Shell engage youth on sustainable development
Dec 11, 2012
By 2050, two billion people are projected to add to the planet’s population. While people are shaking off energy poverty by buying their first car, refrigerator, or gadgets - such change in lifestyle, rapid urbanization, increasing population, and energy demand, will put stresses in the essentials of life – water, food, and energy, that can be aggravated by climate change.
In the 2nd Shell Youth Congress held recently, close to 300 university students and youth delegates, including Shell scholars from Metro Manila and Batangas province, gathered at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) to tackle discussions on ‘Strengthening human capital through sustainable development’.
“As the demand for global energy increases, the need to build a more sustainable future through enlightened human capital is crucial,” said keynote speaker and Shell companies in the Philippines Country Chairman Edgar Chua. He emphasized that with these issues and challenges, the youth plays an important role in sustainable development. “When it comes to SD, everyone should “have a mindset of an “all-of-us responsibility rather than an “us-only” responsibility.
Addressing the youth, Chua said, “whatever happens will impact your future. You should care because you need to push for a development that meets your needs without compromising the ability of our children to meet their own needs in the future.”
SD as core business principle of Shell
“Sustainable Development is part of our business principle,” said Chua. “For Shell, SD means balancing short-term and long-term interests in a way that allows us to integrate economic, environmental, and social considerations into the business decisions we make.”
Shell is working today to contribute to a sustainable energy future by producing more natural gas for electricity generation, producing low-carbon biofuel, helping to develop carbon capture and storage, and working to improve energy efficiency in its operations. Shell is providing smarter products such as more efficient fuels and lubricants to help our customers use less energy.
“Wherever we operate, we work to reduce environmental and social impacts, safeguarding the health and safety of our employees and neighbors, and reducing disruptions in the community. Our commitment to Sustainable Development is manifested in our products, smarter infrastructure, efficient operations, and how we manage our supply chains. We share the benefits of our operations, including helping to develop local economies through supplier contracts and by creating jobs,” said Chua.
Shell continues to invest in delivering more energy and helping to build a more sustainable energy future by working with partners, communities, and governments to help meet rising energy demand more sustainably for its customers, sharpening its focus on environmental management in our projects and operations; and providing support to programs relating to educating the youth, increasing agricultural productivity, skills training and development, protecting the environment, promoting road safety and increasing awareness, and improving health care, among many others.
Roundtable Discussion on SD
To kick-off the this year’s Shell Youth Congress, representatives from the industry sector, Shell Executives, Department of Energy officials, UA&P Center for Research & Communication, academe, multilateral financial institutions, corporate foundations, non-government organisations, and university students and scholars, gathered in a round-table discussion on sustainable development on November 16, 2012.
Shell Philippines Exploration B.V. Asset Manager Sebastian Quiniones, Commercial Manager Theresa Loresco, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation NGO & Stakeholder Relations Manager Ronald Suarez, joined UA&P’s Dr Bernardo Villegas, Dr Veronica Ramirez, Dean of School of Economics, Dr Peter Lee U, Dr Theta Ponce, Solar Energy Foundation Program Director Chinie Canivel, Asian Development Bank Principal Climate Change Specialist Dr Tae Yong Jung, Earth Day Philippines Executive Director Voltaire Alferez, DOE Energy Utilization & Management Bureau Assistant Director Jesus Anunciacion, Petron Foundation’s Malou Erni, Safety Organisation of the Philippines Inc.’s Engr Alberto Suansing, tackled issues and challenges as well as innovative methods to address energy for sustainability. Among the topics tackled were energy sustainability focusing on its availability, accessibility, and affordability; the effective management of resources, renewable energy and other sources of energy, implementation of stringent environmental and government policies in reducing emission in the transport sector, minimizing impacts of industries by reduction of carbon foot print, shifting focus to a smarter use of smarter energy, mass education on fuel-energy efficiency, and discussion on energy mix and security in the country.
ADB’s Dr Tae Yong Jung emphasized the “need to change people’s mindset and find opportunities in energy challenges and cited the importance of lessening the impact of energy production on the environment.”
Caring for Sustainable Development
Shell sees the youth as an important stakeholder, and with the youth congress, the country’s future decision-makers are challenged to ponder on how to push for a development that meets their needs without compromising their own needs in the future.
The 2012 Shell Youth Congress, organized by Shell companies in the Philippines (SciP) and the Centre for Research and Communication, was a one-day forum that aims to empower the youth, strengthen their capacities, and present issues and challenges on sustainable development among the youth.
Challenging the youth for SD
UA&P Centre for Social Responsibility Prof Colin Hubo cited, “among the many stakeholder organisations today, the youth is at the forefront of educating others about sustainable development, and has the ability to create the future they want.”
In the one-day forum, industry professionals and members of the academe formed as a panel of experts as the youth deliver presentations with the objective to engage youth groups to contribute toward building a sustainable energy future.
Tackling ways to a sustainable development, the Youth Congress featured discussions by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation Fuels Technical Adviser Andrew Kho on “Mitigating the Impact of Energy on the Environment”, UA&P Center for Social Responsibility Prof. Colin Hubo, who tackled ‘Forging Synergy among Stakeholders for Sustainable Development; and Pilipinas Shell Foundation. Inc. (PSFI) Program Manager Pam Castro, talked about ‘Contributing to Sustainable Development through Responsible Citizenship’.
In her presentation, Castro discussed about the importance of responsible citizenship and shared Shell’s corporate social responsibility initiatives being shared among its host communities, and to participating sectors belonging in Pilipinas Shell Foundation’s focus areas: education and skills development, livelihood and entrepreneurship, health and safety, environmental stewardship, and sustainable community development. Meanwhile, Fuels Technical Adviser Andrew Kho of Pilipinas Shell gave an update on the brand’s smarter mobility efforts and products such as more efficient fuels and lubricants that help customers conserve energy and decrease C02 emissions.
During the open forum, students raised questions concerning policy implementation, engagement with stakeholders, and energy access for communities in far-flung areas. The exchange of ideas brought the panelists to a reiteration of principles regarding sustainable development and the energy future. “When you leave the campus, be pragmatic but you should not lose your idealism,” Chua told the youth delegates.
The afternoon session convened youth delegates for a workshop designed to generate the best SD ideas through innovative solutions and the importance of their individual contributions in driving SD. Dr Lee U, who served as juror in the 1st Youth Congress, related to the forum delegates his experience last year: ”I remember being impressed not just by the imaginative proposals but I was especially gratified that they were working together and cheering each other as if they had known them for a long time, even though they probably just met that afternoon. I certainly came away with the optimistic sense that here, in the imagination, the enthusiasm, and the energy of the youth, lies the promise of sustaining development for at least yet one more generation.”
By empowering the youth and strengthening their capacities to contribute to sustainable development in the country, Shell sees the Filipino youth as an important stakeholder group. Through education, empowerment, and strategic co-operation among government agencies, academe, the youth, and like-minded institutions, working towards a sustainable future can be achieved.
“Through strong collaboration, we can power the future together,” said SciP Country Chairman Edgar Chua.
Vice President for Communications & Government Relations
Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation