how we conduct our business

How we conduct our business

The Shell General Business Principles are central to how we conduct our business and living by them is crucial to our continued success. We are judged by how we act and how we live up to our core values of honesty, integrity and respect for people. Our Business Principles are based on these. They promote trust, openness, teamwork and professionalism, as well as pride in what we do and how we conduct business.

We were one of the first global companies to state and share our beliefs when we published our General Business Principles in 1976. As part of these principles, we commit to contribute to sustainable development, balancing short and long-term interests and integrating economic, environmental and social considerations into our decision-making.

All Shell employees and contractors, and those at joint ventures we operate, are expected to understand and continually behave in line with our Business Principles. We expect suppliers, and joint ventures that we do not operate, to apply equivalent principles.

what we expect

What we expect of our people

Our Code of Conduct supports every employee, contract staff and contractor who works for or on behalf of Shell. It sets out expected behaviours of our employees and how they relate to our Business Principles and Core Values.

Our Ethics and Compliance Manual builds on the Shell General Business Principles and the Shell Code of Conduct to provide practical advice on how to comply with laws and regulations and how to relate to customers, communities and colleagues. The Ethics and Compliance Manuals offers detailed guidance on being compliant, helping our staff do the right thing every day

Diversity and Inclusion at Shell

Diversity and Inclusion at Shell

Building on our core values, we aspire to sustain a diverse and inclusive culture where everyone feels respected and valued, from our employees to our customers and partners. Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of the way we do business

We are committed to attracting, developing and retaining a diverse and talented workforce. Their richness of perspectives helps us to create strong connections wherever we do business. 

We foster diversity and inclusion through a wide range of programs and activities. These include global and local talent plans to ensure our most talented people are progressing irrespective of gender, ethnicity or other differences. We also have a suite of employee and leadership awareness and development programs as well as mentoring initiatives, progressive policies that support flexible working, and a network of over 75 employee resource groups. We continually look for new ways to enrich our inclusive culture. 

Shell endorses

Shell endorses two important diversity and inclusion initiatives

In 2018, Shell endorsed two important pledges focused on improving diversity and inclusion around the world: the United Nations Standards of Conduct for Business, which aims to tackle discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people (LGBTI). And the Catalyst CEO Champions for change initiative, which aims to speed up progress towards gender equality in companies. The two pledges cover Shell companies in more than 70 countries around the world.

“These commitments are an important step forward in our work to create a diverse workforce, one where differences are understood, embraced and valued.” Says CEO Ben van Beurden. “Collaboration is the best way to achieve results. We welcome the opportunity to join other companies who have the same goals, under the umbrellas of the United Nations and Catalyst initiatives.”

More in about us

Who we are

Find out about our business, people and how we are working to power progress together with more and cleaner energy solutions.

What we do

Shell is an international energy company that aims to meet the world’s growing need for more and cleaner energy solutions in ways that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible.

You may also be interested in


Doing business in a clear, open and transparent way is a commitment we work hard to keep.

Careers at Shell

Discover the impact you could make with a career at Shell.