regulations and registering products according to local laws. We provide local language Safety Data Sheets in all countries where we sell our products.
Supporting current business
Our product stewardship activities support us in established markets. For example, we provide our polyols customers with information on the safe handling of the hazardous chemical toluene di-isocyanate as they may use it in the manufacture of foam alongside the non-hazardous polyols they purchase from us. We also support our businesses in complying with product regulatory legislation, such as that encompassed by the REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) programme in Europe.
We often work with others to raise standards across the industry. For example, when the European Solvent Industry Association identified the major risk of fire from static electricity, we helped to develop a learning DVD to highlight the dangers of static electricity.
In This Section
A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) or Safety Data Sheet (SDS) explains how a product can be safely handled, used, and stored.
Product Stewardship summaries provide general information about our chemicals but are not intended to provide in-depth health and safety information.