We produce crude oil and natural gas and refine them into fuels, lubricants and chemicals that are used to make many everyday items. We try to take care that these products are safe, from production to disposal. We call this product stewardship.

To understand and manage the potential health, safety and environmental risks presented by our products, we evaluate them carefully. We work closely with our customers and suppliers, monitor any changes in the science behind our products and support research if it helps us to reduce their risks even further.

We handle the products we produce, make, sell, transport, use and store in line with local regulatory requirements, our Shell General Business Principles and our Commitment and Policy on Health, Safety, Security, Environment (HSSE) and Social Performance. We also meet several voluntary industry commitments, including the ICCA Global Product Strategy set out in the ICCA Responsible Care® Global Charter.

Within product stewardship we do the following:

  • we check the safety of all our products and assess any potential harmful effects;
  • we assess their suitability on a market by market basis; and
  • we prioritise good product stewardship -  for new products, new technologies, new Shell businesses and new supply chains.

Our product stewardship network

We have a global network of specialist product stewardship teams. These teams include product stewards who work with our businesses as well as regulatory, IT and communication specialists.

Our product stewards work with our health, safety and environmental experts to assess the impact of chemicals and products throughout their life cycle. They liaise with colleagues in many of our businesses and help shape the product stewardship agenda based on regulatory requirements, business needs and our customers’ expectations.

Product stewardship information

We maintain extensive information to support our collaborative work to make our products safer and more sustainable. This information includes Safety Data Sheets, which set out clearly the hazards associated with specific products and any relevant local regulatory requirements. Product stewardship summaries provide general health, safety and environmental information about our products.

Animal Welfare

Shell is committed to eliminating the need to do testing involving animals. We aim to replace animal testing by suitable alternatives while ensuring that we can continue to innovate, develop and maintain new and safe products and technologies.

Our approach to animal testing is governed by what is called the "3Rs". This methodology stresses the need to:

  • replace animal tests with alternative methods whenever possible;
  • reduce the number of animals used in any animal tests for which there are no alternative methods; and
  • refine animal test methods to make them as humane as possible.

We are supporting the UK National Centre for Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research, and the Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing in the USA. We also work proactively with other partners in academia and industry to help us achieve the 3Rs, with a particular emphasis on developing viable alternatives to replace animal testing.

Most of the animal testing we carry out uses laboratory-bred rats, mice and fish. We do not use cats, dogs or monkeys. All of our animal testing is carried out at licensed or accredited research facilities where animal welfare standards are enforced by independent inspections. All of our animal testing complies with internationally accepted principles governing good laboratory practice.

You can read annual reports on our animal testing activities, compiled by a panel of independent experts, below.

Animal Welfare panel report

Note: We have made a one-off amendment to the date of this year’s report to bring it in line with other Shell Group annual reports. The Animal Welfare Report for 2015 contains details and data for activity carried out during 2015. Note that this contrasts with previous years where the title year referred to the year of report publication.

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