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Shell's sustainable development |

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Shell's sustainable development


MANILA, Philippines - “It goes beyond corporate social responsibility,” says Suiee A. Santos, sustainable development manager of Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp. He quotes Gro Harlem Brundtland, who defined sustainable development in the World Commission on Environment and Development report in 1987 as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It is a huge challenge but one that cannot be escaped given the earth’s drastically diminishing resources.

“We are committed to helping meet our country’s energy needs in economically, environmentally and socially responsible ways,” Santos says. “It is the three-legged stool of a successful business that takes into account not only the need for profits, but also the needs of people and the planet. It is about delivering benefits while reducing the negative impact.”

“We believe we cannot run our business successfully without supporting the communities in the areas where we operate,” Santos remarks. “By using local contractors and suppliers and hiring local staff, we are able to build trust and deliver benefits, which contribute to the local economy, create jobs and build skills.”

It was 1982 when the Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc., the social arm of the Shell group of companies, was established. “We were experiencing a brain drain at that time, with many of our skilled workers leaving the country for jobs in the Middle East,” Santos recalls. “We started vocational programs to encourage our people to stay in the country.”

Since then, nearly two million people all over the country have benefited through the foundation’s various community development programs, which range from scholarships, technical skills development, livelihood and health, sanitation and safety training.

Capacity building and livelihood training programs have been established in the provinces of Palawan, Batangas, and Mindoro, which are along the route of Shell’s Malampaya Deepwater Gas to Power Project pipeline. This includes the Integrated Farming Bio-System Program aimed at educating farmers about organic farming methods to increase yield without damaging the environment. The Unlad Kabuhayan entrepreneurship project aims to promote small businesses, while SAKA, or Sanayan sa Kakayahang Agrikultura, for out-of-school youth has provided agri-education to youths from farming communities.

In 2000, a partnership was forged with the provincial government of Palawan through the Kilusan Ligtas Malaria program aimed at eliminating the deadly disease by 2020. In 2006, the Global Fund approved a grant for Shell to implement the Movement Against Malaria program covering five malaria-endemic provinces in the country: Palawan, Apayao, Quirino, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The Foundation has also partnered and supported NGOs and other organizations in environment-related projects such as the Philippine Eagle Foundation, the Kapit Bisig sa Ilog Pasig, and Gawad Kalinga.

The Foundation’s industrial skills training program, SKIL, has helped people acquire skills such as welding, motorcycle engine repair and mobile phone repair, while those living in communities near the oil refineries and depots have been trained in welding, call center operations and cartoon animation. The Gas Mo, Bukas Ko scholarship program has enabled gasoline station pump attendants to gain computer training as well as technical and vocational skills.

The Shell Science and Technology Education Program (STEP) provides scholarship grants to qualified engineering students and fund grants for professional chairs, as well as supports Filipino youth contingents in various local and international competitions in science and technology fields.

In July 2010, Shell’s Eco-Marathon, an annual competition sponsored by Shell that has been held around the world will be held for the first time in Asia, at the Sepang International Circuit of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

“The challenge is to design and build a vehicle that uses the least amount of fuel to travel the farthest distance,” says Mylene Santos, Shell downstream communication manager. It will be the Philippine’s first time to participate in the annual competition and representing the country are engineering students from Don Bosco Technical College, Mapua Institute of Technology, and the University of Santo Tomas.

“The Shell Eco-Marathon is neither a test of speed nor endurance but rather, it is a test of efficiency,” Santos explains, “that is, fuel efficiency.”

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