Earthwatch Europe works with Shell to increase knowledge amongst employees about sustainability themes central to Shell Group’s business. Together, we are having a positive impact on the environment and communities.
Earthwatch works with Shell, a global group of energy and petrochemical companies, to support conservation projects around the world, improve the management of protected areas, and support communities to live in balance with nature.
Through our employee engagement programmes, we raise awareness amongst Shell’s employees of sustainability issues relevant to the business. To date, we have equipped more than 1,100 employees with the knowledge needed to take action at work and at home.
Our relationship means that we are also able to recommend ways that Shell can improve performance on their sustainability agenda, for example setting more ambitious targets – rooted in scientific evidence – for meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change.
Since 1999, Shell employees have taken part in the Earthwatch Expeditions Programme. Participants join conservation projects around the world, making a tangible contribution to scientific research and community-based conservation projects while learning new skills. Embedded within the programme is a bespoke curriculum around sustainability in general and how sustainability is integrated into Shell’s strategy and business. The aim is to connect staff to the environmental challenges and solutions relevant to Shell companies.
For employees, the experience increases their awareness of environmental issues and the role of business. They return from expeditions equipped to take action to support environmental initiatives at work and at home. For Shell, the programme helps build an informed understanding amongst the workforce of the company’s sustainability strategy and goals.
Since the beginning of our partnership, over 1,100 Shell employees from 50 countries have participated in more than 50 conservation projects through the Earthwatch Expeditions Programme. To date, Shell participants have contributed more than 57,000 hours of volunteer time to crucial data collection and conservation work around the world.
The Earth Skills Network (ESN) is a unique collaboration between Earthwatch, UNESCO, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and businesses. The ESN brings leaders from the business and conservation communities together to share skills and experience, and provide mentoring opportunities.
Through the ESN, we connect Shell business leaders with managers of the world's most precious natural areas. During a ten-day residential training programme, business and conservation leaders explore the challenges facing protected areas, and work together to develop an action plan to address them. After this, business mentors from Shell provide support and guidance to managers of protected areas for at least 12 months.
The ESN facilitates an open dialogue between business and conservation to create a mutual understanding, bringing benefits to both sides. For conservation leaders, the programme helps to strengthen their management of vital protected areas. It gives Shell employees the chance to sharpen their own professional skills and better understand the ecological challenges that face protected areas.
Images: John Hunt, Jay Ortiz