Sustainability at Shell means providing cleaner energy solutions in a responsible manner – in a way that balances short- and long-term interests, and that integrates economic, environmental, and social considerations into decision-making. Shell aims to be a good neighbor wherever the company works by contributing to the Shell-being of communities. Shell works closely to manage the social impacts of their business activities, address any concerns about their operations, and enhance the benefits that Shell is able to bring.
Shell is committed to support the communities where the company operates through constructive initiatives that promote the socio-economic development of these communities in an innovative, productive, and sustainable manner. A large part of Shell’s commitment to support local communities is investing in community projects so that local people may benefit from social and economic development. Local community needs and priorities determine the company’s social investment program focus areas. To ensure that Shell has a clear focus, Shell has three global social investment themes: access to energy; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education; and community skills and enterprise development.
Shell strives to assist the government in its Egypt Vision 2030 program, which includes providing skills development. Over the years, the company’s joint ventures have created thousands of jobs and continue to provide development opportunities. Shell is very proud of their partnerships during its 100-year history in Egypt. A great demonstration of what Shell has achieved working with partners is through Shell Egypt and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) partnership. Through this partnership, Shell supports marginalized communities in Egypt’s Matrouh governorate through a full portfolio of initiatives that enhance education. Such initiatives include upgrading schools’ infrastructure, introducing technology in education, providing teacher training and measuring drop-out rates. These steps enhance the quality of life for vulnerable communities in the governorate through enhancing access to education, providing livelihood support to women, and physically improving the educational environment.
According to Joanne Cochrane, VP Social Performance Manager for Shell International, “Being a good neighbor is good for business. Social performance is how Shell manages the impact of our business on the local community. Shell does this by working to deliver benefits such as jobs and business opportunities, and most importantly, communicating and listening to what local people have to say.”
She further explained that the partnership with WFP for delivering the Community Schools project in Matrouh is expected to result in an increase in school attendance, hence, combat drop-out rates, child labor, and early marriage in Negeila communities, impacting 500 girls and boys in community schools and 2,500 family members. In addition to enhanced education through technology in 17 community schools, women empowering in income-generating activities are encouraged along with other benefits.
As part of social responsibility, Shell Egypt has developed a number of social investment and development programs focusing mainly on human capital development of the Egyptian youth, especially enterprise development, which is delivered through Shell’s Intilaaqah Egypt program, as well as other capacity building programs, including Shell’s Nxplorers program, which is a global education program that encourages young people to explore real-world issues, equipping them with tools and methodologies needed to create innovative solutions.
Shell Intilaaqah Egypt has helped train thousands of young entrepreneurs across Egypt to either start their own businesses or expand and grow existing businesses. To date, the Intilaaqah program has provided training to over 9,000 young Egyptians and supported the creation of around 850 start-up companies. Shell is pleased that one of these supported entrepreneurs by Shell Egypt, Baramoda, was this year’s top prize winner in the Food and Agriculture category of the of the global Shell competition for innovation in entrepreneurship – the Top Ten Innovators.
As for the capacity building programs, they entail workshop-based sessions aimed at delivering today’s practical business skills to students through lectures and trainings conducted by Shell’s staff and other training moderators.
Skills such as problem-solving and critical thinking are increasingly important to enable people to adapt to a rapidly changing world. This drives a need for more development of these skills, known as the “STEM habits of mind”, in universities in many countries, including Egypt. In 2017, Shell launched its NXplorers program in Egypt to address this. A wide range of challenges emerged with participants exploring issues such as how energy access can be improved in rural parts of Egypt, in addition to how the quality of data reporting can be improved in our organization.
Over the course of the NXplorers workshop, teams were taught how to further define and explore certain issues. The teams were shown how to use scenario planning to consider different possible futures in relation to their problem. They were encouraged to evaluate and rationalize the feasibility of various solutions, including examining the intended and unintended consequences.
Shell is also proud to have launched Shell Imagine the Future scenario-planning competition in Egypt. The student competition’s objective is to train students on how to build scenarios for the future; ones that can help them explore what the future might look like (year 2050) and the likely changes of living in it, tackling various aspects of life. Students are equipped with scenario planning, critical and systems thinking tools that enhance their vision to transfer their views over the energy future, by presenting scenarios and alternative views to face the current challenges of providing more efficient and cleaner energy in Egyptian cities by 2050.
During its second edition this year, 57 teams from 15 Egyptian universities participated in the local competition. Shell proudly announced that the Egyptian team representing Zewail University won the first place in the global competition that took place in Singapore in July 2019.
Cochrane is also excited about the potential of this program, saying “Shell are training employees in Shell to deliver the NXplorers program.” Shell’s vision is for Egypt to be the hub for delivering this program for the whole Middle East region.
Another example where Shell supports education in Egypt is the sponsorship of the Al Amal Programme since its foundation in 2007. The Al Amal Program for geo-science graduates was initiated by the Egyptian Geophysical Society and later sponsored by Shell and other International Oil Companies (IOCs). In 2018, 426 students graduated from the program.
Shell is hugely proud of the successful partnerships in Egypt. With all their partners, Shell continues to work hard to help the government reach its targets and ambitions for the Egyptian energy industry. Together Shell shares the same ambitions, performance, progress and people. Together – in partnership – Shell continues to be successful in this changing world.