2001 Jury Citation
The Jury is pleased to award the 2001 WEC Gold Medal for International Corporate Environmental Achievement to The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies for its international leadership in sustainable development. The leadership is clearly demonstrated in the company’s development of a management framework, which integrates all aspects of sustainable development into the business practices of the organization. Shell believes that globalization can bring growth and greater prosperity to all people and, by applying the principles of sustainable development, that this can be achieved while safeguarding the environment and social development. Sustainable development also holds the key to the company’s long-term business success.
The Signature Contribution on which the jury based its award is the creation by Shell of a Sustainable Development Management Framework (SDMF). In 1998 Shell presented a Road Map of how they planned to integrate sustainable development into the way they do business. They foresaw the need for a management structure above and beyond their existing Health, Safety and Environment management systems and subsequently designed and implemented the SDMF.
The Shell General Business Principles serve as the focus of a strong, fully articulated policy with exemplary emphasis on environmental protection, economic growth, social equity, and business integrity. Initially formulated in 1976, these principles were updated in 1997 to reflect heightened public interest in human rights and the emergence of the concept of sustainable development. In addition, a mandatory HSE Commitment and Policy governs HSE performance, targets, and practice. The basic standards on which Shell bases its decision-making are the same in every country, every operation, and every venture.
Shell has moved decisively to transform company guidelines into rigorous procedures that work. Managers are required annually to sign letters covering their performance in the areas of Business Integrity, HSE, and General Business Principles. Letters include reportable indicators and targets which are subject to verification by respected independent organizations. This reporting system serves as a driver for continuous improvement in critical aspects of performance. The Shell Reports, which are widely distributed, document evidence of the company’s progress toward reaching measurable goals.
Shell has assumed a leadership role in global climate change, which it considers one of the most controversial and pressing environmental issues of our time. The company is working with a wide range of NGO’s, academic institutions, and regulators on this issue, including greenhouse gas mitigation technologies. Shell has exhibited global leadership in its approach to this enormous problem the world is facing.
Preserving the richness and diversity of biological life is central to the company’s commitment to contribute to sustainable development. Shell is involved in a number of conservation projects together with notable international conservation organizations. The Shell Foundation was established in June, 2000 to support efforts worldwide to achieve the goals of sustainable development. The Foundation will manage the Shell Groups international social investment programs. Programs already underway include, promoting youth enterprise, a sustainable communities program and a sustainable energy program.
With the Sustainable Development Management Framework becoming part of 'business as usual', Shell is providing a model of how a Corporation can successfully manage a business for profit while integrating concepts such as human rights, rule of law, and opposition bribery into all of their business operations. Examination of the nature of their business has lead Shell to devise innovative and profitable new options to provide sustainable solutions for customers’ needs and societal demands. In the forefront of this effort are new fuels and renewable energy being studied and developed by the newly created division, Shell International Renewables. Shell has further initiated a ‘Sustainable Energy Program’ to promote a diversity of energy solutions.
The Jury is encouraged by Shell’s increasing investment in renewable energy and their serious approach to climate change. Their striving for continued improvement in each aspect of environmental protection, economic development and social concerns, and their attention to ensure integrity of business practice as an energy company of the future, will have significant influence on the attitudes of peer companies. The Jury is proud to designate Shell as the 2001 WEC Gold Medal Awardee and feels confident that their forward-looking approaches will bear a global impact as they are widely shared.