We have clear and effective governance structures in place throughout Shell, along with performance standards and other controls. These include the Shell General Business Principles, Code of Conduct and Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Performance (HSSE & SP) Control Framework. These influence the decisions we make and the actions we take at every level of Shell.
The overall accountability for sustainability within Shell is with the Chief Executive Officer and the Executive Committee. They are assisted by the HSSE & SP Executive team.
Safety, Environment and Sustainability Committee
The Safety, Environment and Sustainability Committee (SESCo), formerly the Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee, is one of four standing committees of the Board of Royal Dutch Shell plc. During 2019, the committee reviewed its purpose and updated its terms of reference to ensure it focuses on areas of most strategic importance to Shell.
The overall role of SESCo is to review the practices and performance of Shell, primarily with respect to safety, environment including climate change, and broader sustainability.
Visit www.shell.com/sustainability/our-approach/governance and see our Annual Report for more on SESCo’s responsibilities.
SESCo meets regularly to review and discuss a wide range of prioritised topics. These include the safe and responsible operation of Shell’s facilities, environmental protection and greenhouse gas emissions, major incidents that impact safety and environmental performance, progress towards Shell’s Net Carbon Footprint targets and ambition, and climate change and energy transition.
The committee also endorses Shell’s annual HSSE & SP assurance plan and reviews the execution of the plan and audit outcomes.
SESCo assesses Shell’s overall sustainability performance and provides input into Shell’s annual reporting and disclosures on sustainability. SESCo also advises the Remuneration Committee on metrics relating to sustainable development and energy transition that apply to the Executive Committee scorecard and incentive programme.
SESCo reviews and considers external stakeholder perspectives in relation to Shell’s business, as well as how Shell addresses issues of public concern that could affect its reputation and licence to operate. Examples include plastic waste, human rights and ethical conduct and culture.
In 2019, the committee held five meetings in person and three meetings by conference call. The topics discussed in greater depth included personal and process safety, Shell’s Net Carbon Footprint ambition and the energy transition, and Shell’s ethics programme. SESCo also reviewed Shell companies’ operations and the challenges faced in Nigeria.
SESCo conducted one major site visit in 2019 to Singapore. Over three days, the committee met with Shell employees, contractors, government officials, local community leaders and representatives from local non-governmental organisations to gain a deeper understanding of Shell’s business in Singapore. The committee visited refinery operations at Pulau Bukom and chemicals operations at Jurong Island, including the accommodation used by contractors, and reviewed Shell’s developing New Energies businesses in the country.
In 2019, the members of the committee were:
- Sir Nigel Sheinwald – Member since July 2012 and Chair since May 2018;
- Catherine Hughes – Member since November 2017;
- Linda Stuntz – Member since May 2018; and
- Neil Carson – Member since June 2019.