Recently, Shell companies in the Philippines (SciP) received commendation from the foreign business community for its relief and rehabilitation efforts following the devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan) late last year.

The energy and gas technology leader received the Big Tick Award from the UK Business in the Community (BITC) Responsible Business Awards for its entry in the International Disaster Relief category.  The same entry was also shortlisted for the overall award in the categories of responsible business, community, volunteering, global issues and trends.

The award was announced recently at the BITC National Awards Gala Dinner in London, in the presence of BITC President, HRH The Prince of Wales.

The BITC Big Tick recognizes significant achievements of businesses in responding to social and environmental issues. The International Disaster Relief Award, in particular, is supported by the UK Department of International Development and recognizes businesses that can demonstrate positive disaster relief action in the immediate aftermath of international disasters. 

The recognition was also an affirmation of Shell Philippines’ Country Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation Plan, which can guide decisive and quick actions critical to saving lives and properties. Shell companies in each country prepare this plan as part of their Social Performance to support a country or community in times of disasters and help them rebuild lives and economic stability.

“Shell’s rehabilitation plan is aligned with the Philippine government and  SHell global's social investment themes,” explains Shell social investment manager Jackie Ampil. These include: Enterprise Development or providing livelihood programs such as procurement of fishing boats, and micro-financing and skills training;  Access to Energy, which includes distribution of solar lamps for electrical power in households; Environment, which involves activities such as mangrove tree-planting in areas damaged by the storm surges; and Community Development programs, which include construction of homes and school multi-purpose halls and gyms, as well as disaster and emergency preparedness training for fenceline communities around Shell assets.

Such detailed and strategic preparedness is faithful to Shell’s social investment strategy of sustainable development, similarly characterizing many of its other initiatives in areas ranging from sustainable mobility and energy efficiency, to road safety and environmental management.

For the Typhoon Yolanda relief, Shell staff and offices worldwide, along with partner organisations, retailers and business partners, donated a total of over USD3.8 million, including Royal Dutch Shell plc’s contribution of USD2.5 million. This amount provided immediate assistance for basic necessities and medicine, recovery efforts, and medical assistance to hundreds of thousands individuals in severely affected communities. Likewise, the fund will also be used for continuing rehabilitation efforts in Central Philippines.

Additionally, different Shell offices worldwide donated through the Red Cross in response to the company-wide “Call for Help” campaign. In-kind donations received from Shell worksites and retail stations assisted 37,820 affected families while 530 staff volunteers participated in the series of volunteerism activities, such as repacking and sorting of in-kind donations.

The outpouring of support for the Philippines by Shell colleagues both here and abroad is truly heart-warming and makes me proud to be a part of Shell,” stated SciP country chairman Edgar Chua. 

In terms of business impacts, Shell also immediately resumed safe business operations in the affected areas within two to 13 days, minimizing impact on customer and supply operations.

SciP particularly provided over Php40 million for relief and rehabilitation efforts and made donations to its partner organisations such as the Philippine Red Cross, ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya–DZMM TLC, GMA Kapuso Foundation, San Antonio Foundation and Enhancement Center, Jesse M. Robredo Foundation, Stiftung Solarenergie Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, WWF Philippines, and Philippine Business for Social Progress.