Balancing stakeholder needs
A Shell case study

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Page 1: Introduction

A stakeholder is anyone who has an interest in what a business does or an influence upon the business.

Large organisations have many different stakeholder groups. Some are internal to the business, like employees. Others are external as they are outside of the business, like government. It is important to identify and balance the needs and expectations of these groups and to act responsibly to all of them in order to keep the 'licence to operate, which is necessary for good business. 

Balancing the needs of all stakeholders is particularly important for large energy companies like Shell, one of the world”s largest and most profitable multinational companies.

Shell is a global group of energy and petrochemical companies.  Its aim is to meet the energy needs of society in ways that are economically, socially and environmentally viable, now and in the future.

Shell's headquarters are in The Hague, the Netherlands, and the parent company of the Shell group is Royal Dutch Shell plc, which is incorporated in England and Wales.  Shell provides 2% of the world”s oil and 3% of its natural gas. Shell's fuel retail network has around 44,000 service stations and it sells transport fuel to some 10 million customers a day.

Global challenges

Oil and gas are non-renewable resources but remain essential for powering the world”s needs.  Energy use is increasing due to a growing world population and higher standards of living. This means more demand not only for oil and gas but also for other energy sources.

Shell is therefore faced with an enormous challenge to help meet the needs of the present and future generations, while creating as little negative impact as possible to the environment.

Shell aims to provide energy safely and responsibly and serve all its stakeholders, customers and investors effectively.

Two key aims of the Shell Group are:

  • to engage efficiently, responsibly and profitably in oil, gas, chemicals and other businesses
  • to participate in the search for and development of other sources of energy to meet evolving customer needs and the world”s growing demand for energy.

The case study examines how stakeholders influence the achievement of these aims and how Shell seeks to meet the needs of all of its stakeholders and balance the social, economic and environmental impacts of its work.

Shell | Balancing stakeholder needs