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.
The overall accountability for sustainability within Shell lies with the Chief Executive Officer and the Executive Committee. They are assisted by the Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Performance (HSSE&SP) executive team. Our standards are set out in our HSSE&SP Control Framework and apply to every Shell company.
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.
Members of the CSRC during 2017 were:
- Hans Wijers, appointed Chair of the Committee with effect from May 2015
- Guy Elliott, appointed a member of the Committee with effect from March 2017 and stood down as a Non-executive Director of the Company in October 2017
- Catherine Hughes, appointed a member of the Committee with effect from November 2017
- Sir Nigel Sheinwald, appointed a member of the Committee with effect from July 2012
- Patricia A. Woertz, appointed a member of the Committee with effect from June 2014 and stood down as a Non-executive Director of the Company in May 2017
In 2017, the committee conducted several site visits. Members visited the Bacton gas plant on the UK’s North Sea coast and met with community members to discuss topics such as coastline protection. Members also visited the Pernis refinery in the Netherlands and discussed with the leadership team the challenges and opportunities that the facility presented. The committee and the Board of Directors also visited Shell’s Franklin project in Pennsylvania, USA, to learn about the transformation of the site from a zinc smelter to a chemicals plant and to meet with local stakeholders and contractors to discuss a range of HSSE topics.