A scientist in a solar energy field working to create a more sustainable future

A More Sustainable Future Takes Innovation and Drive

Throughout Shell, we provide a variety of products that people need and want to improve their lives – in their homes and businesses, and for transport. Because of this, we aim to be responsible stewards for these products.

By Shell Polymers on Feb 04, 2021

We intend to adapt, innovate, and play our part in the global shift to provide more and cleaner energy.1 In support of this goal, our team wanted to highlight some of the ways Shell Polymers and other branches of Shell are prioritizing sustainability in their operations and paving the way for a more sustainable future in their respective industries.

Embed Sustainable Best Practices Into Projects

Safety, the environment, and communities are vital considerations when we plan, design and operate our projects and facilities. Here are 10 ways we approach sustainability in our operations throughout the Shell group:

1) Community Engagement

Connect with communities and other stakeholders to discuss potential projects in their area. Their input helps us to design better projects, comply with relevant social and environmental regulations, and align with international standards. This includes standards from the World Bank2 and the International Finance Corporation.3

2) Strategic Partnerships

Partner with contractors and suppliers that are economically, environmentally, and socially responsible. The Shell Supplier Principles outline what we expect from suppliers. We aim to contribute to the development of local economies in the regions where we operate by creating jobs, boosting skills and sourcing from local suppliers.

3) Continuous Project Team Training

Evolve the training our project teams go through to continue embedding sustainability into projects and aim to balance short- and long-term business interests. Specialists support our project teams in areas such as biodiversity, waste, air, energy and water management, and human rights - including indigenous peoples’ rights, cultural heritage, and resettlement.

4) Continuous Examination of HSSE Guidelines

Continue to make and enforce mandatory requirements in our Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Performance Control Framework to help ensure projects and facilities are managed safely, responsibly, and consistently.

5) Proactive Environmental Remediation

To assess the resilience of proposed projects, we also consider potential costs associated with environmental factors, such as operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For example, to help prepare for the Monaca, PA polyethylene plant, Shell Chemicals invested $80 million to remediate the old Horsehead Corp. site along the Ohio River. These efforts were part of a goal to mitigate current and future direct contact risks associated with affected materials.4 Learn more about Shell’s climate ambition.5

6) Net Carbon Footprint Reports

Track and report our Net Carbon Footprint to help us work on reducing the environmental impact of our operations. Our Net Carbon Footprint is a carbon intensity measure that takes into account the estimated full life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions, including customers’ emissions, of these products.

7) Impact Assessments

Conduct an impact assessment for every major project (i.e. the Shell Polymers Pennsylvania facility) to see the social, environmental, and health opportunities and risks. A successful project is not just one that gets completed but one that takes these important factors, as well as political, commercial, and technical risks into account.

Learn more about Environmentally Sustainable Facilities

8) Continuous Improvement

Proactive work to continuously improve the energy efficiency of our assets. This work includes monitoring our electricity use, making our equipment more efficient through regular and smart scheduling of maintenance, and increasingly by seeking opportunities to use renewable energy sources.

9) Play A Positive Role Where We Operate

We strategically invest in community organizations and educational opportunities that benefit community members.

10) Live with Honesty, Integrity, and Respect

Our General Business Principles and Code of Conduct also describe how we live up to our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people.6

In the USA, we are building a 250 megawatt co-generation power plant at our Pennsylvania chemicals facility that will also supply electricity to local homes.
In the USA, we are building a 250 megawatt co-generation power plant at our Pennsylvania chemicals facility that will also supply electricity to local homes.

Follow Shell Polymers for More Information

As a polyethylene producer, we understand that plastic end products bring important benefits to society - helping to improve living standards, hygiene and nutrition. But we also understand that we need to tackle the issue of plastic waste in the oceans and environment. Dealing with unmanaged plastic waste requires action and innovation and Shell Chemicals is responding in two main ways.

  1. We are developing new technology to use plastic waste as an alternative feedstock to make our chemicals.
  2. We are a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. This is a non-profit organization that seed-funds and incubates projects so that they can scale up for bigger investment and impact.

Over the course of the year, Shell Polymers will also be showcasing how different branches of Shell are making a difference for the environment across a variety of our channels. Highlighted initiatives and events include:

  • Advanced recycling techniques such as pyrolysis, which turns plastic waste into valuable chemicals
  • Involvement in Operation Clean Sweep’s mission to protect the environment from excess material
  • Leveraging solar panel farms to power plants
  • Eco-Marathon and its goal to innovate cleaner transportation
  • Shell’s Net Carbon Footprint Ambition, and more!

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1 https://reports.shell.com/sustainability-report/2019/introduction/our-approach-to-sustainability/sustainability-at-shell.html

2 http://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/837721522762050108/Environmental-and-Social-Framework.pdf

3 https://www.ifc.org/wps/wcm/connect/Topics_Ext_Content/IFC_External_Corporate_Site/Sustainability-At-IFC/Policies-Standards/Performance-Standards

4 https://www.timesonline.com/article/20150922/News/309229965

5 https://www.shell.com/energy-and-innovation/the-energy-future/shells-ambition-to-be-a-net-zero-emissions-energy-business.html#iframe=L3dlYmFwcHMvY2xpbWF0ZV9hbWJpdGlvbi8