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For us, sustainable development means helping to meet the world’s growing energy needs in economically, socially and environmentally responsible ways. We embed these aspects in our business decisions.
We aim to share benefits and limit our impact by carefully selecting our project investments, by improving the way we run our operations, and by making better products.
To manage the impact of our operations and projects on the environment and society we have a comprehensive set of standards and requirements covering health, safety, security, environment (HSSE) and social performance (SP).
The Shell General Business Principles provide high level guidance and our Commitment and Policy on HSSE & SP reflects our aims on how we operate and involve communities close to our operations. All companies, contractors and joint ventures under Shell operational control must manage HSSE and SP in line with the Commitment and Policy, and apply our mandatory standards and requirements.
We consider environmental and social factors in our investment decisions and when planning major new projects including, for example, the expected future costs of emitting CO2.
Before starting any substantial work on major projects or existing facilities we perform an environmental, health and social impact assessment and we carry out subsequent reviews.
We have a Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee, made up of four Non-executive Directors, to assess our policies and performance. The Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell plc and Executive Committee are accountable for sustainable development. The CEO chairs our HSSE and Social Performance Executive, which reviews how we manage our sustainability performance.
Contributing to sustainable development makes us a more competitive and profitable company as we:
Earn our licence to grown and operate: By listening to local communities and addressing their expectations we significantly reduce the chance of project delays, approval failures or disruption to existing operations. Contributing to SD also helps us attract and retain staff, customers and business partners.
Develop the right products: By being aware of changes in customer values and regulatory requirements we can develop products and services that meet our customers’ needs for clean, convenient and affordable energy before our competitors.
Maximise opportunities: New or cleaner technologies can improve the efficiency of our operations, reduce costs, avoid current and future costs of emissions, and even create new income streams, for example through carbon credits.
Sustainable development is integrated into our standards, processes, controls and governance.
Standards: All companies and joint ventures under Shell control must apply the Shell General Business Principles, Code of Conduct, and our Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) standards.
Processes and incentives: We consider environmental and social factors in our investment decisions and when planning major new projects, for example to include the expected future costs of emitting CO2. We perform an environmental, health and social impact assessment before starting any major work and we carry out subsequent reviews. As well, sustainable development counts for 20% of the Shell Scorecard that we use in determining staff bonuses.
Governance: To assess our policies and performance we have a Board-level Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee, made up of three Non-executive Directors. The Chief Executive of Royal Dutch Shell plc has management responsibility for sustainable development. He chairs Shell’s HSSE and Sustainable Development Executive Committee, which reviews performance and sets priorities, key performance indicators and targets.