We have put clear and effective governance structures in place throughout Shell, along with many performance standards and other controls. These influence the decisions we make and the actions we take, at every level of our company.

Our governance procedures are applied to all areas of decision-making across Shell. This involves the Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc, four Board Committees, our Executive Committee, and the teams and individuals who work in our operations. We take rigorous care to ensure decisions are cascaded within the business.

Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee

One of the four Board Committees is our Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee (CSRC). It reviews and advises on our sustainability policies and practices to ensure that these are discussed, understood, owned and promoted at Board level. This can include advising on areas as broad as climate change and human rights through to process safety management.

The CSRC also visits different Shell operations each year to speak with Shell employees, contractors and suppliers, as well as with community members and external stakeholders. After each visit, the CSRC shares its observations with the Board and with the management responsible for that project.The Committee’s work strengthens sustainability within our operations around the world.

The CSRC today

The CSRC's role is to review and advise Shell about our policies and performance against the Shell General Business Principles, our Code of Conduct and our mandatory Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Performance standards.

The CSRC meets regularly throughout the year. It reviews and discusses a wide range of sustainability-related topics and assesses our sustainability performance, audit results and the sustainable development metrics that apply to the Executive Committee. It also monitors major issues of public concern that may be relevant to Shell.

CSRC members

In 2015, the CSRC had four members, each a Non-executive Director:

  • in 2015, the Chairman of the CSRC is Hans Wijers, formally CEO and Chairman of Akzo Nobel (Chairman of the Committee with effect from May 20, 2015). Charles O. Holliday stood down as Chairman of the Committee on May 19, 2015;
  • Sir Nigel Sheinwald, former British diplomat;
  • Patricia A. Woertz, business leader with extensive oil industry experience; and
  • Gerrit Zalm, former Netherlands Minister of Finance.

In 2015, the CSRC visited Shell’s deep-water operations in the Gulf of Mexico and the Raízen business in Brazil. During each visit, they met with local stakeholders including employees, government and non-governmental representatives. Individual CSRC members also visited the Peterhead CCS Project in the UK, and the Moerdijk and Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij (NAM) sites in The Netherlands. 

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Read about our Executive Committee, led by CEO Ben van Beurden, and Board of Directors.


Details of the purpose, membership and terms of reference of Royal Dutch Shell plc committees.

Corporate governance

Corporate governance affects the way we direct our company and the relationship we have with interested parties.