Royal Dutch Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies with around 94,000 employees in more than 70 countries and territories. In its Upstream business, Shell focuses on exploring for new oil and gas reserves and developing major projects where technology and know-how adds value to the resource holders. Shell’s Downstream business emphasizes sustained cash generation from existing assets and selective investments in growth markets.
The Shell General Business Principles (SGBP) govern how Shell companies conduct their affairs. In addition, Shell’s Code of Conduct provides the rules, standards, and expected behaviors every employee, director, officer or agent working on Shell’s behalf or in Shell’s name is expected to abide by. The Global Helpline allows employees and stakeholders to raise concerns and report instances of potential non-compliance with Shells principles.
Who can access it?
The Shell Global Helpline, is also accessible to third parties with whom Shell has a business relationship (such as customers, suppliers, agents) if they observe wrongdoing by a Shell company or employee. .
How does it work?
Complaints are received by Global Compliance, an independent firm. Complaints can be filed for a variety of issues, including bribery and corruption, concerns related to the activities of the company that affect human rights and/or the wellbeing of communities within which the company works, and concerns related to the activities of the company that affect society and environment.
Employees can report concerns by contacting:
- their line manager or supervisor; or
- any other senior Shell person, e.g. a Human Resources or Legal representative or a Compliance Officer.
Both employees and other individuals as described above can report concerns through the Shell Global Helpline. The Helpline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through two channels:
- local telephone number in each country. Complainants can call the helpline from any country in which Shell operates without a charge. Local telephone numbers can be found here. If requested, an interpreter can be brought into the call to assist the English-speaking interviewer.
- Global Helpline website. The complainant can fill in a form to submit their query or concern. The website is available in 14 languages.
Calls and reports over the Helpline are received on behalf of Shell by an independent third party specialist Helpline provider. A complainant can communicate anonymously, by identifying themselves and asking to communicate with just one person without their name being recorded, or they can provide name and contact details.
At the end of the telephone interview or submission of a web report, the complainant will be given a report number and PIN code in order to be able to call back or access the website to check if there is a response from the company, or to provide additional information. Reported concerns will be logged and handled in accordance with consistent case management and investigation guidelines.
Reports are passed to a Regional Coordinator who will assess the report and allocate it to a Case Manager to decide the appropriate action. If the report is a query, or perhaps a dilemma for which advice is sought, it will be passed to someone qualified to provide that advice.
If the report is in the nature of an allegation that requires careful investigation, an investigator or investigation team will be assigned. This will usually involve a suitably-trained investigator from the country to which the report refers, who has local expertise.
If the reported incident requires expertise not available within Shell, an outside expert may be involved under similar strict confidentiality. Details of the case, and especially the identity of the person who made the report and any persons mentioned in the report, are kept confidential and only shared on a strict need-to-know basis. The investigation itself will focus on an objective, factual analysis of the case. In the event that an allegation has been found to be true, the local operating company will decide on the action or actions to be taken.