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Shell’s Unloved Business Principles

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 14.24.25By John Donovan

I have published a number of articles highlighting the fact that Shell appears to have no regard at all for its own claimed business principles displayed on the Internet, which have not been signed/endorsed by the current CEO Ben van Beurden. 

Shell’s disdain for its governing constitution, Shell Business Principles

CEO Ben van Beurden too honest to sign Shell’s Business Principles?

Someone has correctly pointed out that if you visit on the shell global  webpage, it is possible to download the Shell General Business Principles “in your own language.” If you select “English,”  the version that appears was signed by Jeroen van der Veer, the CEO in 2005, now long retired from Royal Dutch Shell Plc. 

The following is a reference to the statement of General Business Principles in an extract from a letter the then Shell CEO Mark Moody-Stuart sent to the Guardian in response to their publication of an extraordinary article: “Unlovable Shell: Goddess of Oil” in November 1997:

(Article takes a while to load, but is worth the wait)

“the Statement provides, for our employees to follow and for the outside world to judge us by, an ethical framework which is mandatory, not optional: just having those principles is not enough. In the past: an oil company could say “trust me” and expect that to be enough. Today, people say, “tell me” “listen to me” “show me”. Trust has to be earned by transparency. That’s one of the most important lessons we’ve learned in Shell”.

If the current Shell management cannot be bothered to bring the statement up to date, why doesn’t Shell just scrap them altogether, instead of pretending it has principles and is an honest company? 


For a century, Shell has explored the Earth to make our lives more comfortable,. But in its wake, says Andrew Rowell, lies a trail of corruption, despoliation and death

Screen Shot 2014-12-05 at 15.17.27

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