Commitments, policies and standards
Information about the Shell General Business Principles, our Code of Conduct and our Code of Ethics.
Policies and standards
Shell General Business Principles
The Shell General Business Principles set out our responsibilities to shareholders, customers, employees, business partners and society. They make it clear that we always do business with integrity and respect for the environment and local communities.
All Shell employees, contractors, and those working in joint ventures that we operate, are expected to understand and work in line with the principles. We encourage suppliers and our partners in joint ventures that we do not operate to apply equivalent principles.
Shell Code of Conduct
Our Code of Conduct supports every employee, contract staff and contractor who works for or on behalf of Shell. It sets out expected behaviours of our employees and how they relate to our Business Principles and Core Values.
Ethics and Compliance Manual
Our Ethics and Compliance Manual builds on the Shell General Business Principles and the Shell Code of Conduct to provide practical advice on how to comply with laws and regulations and how to relate to customers, communities and colleagues. The Ethics and Compliance Manual offers detailed guidance on being compliant, helping our staff do the right thing every day.
Code of Ethics for Executive Directors and Senior Financial Officers
The Shell General Business Principles, amongst other things, provides that all persons must avoid conflicts of interest between their private financial activities and their part in the conduct of company business. This Code is specifically intended to meet the requirements of Section 406 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act and the listing requirements of the New York Stock Exchange by providing for a number of implementing requirements in the area of disclosure controls and the avoidance of conflicts of interest.
Shell Supplier Principles
In line with our Shell General Business Principles and Group Code of Conduct, we seek to work with contractors and suppliers who contribute to sustainable development and are economically, environmentally and socially responsible.
Health, Security, Safety, the Environment & Social Performance Commitment and Policy
The Shell Commitment and Policy on Health, Security, Safety, the Environment (HSSE) and Social Performance (SP) applies across Shell and is designed to help protect people and the environment.
Our commitment and policy reflects the integrated way we work across Shell in the areas of health, security, safety, the environment and social performance. 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 all 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; and
- 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, 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 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; and
- Includes HSSE & SP performance in the appraisal of staff and rewards accordingly.
We originally published the commitment and policy in March 1997 and the Executive Committee updated it in December 2009.
Health, Safety, Security, Environment & Social Performance Control Framework
Our HSSE & SP Control Framework contains our mandatory standards, and accompanying manuals support these goals. The framework covers 11 areas:
- contractor HSSE management
- HSSE & SP management systems
- personal safety
- process safety
- product stewardship
- social performance
The Control Framework applies to every Shell entity, including all employees and contract staff, and to Shell-operated ventures. It defines standards and accountabilities at each level of the organisation and sets out the procedures and processes people are required to follow. We expect joint ventures not operated by Shell to apply standards and principles similar to our own.
Health, Safety, Security, Environment & Social Performance assurance
The Process Safety and HSSE & SP Assurance team provides assurance on the effectiveness of HSSE & SP controls to the Board.It is independent from the business and mandated at Board level by our Safety, Environment and Sustainability Committee (SESCo). The team develops and carries out compliance audits that cover a variety of possible risks in assets and projects. Outcomes from these audits and the response from Shell’s management are shared with the relevant parts of Shell and SESCo. The actions taken to address the audits’ findings are also monitored within Shell.
Shell is committed to respecting human rights as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization core conventions. Our approach to implementing our responsibility is informed by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights
Since their development in 2000, companies in Shell have actively implemented the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights which guide companies in assessing human rights risks when working with public and private security.
Purchasing statement: Sustainable sourcing of biocomponents
Shell is a major purchaser of biofuels for blending into fuel. We support rigorous sustainability standards to help ensure that our biofuels come from sustainable sources: in 2007 we introduced a policy that governs the way we work with our suppliers on sustainability.
Corporate Political Engagement
The nature of Shell’s business means we have direct and indirect interactions with governments, regulators, policymakers and other political stakeholders. These interactions range from the practical requirements of obtaining new permits so that our business can operate safely and in line with regulations, to broad public policy discussions.
Targets and commitments
In February 2021, Shell launched Powering Progress, which sets out our strategy to accelerate the transition of our business to net-zero emissions, in step with society, purposefully and profitably. It is designed to integrate sustainability with our business strategy, in support of our purpose – to power progress together by providing more and cleaner energy solutions.
Read our targets and commitments under Powering Progress below.
Achieving net-zero emissions
Working with our customers and across sectors to accelerate the transition to net-zero emissions.
- Our climate target is to become a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society's progress in achieving the goal of the UN Paris Agreement on climate change.
- We have set targets to reduce the carbon intensity (Net Carbon Footprint) of the energy products we sell, in step with society. This includes short-term targets of 2-3% by 2021, 3-4% by 2022, and 6-8% by 2023 (compared with 2016). It also includes medium- and long-term targets of 20% by 2030, 45% by 2035, and 100% by 2050 (compared with 2016).
- We have linked the pay of more than 16,500 staff to our target to reduce the carbon intensity of our energy products by 6-8% by 2023, compared with 2016.
- We believe our annual oil production peaked in 2019, and we expect our total oil production to decline by 1-2% a year until 2030.
- We will invest $2-3 billion on average each year in our Renewables and Energy Solutions business.
- In 2021, we expect to invest around $100 million in nature-based solutions such as forests and wetlands that store carbon.
- We seek to have access to an additional 25 million tonnes a year of carbon capture and storage (CCS) capacity by 2035 – equal to 25 CCS facilities the size of our Quest site in Canada.
- By 2030, we will end routine flaring of gas, which generates carbon emissions, from the assets we operate.
- By 2025, we expect to have kept the methane emissions intensity of Shell-operated assets to below 0.2%.
Protecting the environment, reducing waste and making a positive contribution to biodiversity.
- Our ambition is to have a positive impact on biodiversity.
- Our new projects in areas rich in biodiversity – critical habitats – will have a net positive impact on biodiversity, starting implementation in 2021.
- Our nature-based solutions projects, which protect, transform or restore land, will have a net positive impact on biodiversity, starting implementation in 2021.
- We will replant forests, achieving net-zero deforestation from new activities, while maintaining biodiversity and conservation value, starting implementation in 2022.
- In 2003, we committed not to explore for, or develop, oil and gas resources in natural and mixed World Heritage Sites.
- Our ambition is to conserve fresh water by reducing consumption and increasing reuse and recycling.
- We will reduce the amount of fresh water consumed in our facilities, starting by reducing fresh-water consumption by 15% by 2025 compared with 2018 levels in areas where there is high pressure on fresh-water resources.
- We will assess options for further reduction goals by the end of 2022.
Circular economy and waste
- Our ambition is to use resources and materials efficiently and to increase reuse and recycling.
- We are aiming for zero waste by reducing waste generated and increasing reuse and recycling in our businesses and supply chains. We will set goals for waste reduction, reuse and recycling by the end of 2022.
- We will work with our suppliers and contractors to help end plastic waste in the environment:
- By 2030, we will increase the amount of recycled plastic in our packaging to 30% and ensure that the packaging we use for our products is reusable or recyclable.
- We will increase the amount of recycled materials used to make our products, starting with plastics. Our ambition is to use one million tonnes of plastic waste a year in our global chemicals plants by 2025.
- We are helping to improve air quality by reducing emissions from our operations and providing cleaner ways to power transport and industry.
Powering lives through our products and activities, and by supporting an inclusive society.
- Our ambition, by 2030, is to provide reliable electricity to 100 million people in emerging markets who do not yet have it.
- We will aim to increase racial and ethnic representation across our workforce so that we better reflect the communities in which we work and live, starting in the UK and the USA and followed by the Netherlands.
- We will work to achieve 30% representation of women in our top 1,400 leaders at Shell by the end of 2021, 35% by 2025 and 40% by 2030, compared with 27.8% at the end of 2020.
- By 2030, we will make our global network of service stations more inclusive and accessible to customers with physical disabilities.
- We will provide a safe, caring and inclusive environment for LGBT+ staff so that they can be themselves and reach their full potential.
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