Our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people – first laid out in the Shell General Business Principles more than 40 years ago – underpin our approach to sustainability. A commitment to contribute to sustainable development was added in 1997.

These principles, together with our Code of Conduct, apply to the way we do business and to our conduct with the communities where we operate.

Since 1997, we have worked to embed this commitment in our strategy, our business processes and decision-making.

Our approach

Sustainability is integrated across our business on three levels:

  • In operations by running a safe, efficient, responsible and profitable business

    In our operations: by running a safe, efficient, responsible and profitable business

    This is the foundation of our approach. We strive to produce and deliver energy responsibly – in a way that respects people, their safety and their environment. At the simplest level, this means doing no harm. We apply global standards to manage safety, the environment and how we engage with communities and we work to continuously improve our performance.
  • Sustainable energy future option

    For our customers: by helping to shape a more sustainable energy future

    We provide products that people need and want to improve their lives – in their homes and businesses, and for transport. We aim to be responsible stewards for these products. We intend to adapt, innovate and play our part in the global shift to provide more and cleaner energy solutions for all in a sustainable future. This means transforming our product mix over time. We are taking action on the greenhouse gas emissions associated with our products. We aim to cut the Net Carbon Footprint of the energy products we sell by around half by 2050, in step with society's progress to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
  • Making a positive Contribution

    With communities and wider society: making a positive contribution

    We aim to play a positive role in communities where we operate and in wider society. We contribute to the development of local economies by creating jobs, boosting skills, sourcing from local suppliers, as well as paying taxes and royalties. We support community projects that are based on the needs of local communities. Our ambition that, by 2030, we will be providing a reliable electricity supply to 100 million people in the developing world who do not have this today is also designed to bring wider benefits. We continue to work on developing a longer-term strategy to achieve this ambition.

Support for International Agreements

We welcome the United Nation's (UN) sustainable development goals, which seek to tackle the world's economic, social and environmental challenges by 2030. We aim to play our part in helping governments and society to achieve them.

We prioritise those SDGs that are most relevant to our core business and our contribution to society, as highlighted in our Sustainability Report.

We respect human rights as set out in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization's core conventions. We also support a number of external voluntary codes that promote responsible business practices.

We support the UN Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to limit the rise in global average temperatures this century to well below two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Online Sustainability Report 2018

Find out more about our approach to sustainability and 2018 performance data.

View the report online

More in Sustainability

Commitments, policies and standards

Our comprehensive set of codes, policies and assurance processes define how we aim to operate in socially and environmentally responsible ways.

Environmental and social partners

Shell works with environmental and developmental organisations all over the world. This helps us to reduce our environmental and societal impact, to improve the quality of land and water around our operations and to benefit local communities.

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