Shell signs on the triple bottom line

The Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies last week launched into environmental and social reporting with ‘The Shell Report 1998,’ a companion to its annual report published this month.

After coming under scrutiny for social and environmental gaffes such as the Brent Spar (above) and Ken Saro Wira episodes, Shell committed to measuring itself against a ‘triple bottom line’ of financial, social and environmental factors.

‘The Shell Report’, produced with help from KPMG’s Dutch integrity consulting division and specialist consultancy, Sustainability, sets out the company’s ‘Statement of General Principles,’ supporting sustainable development and social responsibility.

Joint auditors KPMG (Netherlands) and Price Waterhouse (UK) signed a statement verifying Shell’s subsidiaries had formally adopted the statement.

As ‘The Shell Report’ emerged, ACCA published ‘Environment Under the Spotlight’, which concluded that without meaningful guidelines there would be no reliable method for companies to assess their performance, or for auditors to verify environmental information.

Tom Delfgaauw, head of Shell’s social accountability team, said its report was a ‘hybrid’ that could become the main corporate report. But he admitted the new approach is still in its infancy.

Related reading