After 10 years of engagement with Shell, in November 2017, CEO Ben van Beurden announced the company’s ambitious new pledge to increase investment in renewable fuels and to cut carbon emissions in half by 2050. The company committed to:
- Cut total lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions (emissions from operations and those produced from Shell products) by half by 2050;
- Increase investment by up to $2 billion per year on renewable energy sources and electric car charging stations;
- Work with BMW, Daimler, Ford, and Volkswagen to install fast-charging stations on Europe highways;
- Report on progress every five years.
During the meetings, we additionally pressed the company to improve its climate scenarios, so that investors understand the company’s strategic planning related to technology advances, government policy, and consumer shifts. We also pushed for new board leadership to help the company meet its ambitious net zero emissions commitments.
On November 4, 2015, Van Beurden had a meeting in New York to update analysts on the company’s performance. CBIS pressed senior executives about contributing to a fund to clean up oil spills in the Niger Delta. We praised the company on its decision to withdraw from drilling in the Arctic, an area that presents high risk due to its remote location and dangerous conditions. We also encouraged the company to provide robust reporting on steps it is taking to combat climate change, in line with the company’s commitment to improve reporting following the May 2015 resolution.
In April 2015, CBIS attended Royal Dutch Shell’s SRI day in London. CBIS and 40 SRI colleagues from investment firms across Europe met with CEO Ben Van Beurden and Chad Holladay, Chair of the Corporate and Social Responsibility Committee. Discussions included the company’s strategy on climate change, renewable energy, and deepwater drilling, cleanup operations in Nigeria, and exploration in the challenging Arctic region. It is an example of best practice in corporate engagement with stakeholders.
A resolution co-sponsored by CBIS for Royal Dutch Shell asking for greater disclosure about their climate impact received 99% support at the May 2015 annual meeting. The results demonstrate the strength of shareholder interest in assessing climate impact along with company performance.