Water - a circular approach
Although the availability of fresh water is a global issue, water constraints tend to affect people and the environment at the local or regional level. Therefore the way we manage our use of fresh water depends on the local situation, and requires tailored local solutions.
Water is one of the considerations in the impact assessments that we conduct for every new project. In water-scarce areas we develop water management plans for our facilities. These investigate long-term risks to water availability, consider any impact on water resources in the surrounding watershed, and set out measures to minimise the use of fresh water.
We engage with communities and other stakeholders to understand and address their concerns. We evaluate the long-term sustainability of water resources to select the options that avoid or minimise disruption to the environment and other users. This helps us to ensure we have a continued supply of water that we need for our operations, but also to help minimise impact on others.
At end 2021, four of our major facilities were located in areas where there is a high level of water stress based on analysis using a combination of water stress tools, such as the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas, and information specific to the local environment. The facilities are: Pearl gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Qatar, Shell Energy and Chemicals Park and the Jurong Island chemical plant in Singapore and Tabangao import terminal in the Philippines. Each operating asset has a water management plan in place.
Consumption of fresh water by these facilities at end 2021 was 22 million cubic metres compared with our 2018 baseline of 25 million cubic meters. – More details can be found in our Sustainability Report 2021.
In 2021, we conducted a pilot project looking at approaches to water stewardship, which will help us develop a methodology that we can apply more widely across our businesses in 2022 to improve water efficiency and set further goals to reduce fresh-water use.