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We have always taken a responsible approach to running our operations. We published our Shell General Business Principles more than 40 years ago, and have operated to strict health, safety and environment guidelines for decades.

In the late 1990s, we added a commitment to contribute to sustainable development to our business principles and published the first Shell Sustainability Report – the first from a major oil and gas company, and one of the first from a major corporation.

Our approach to sustainability is integrated across our business activities on three levels (see diagram). We work in collaboration with businesses, governments and civil society, including non-governmental organisations, at each level.

1. Running a safe, efficient, responsible and profitable business.

This is the foundation of our approach, which includes having global standards, processes and tools in place to manage safety, environment and community involvement. We aim to continuously improve the way we operate to prevent incidents and identify, avoid where possible and minimise adverse environmental and social impacts across our projects and facilities. We report on our performance in our annual sustainability report.

2. Sharing wider benefits where we operate.

Our business is planned for the long term, which means we can be part of a community for decades. There are many countries where we have operated for more than 100 years. We help to develop local economies by creating jobs, sourcing from local suppliers, and paying taxes and royalties. We support community projects that are based on the needs of the local communities.

3. Helping to shape a more sustainable energy future.

In the coming decades, more and cleaner energy will be needed for economic development in the face of growing environmental pressures. We are investing in low-carbon energy solutions and advanced technologies, such as those that increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions. We continue to contribute to the public dialogue on energy and climate policy, and to participate in discussions to promote corporate and societal resilience to build a sustainable energy future.

Yet, the scale of the global challenges that the world faces are too great for one company, or one sector, to resolve. We advocate business, government and civil society working together to better shape a more sustainable energy future.

Shell's approach to sustainability

Image is of a triangle showing 3 levels of Shell's approach to sustainability: Running a safe, efficient, responsible and profitable business; Sharing wider benefits where we operate; Helping to shape a sustainable energy future

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Sustainability report 2014 cover

Discover what we say about our approach to sustainable development in the online Sustainability report 2014.