On May 4, 2017, Shell Oil Company and CCA’s National Habitat Program Building Conservation Trust teamed up to conduct the first ever Conservation Partnership Summit in the heart of downtown New Orleans. The Summit marked an important milestone for Shell because it was the first time in the US we convened nationally-recognized conservation organizations with business leaders to listen, engage and develop new relationships. The Summit was a huge success with over 65 people attending; including representatives from 10 external organizations and a number of Shell business leaders from across the US.
“We believe that by working together we can win,” said Rhoman Hardy, General Manager of Shell’s Geismar Manufacturing site. “The Summit was the perfect opportunity to bring together our partners in conservation to leverage each other’s expertise and resources; channeling our collective contributions to create the greatest impact.”
The focus of the Summit was strategic collaboration and shared value. Throughout the day, attendees presented organizational overviews and shared their challenges and innovations. They also participated in working sessions discussing topics including: emergency response, ocean and marsh restoration, communications efforts and advocacy management.
“Because Shell is a major partner of Building Conservation Trust, we are able to do impactful, large-scale public conservation work on a yearly basis. The Summit inspired great, thought-provoking conversations and provided us with connections to develop even more meaningful partnerships that will help enhance and restore marine habitat all along the U.S. coast.”
After the summit concluded, several of the attendees stayed the weekend to enjoy the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Presented by Shell (JazzFest). The partnership between Shell and JazzFest was forged in 2006, in the wake of the physical and economic destruction caused the previous year by Hurricane Katrina. At JazzFest, summit attendees saw the conservation message come full circle, as the hospitality lounge showcased Shell’s legacy of environmental stewardship across Louisiana and how Shell has helped to conserve Louisiana’s rich musical culture, and raise funds that go directly back to local communities. As the nonprofit owner of JazzFest - the Jazz & Heritage Foundation is active all year long with programs in the areas of education, economic development and cultural enrichment. In 2017, the Class got Brass competition provided more than $40,000 to the music programs of participating schools.
The Conservation Partnership Summit is just one of the ways the US Social Investment team is finding new opportunities for Shell to power progress together and drive business value through conservation.