Shell, the global leader in power, energy, and gas technology, is celebrating its centennial anniversary in the Philippines in 2014—definitely a long way from when it started its corporate office with a staff of six back in January 1914. Today, Shell employs around 4,000 Filipinos across the country. 

Inextricably linked to its business in the country are the numerous contributions it has made to the growth of the nation and our lives as Filipinos. Quite literally, Shell kerosene had already lit the streetlamps of old Manila as early as 1897. 

Today, being at the forefront of energy efficiency and sustainable mobility, Shell advocates for efficient use of energy as the simplest and most cost-effective way to reduce emissions, and mitigate climate change—through driver education, fuel efficient driving behavior, and smarter mobility collaboration and strategic partnerships with relevant organizations to fuel the country’s progress.  As Shell aims to meet the world’s future energy needs with a diversified energy mix and cleaner energy, it enjoins consumers and businesses to use energy better, to do more with less, and make energy conservation a way of life.

“We have introduced many innovations and firsts in the country,” says Edgar Chua, country chairman of the Shell companies in the Philippines. Among these, he notes that Shell was the first to move from tin cans to plastic containers for lubricants; first to introduce the match blending plant and the use of double-hull vessels; and even the first to campaign for the use of seat belts among drivers in the early 1980s. 

“But I think, of all the firsts and innovations we have introduced, I believe the most important and one which I am most proud of is Shell’s concept of corporate social responsibility,” he declares. In 1972, it was a group of Filipino business leaders, including Shell Philippines Inc. President Lucio Mazzei, who planted the seed of CSR in the country by establishing the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP)—a group of like-minded enterprises to help communities and improve the lives of those who have less in life. In 1982, Shell decided to set up its very own social development arm—the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. 

Chua proudly notes that PSFI has impacted more than 8.5 million lives to date, in areas ranging from health to education and the environment. “As we continue towards the path of powering progress in the country, we can be very proud of our legacy in this country,” he adds.