As the world’s population continues to grow, Royal Dutch Shell faces the challenge of an impending energy crisis. With this in mind, the organization is focusing on developing a future energy system that will drive economic progress in a sustainable way.
Most recently, Shell Chairman Chad Holliday, alongside leaders from Statoil and RWE, was among a list of commissioners acting in a personal capacity to advise governments on how to change their energy markets without damaging the environment. This comes on the heels of the push by energy firms, including Shell, to become more proactive on climate issues.
This also arrives on the heels of Shell’s estimated $70 billion acquisition of BG Group, the most aggressive step yet in the competition to be the world’s dominant supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The acquisition, projected to be complete by early 2016, still requires regulatory clearances from all of the countries in which BG operates. Once complete, it will place Shell far ahead of rivals in the race to build market share for LNG—a fuel with a fast-growing and increasingly global market. It’s a strong bet on China, India, and other developing countries that are moving toward cleaner-burning fuels amid growing pressure to curb emissions.
And Shell is also improving its social strategy. In 2014 it began ramping up its social game, buying ads on Swarm/Foursquare, Facebook, and Twitter. And its loyalty-based effort with Influenster—a platform that connects brands with consumers who are active influencers in their social networks—helped increase social media mentions for its Fuel Rewards Network program by 385 percent.
These efforts are important as Shell experiences a stock price decline, attributed to slow oil price recovery: The oil industry anticipates a prolonged downturn due to plummeting prices. While car owners may be rejoicing at the pump, this means Shell will be cutting its workforce and reducing capital investment. With the oil price downturn potentially lasting several years, Shell estimates gradual recovery in the next five.