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Shell backs sustainability

July 2000

Shell has increased its social responsibility commitments by setting up a foundation that will channel millions of dollars into social investment and sustainable development projects around the world.

The Shell Foundation, which will have a total budget of $30million for its first three years, will give about a third of the money to a sustainable communities programme, which will focus on initiatives ‘that build the social and economic capacity of marginalised communities around the world’.

Most of the remaining cash will go to a sustainable energy programme that will support projects that help provide sustainable energy to poorer communities in developing countries. Some money will also go to a youth enterprise programme to help young people set up in business.

Tim Hollins, director of the foundation and Shell’s head of group social investment, said the foundation aimed to go far beyond charitable giving. ‘This is not just another example of corporate philanthropy,’ he told EP. ‘We are trying to address directly some of the issues that have come up as a result of the nature of our business, and we are hoping this will drive us to think much more about our responsibilities as a company.’

Only one project under the communities programme has so far been approved – an $825,000 scheme in Uganda to alleviate poverty in the capital Kampala – but $7m has already been committed to 20 sustainable energy initiatives, including a scheme to help Chinese farmers generate heat from animal dung and a drive to reduce smog in Latin American cities.

Mark Moody-Stuart, Shell chairman, said the foundation had been set up as part of Shell’s commitment, first made three years ago, to support sustainable development.

‘We’re not trying to gain the moral high ground and we’re not just throwing money at problems, but we hope our experience as well as our money can be harnessed by this foundation’, he said.

Meanwhile, BP Amoco has brought together all its community involvement activities in a new programme called Global Social Investment (GSI).

A BP Amoco spokesman said: ‘The overall goal of GSI is that places where we operate should benefit from our presence and these benefits will be sustainable.’

The GSI will receive each year 1.5 per cent of BP Amoco’s net profits.

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