Our global partners are the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), The Nature Conservancy, and Earthwatch. By working together, these conservation organisations can bring specific expertise to our projects in areas such as biodiversity, while advancing their scientific or conservation knowledge. We also collaborate with environmental organisations on local projects.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) is the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network. Created in 1948, it harnesses the experience, resources and reach of more than 1,300 government and NGO members and some 16,000 experts.
Shell and IUCN have worked together since 1999 and participated in more than 50 joint projects. Shell’s focus has been on conserving and managing biodiversity in its operations and improving the way protected areas are managed, while IUCN has been able to trial innovative, science-based approaches, and engage with the energy sector to reduce potential impacts on biodiversity.
For example, IUCN has set up two Independent Scientific and Technical Advisory Panels as part of this collaboration. It helped us to mitigate environmental impacts: the IUCN Niger Delta Panel in Nigeria and the Western Gray Whale Advisory Panel (WGWAP) in Russia’s Far East. Explore the world map at the top of the page to learn more about the work of these panels.
Related to WGWAP's efforts, read about "Flex the Whale" and his remarkable migration across vast ocean distances, which has led scientists to a new understanding of the world’s grey whales in our Environment section.
The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is a leading global conservation organisation working to create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to address some of the world’s toughest environmental challenges. The Nature Conservancy works in more than 65 countries, has more than one million members and collaborates closely with partners to protect lands and waters for nature and people.
We have been working with The Nature Conservancy since 2009. For example, the Conservancy helped us to develop a nature-based approach to control pipeline erosion in the Louisiana coastal zone in the US. Also, with our support the Conservancy launched an online tool to monitor migratory species in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, both areas where Shell has operations. View the world map at the top of the page to learn more about this work.
We are currently working with The Nature Conservancy to better understand how investing in natural climate solutions can help address the global climate challenge. This includes exploring how nature-based projects, such as large-scale reforestation, can reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere while improving the livelihoods of local communities and preserving biodiversity and wildlife. These projects can generate carbon credits which are used to compensate for emissions elsewhere as part of a transition to a lower-carbon future.
Shell partners with Earthwatch to offer employees the chance to participate in environmental research and conservation projects through its global staff-driven platform, Project Better World. Earthwatch and Shell’s partnership started in 1998, and within its first 20 years, enabled Shell employees from 52 countries to contribute over 53,000 hours to data collection and conservation activities.
By volunteering in the Earthwatch Expedition programme Shell employees gain a broader understanding of environmental issues by making a hands-on contribution to scientific research. The programme also includes interactive sessions that inspire, educate and enable Shell employees as sustainability advocates. Staff broaden their understanding of Shell’s approach to sustainability and demonstrate leadership through sustainability-related action after the programme. Assignments are worldwide with a focus on research topics that link to environmental issues of relevance to Shell.
Read about the experience of the 1,000th employee who joined this programme in A thousand contributions to the frontline of conservation.
Through the Earth Skills Network programme, experts from Shell use their experience to share knowledge and transfer key business skills to people who manage protected areas to help them meet organisational challenges. It gives Shell employees the opportunity to sharpen professional competencies and broaden their understanding of how business decisions can have an impact on the environment. Read more about some of the protected areas that Shell has supported here.
Additionally, through the global Earthwatch-Shell partnership, Shell provides funding to selected community engagement initiatives that are linked to the research expeditions visited by Shell volunteers.
For Shell, sustainability means providing essential energy for a growing population in a responsible way. Our goal is to enable human progress by providing innovative and sustainable solutions for today and generations to come.
Over the past 100 years, Shell has continued to help preserve, protect and promote our communities through environmental and biodiversity projects and initiatives. In addition to the work with our global partners, we work throughout the country with US national and local conservation organizations on science-based projects.
Examples of US environmental and biodiversity work includes:
- Restoration of hundreds of thousands of wetlands acres that aids flood mitigation and assists local wildlife populations
- Protection of hundreds of miles of coastland through installation of artificial floating islands and the construction of artificial ocean reefs which slow coastline erosion and promote animal habitat
- Installation of oyster reefs and water diversion solutions that improve water quality
- Numerous other initiatives that promote various wildlife species including some on the Endangered Species List.
National and Houston Area US Environmental and Biodiversity Partners:
- America’s Wetland Foundation
- Coastal Conservation Association/Building Conservation Trust
- Ducks Unlimited
- Houston Wilderness
- National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
- Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation
- The Water Institute of the Gulf
- Tri-State Bird Rescue
- US Business Council for Sustainable Development
- Wildlife Center of Texas
- Wildlife Habitat Council
For more information on Shell’s US environmental and biodiversity efforts, please visit
In collaboration with international and local partners, we help tackle a range of social or human rights issues related to specific projects. These partnerships help us address specific issues in places where we operate – such as boosting local employment – or to implement projects that support local communities, such as improving road safety for school children.
We partner with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to implement programmes in countries where we need their expertise. For example, in Somalia, our shipping business is working with the UNDP to help steer young people, many of whom are unemployed, away from piracy. We have also donated $1 million to help improve road access between local communities in the country.
Through our global strategic partnership with Mercy Corps, we help local people recover from crisis or build better lives and transform their communities, in a number of places where we operate. In Sichuan province, China, for example, we helped subsistence farmers to improve their farming practices - Read the story "Helping farmers in China's Sichuan Province".
Global Road Safety Partnership
We are a lead partner in the Global Road Safety Partnership (GRSP), which aims to improve road safety by working together with government, non-governmental organisations and businesses. The partnership helps us to improve our own road safety community programmes.
We also work with them to improve road safety in cities and communities, including an initiative to help children travel safely to and from school. View the world map on top of the page to read about South Africa’s “Safe to School, Safe to Home” programme.
Clean Cooking Alliance
Smoke from open fires contributes to the deaths of more than four million people every year around the globe. Shell is working with the Clean Cooking Alliance to achieve universal access to clean cooking solutions by 2030, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2012, RESOLVE and other leading companies agreed there was a need to have more open discussions about FPIC (free, prior, informed consent). FPIC is the right of indigenous people to give or withhold consent for a development.
Shell is an active member of the FPIC Solutions Dialogue steering committee. It is an initiative to develop practical guidance and to support FPIC community processes relating to mining and oil and gas projects.