IUCN - Shell Relationship 2007-2014

IUCN and Shell have been working together on energy and biodiversity issues since 2000.

As the 2007 to 2012 agreement has now drawn to a close and based on the review of the Shell relationship conducted in 2012, a new Way Forward with Shell was presented to IUCN council members earlier this year. However, Council members requested the Shell relationship to be tabled at the next face-to-face IUCN Council meeting in November 2013 to better understand the implications for IUCN and its alignment with the Business Engagement Strategy and IUCN One Programme. Consequently, all existing ongoing projects are implemented according to the agreed workplans. Any new bilateral initiatives are put on hold until November 2013. The information below provides details on the 2007 to 2012 agreement and the ongoing work between Shell and IUCN.

In October 2007 the two organizations signed a 5-year collaborative agreement to foster closer collaboration on conservation-related work, at all levels and all over the world. The overall objectives of the agreement are to:

The agreement commits IUCN and Shell to demonstrate leadership in both the business and conservation sectors, and use their combined comparative strengths to leverage positive changes for biodiversity conservation.

In June 2012 an end of term review on the 2007-2012 IUCN Shell agreement was undetaken. The review included lists of collaborative IUCN-Shell activities undertaken during the for the period 1999 to 2007 and 2007-2012

Based on the findings of the 2012 Review and the implementation of the new IUCN Business Engagement Strategy, the most recent areas of work between IUCN and Shell have focused on establishing multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms at landscape level to influence the wider sector and other actors in society. These include:

In 2013, IUCN Council agreed a continuation of the IUCN Shell collaboration. The agreement, ‘Standard Terms and Conditions for New and Ongoing Projects’ was signed by both organizations in 2014. The agreement allows for the continuation of all joint initiatives, except those concerning issues related to the Arctic. The new agreement also contains a requirement for an annual review of the Shell-IUCN relationship


Why Shell?

Energy: an IUCN priority
As a large-footprint industry, the oil & gas sector is one of IUCN’s priorities for business engagement.

Engaging with the energy sector is also central to accelerating the development of sustainable energy, another of IUCN’s overarching priorities.

Shell: a growing commitment to biodiversity
While IUCN does not agree with everything Shell does, the company has nevertheless demonstrated a willingness to change its operations and engage with the wider energy sector in order to reduce potential impacts on biodiversity.

In 2001, Shell became the first oil & gas company to develop a biodiversity standard. Now implemented across the business, the standard requires the company to address biodiversity early in new projects and integrate it into impact assessments; consult with biodiversity experts; and develop biodiversity action plans (BAPs) at existing operations in areas of high biodiversity value.

The company has also engaged in structured dialogue and joint initiatives with IUCN since 2000, aimed at developing new biodiversity conservation standards and operational procedures. Highlights from this collaboration include:

IUCN and Shell: an ongoing relationship
The current 5-year collaborative partnership agreement between Shell and IUCN represents the latest development in this long-standing relationship – and a continuation of IUCN’s strategy to influence the energy sector in places where we can effect change. It also represents a continuation of Shell’s strategy to collaborate with biodiversity experts in order to reduce its environmental impact and help conserve biodiversity.

Through this closer relationship, IUCN and Shell are exploring ways to upscale efforts and further integrate biodiversity in the energy business, as well as bring business skills and approaches to conservation.