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For us, contributing to sustainable development means helping meet the world’s growing need for energy in economically, socially and environmentally responsible ways.
Our approach to sustainable development (SD) affects the choices we make about our portfolio and products and the way in which we operate.
Our products: we provide the energy people need to prosper. We help to reduce impacts by producing cleaner products: more cleaner-burning natural gas, better biofuels, and fuels that help customers improve their fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
Our operations: we work to build projects and run our facilities in ways that create lasting social benefits, for example by employing local people, using local contractors and suppliers and setting a good example through our business practices and ethics.
To reduce environmental and social impacts at our operations we work to protect the health and safety of our employees and neighbours, reducedisruptions to the community, lower our emissions and reduce our impact on biodiversity and using less energy, water and other resources.
Our people: their expertise, creativity and skill help us to compete successfully and meet the energy challenge. We balance short and long-term interests and integrate social and environmental concerns into our decision-making: since 1997 this has been embedded in our Business Principles.
Contributing to sustainable development makes us a more competitive and profitable company as we:
Earn our licence to grown and operate: By listening to local communities and addressing their expectations we significantly reduce the chance of project delays, approval failures or disruption to existing operations. Contributing to SD also helps us attract and retain staff, customers and business partners.
Develop the right products: By being aware of changes in customer values and regulatory requirements we can develop products and services that meet our customers’ needs for clean, convenient and affordable energy before our competitors.
Maximise opportunities: New or cleaner technologies can improve the efficiency of our operations, reduce costs, avoid current and future costs of emissions, and even create new income streams, for example through carbon credits.
Sustainable development is integrated into our standards, processes, controls and governance.
Standards: All companies and joint ventures under Shell control must apply the Shell General Business Principles, Code of Conduct, and our Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) standards.
Processes and incentives: We consider environmental and social factors in our investment decisions and when planning major new projects, for example to include the expected future costs of emitting CO2. We perform an environmental, health and social impact assessment before starting any major work and we carry out subsequent reviews. As well, sustainable development counts for 20% of the Shell Scorecard that we use in determining staff bonuses.
Governance: To assess our policies and performance we have a Board-level Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee, made up of three Non-executive Directors. The Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell plc has management responsibility for sustainable development. He chairs Shell’s HSSE and Sustainable Development Executive Committee, which reviews performance and sets priorities, key performance indicators and targets.