The Shell Company is a collection of energy and petrochemical companies operating in various parts of the world. It has over 93 thousand employees and operates in over 90 countries across the world. The company’s aim is to assist in meeting the society’s energy needs in ways which are environmentally, socially and economically responsible. The Company’s Upstream operations consist of two organizations which are; upstream Americas and Upstream International. Upstream is responsible for trading and marketing electricity and natural gas in boosting of the organization’s business. Shell’s wind power operations form part of Upstream. Upstream International brings together the “sustainable development policies” as well as social performance in the entire company. On the other hand, Downstream operations involve manufacturing, supplying and marketing of oil products as well as chemicals across the world. The company’s manufacturing and supply business includes; “refineries, chemical plants and the supply and distribution of feedstocks and products” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.1). Marketing trades various commodities and these include; “liquefied petroleum gas for home, fuels, bitumen, lubricants, transport and industrial use” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.1). Downstream engages in the trading of oil products, crude oil and petrochemicals basically to optimize feedstock for the company’s manufacturing operations. The company’s business encompasses its operations in biofuels as well and serves to coordinate the carbon dioxide activities within the company.
The sustainable development for Shell implies putting in to consideration short as well as long term interest and “integrating economic, environmental and social considerations” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.2) in to the company’s decision making. It is reported that this approach was strengthened by the reorganization that was made by the company in 2009. Sustainable development assists in governing the way the company sets up new projects and runs its facilities. It also assists in governing the way the company manages its supply chains and the way it shares benefits where it operates. In addition, sustainable development also helps the company to produce better products for their clients.
It is reported that sustainable development “underpins Shell’s strategy” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.2). The company’s production of “cleaner-burning natural gas” is increasing. The company is also investing in the biofuels which are more sustainable and also in technology “to capture and store CO2 and in ways to improve the energy efficiency of the company’s operations” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.2).
It is reported that safety goes on to be Shell’s top priority (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010). This company’s objective is to have zero fatalities and no incidents that injure its workers, contractors, or neighbours or put the company’s facilities in danger. The company manages safety across its business through a “combination of rigorous systems and culture” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010). This call for having three behaviors from everyone working for this company: “complying with the rules, intervening in unsafe situations, and respecting people and the environment” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010). Shell’s global standards and operating procedures give a definition to physical barriers and controls that are required to prevent incidents.
Shell hires and buys locally in order to support development in countries in which they operate. It is reported that in 2010, over 90 percent of the company’s Shell staff across the world were nationals (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.6). In lower income countries where the company operates, the staff is recruited and trained locally. According to the Shell Sustainability Report (2010), it is indicated that the company spent more than $13 billion on goods and services in 2010 from companies in countries having lower income. It is also reported that the company has been investing in community programs for a large number of years and is working to put its funds and resources to more effective use. The company’s social investment projects target at benefiting society in “tangible ways and be sustainable beyond Shell’s support” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.6).
Shell is working to manage its environmental impact in an improved way, drawing on its knowledge of improving Shell’s participation by means of safer conduct and putting into effect rules. The company’s focus is on main areas like “Co2, flaring, spills, water, and environmentally sensitive areas” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.5). For carbon dioxide, this encompasses carrying out investment in programs to make Shell’s refineries and chemical plants “more energy efficient and developing carbon capture and storage technology” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.5). Taking the case in Nigeria, the company has continued working to reduce continuous gas flaring. It is reported that in new projects, Shell considers sensitive areas early, setting up “biodiversity action plans and collaborating with experts to protect rich ecosystems” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.5). It is also reported that the company is as well making preparations to face longer-term environmental challenges like possible local water shortages (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010).
Shell works in collaboration with leading environmental organizations “to support conservation, and to help improve standards and practices in environmental management in the energy sector” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.5). It is reported that, in the year 2010, Shell worked on over thirty projects with “the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Wetlands International, The Nature Conservancy and Earthwatch” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.5). These encompassed working to raise the level of sustainability of biofuels, assisting in the conservation of the Gulf of Mexico and “a multi-industry initiative to produce a plan for responsible development of the Arctic” (Shell Sustainability Report, 2010, p.5).
Shell Sustainability Report, 2010. [Online]. Available at: http://sustainabilityreport.shell.com/2010/servicepages/downloads/files/all_shell_sr10.pdf [Accessed 3 January 2012].