BusinessDay

Shell accelerates drive for net-zero emissions with customer-first strategy

Shell has set out its strategy to accelerate its transformation into a provider of net-zero emissions energy products and services, powered by growth in its customer-facing businesses.
A disciplined cash allocation framework and rigorous approach to driving down carbon emissions will deliver value for shareholders, customers and wider society.

Shell also confirmed its expectation that total carbon emissions for the company peaked in 2018, and oil production peaked in 2019.

“Our accelerated strategy will drive down carbon emissions and will deliver value for our shareholders, our customers and wider society,” Royal Dutch Shell Chief Executive Officer, Ben van Beurden said.

“We must give our customers the products and services they want and need – products that have the lowest environmental impact. At the same time, we will use our established strengths to build on our competitive portfolio as we make the transition to be a net-zero emissions business in step with society.

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“Whether our customers are motorists, households or businesses, we will use our global scale and trusted brand to grow in markets where demand for cleaner products and services is strongest, delivering more predictable cash flows and generating higher returns.”

From today, Thursday, Shell is integrating its strategy, portfolio, environmental and social ambitions under the goals of Powering Progress: generating shareholder value, achieving net-zero emissions, powering lives and respecting nature. Shell’s reshaped organisation will deliver on these goals through the three business pillars of Growth, Transition and Upstream.

It reiterated its cash priorities to deliver value for shareholders today while growing value for tomorrow, including Maintain the progressive dividend policy, increasing dividend per share by around 4% per year, subject to Board approval, retain near-term annual Cash capital expenditure of $19-22 billion, reduce net debt to $65 billion.

Other targets include reducing net debt to $65 billion, target total shareholder distributions of 20-30% of cash flow from operations; increased shareholder distributions achieved through a combination of Shell’s progressive dividends and share buybacks and maintained disciplined and measured capital expenditure growth balanced with additional shareholder distributions and further strengthening of our balance sheet.

“In the near term, we expect to maintain underlying operating expenses of no higher than $35 billion and pursue divestments averaging $4 billion a year. Over time the balance of capital spending will shift towards the businesses in the Growth pillar, attracting around half of the additional capital spend. Cash flow will follow the same trend and in the long term will become less exposed to oil and gas prices, with a stronger link to broader economic growth” it stated.

On the road to Net Zero Emission, the company stated that it has set out details of how it will achieve its target to be a net-zero emissions energy business by 2050, in step with society’s progress towards achieving net-zero.
“This target covers the emissions from our operations and the emissions from the use of all the energy products we sell. And crucially, it includes emissions from the oil and gas that others produce and Shell then sells as products to customers, making the target comprehensive”.

The company stated that it will be powering progress supports for the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius. “To achieve net-zero, will continue with short-term targets that will drive down carbon emissions as it makes progress towards our 2050 target, linked to the remuneration of more than 16,500 staff.”

Shell aims to build material low-carbon businesses of significant scale by the early 2030s. Upstream will continue to deliver vital energy supplies, which will help to generate the cash and returns needed to fund shareholder distributions while accelerating investment in the growth businesses to capture new market opportunities.

In the near term, Shell’s strategy will rebalance its portfolio, investing annually $5-6 billion in its Growth pillar (around $3 billion in Marketing; $2-3 billion in Renewables and Energy Solutions), $8-9 billion in its Transition pillar (around $4 billion Integrated Gas; $4-5 billion Chemicals and Products) and around $8 billion in Upstream.

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