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Shell is a worldwide group of oil, gas and petrochemical companies with interests in biofuels, wind and solar power and hydrogen. Shell helps meet global energy demand in economically, environmentally and socially responsible ways. The company operates in more than 130 countries, and employs more than 110,000 people.

HIV/AIDS Profile

Shell's response to HIV/AIDS

Shell takes the issue of HIV/AIDS seriously as it affects our employees, contractors and customers and impacts our business environment. We believe we can play a role in helping to reduce the spread and impact of HIV/AIDS by seeking to prevent new infections, creating a supportive working environment for employees affected by HIV/AIDS and increasing access to HIV/AIDS-related services such as counseling, testing and treatment. We continually look at ways to address HIV/AIDS through our supply chain, including helping our contractors to recognise and manage risks to the workforce with a focus on prevention. We co-operate with relevant local and global organisations and other key stakeholders to help tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic collectively in the societies where we operate, ensuring our response reflects local sensitivities.

In the delivery of workplace HIV/AIDS programmes, local Shell companies will:

  • Not discriminate against HIV/AIDS-affected individuals, including employees, contractors, customers and suppliers;
  • Provide or arrange medical treatment for employees and their dependants affected by HIV/AIDS, including anti-retroviral therapy, where not otherwise available;
  • Coordinate education and prevention programmes for employees, their families and communities, which includes, where appropriate, facilitating access to condoms and to voluntary counseling and testing services;
  • Include HIV/AIDS in impact assessments, which take place prior to new project or divestment activities;
  • Create ongoing partnerships with relevant local and global organisations and other key stakeholders to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic collectively in the societies in which the company operates and sells its products and services;
  • Take part in regional efforts to address the HIV/AIDS issues in partnership with other companies, national and international organisations;
  • Develop a monitoring programme to measure the success of its policy on HIV/AIDS.

Global roll out

Shell is currently implementing its HIV/AIDS programme in more than 60 countries around the world and supports initiatives to tackle HIV/AIDS at local, national and international level. Shell has a special focus on highly affected areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa and selected major construction projects.

Working with others

A key aspect of Shell's efforts is to create ongoing partnerships with relevant local and global organisations and other key stakeholders to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic collectively. Local partnerships are developed in the regions and countries where the company operates, while global partnerships are managed by the Shell Group.

Examples from the field:

1. AIDS in Africa: Three scenarios to 2025, an UNAIDS partnership
Shell has many local HIV/AIDS workplace efforts underway in African countries with a sustained focus on Sub-Saharan Africa, where the epidemic is taking the greatest toll. However we have also contributed to the fight against AIDS in Africa from a Group (global) level. In partnership with UNAIDS, three different plausible alternative scenarios were developed to consider how AIDS in Africa might unfold over the next 20 years. Shell shared its unique scenario expertise in an innovative approach aimed at better understanding and addressing the challenge of AIDS in Africa.

The Challenge
UNAIDS considers the AIDS crisis unprecedented in both scale and longevity of impact. As there is no precedent, there also exists no model to follow. "AIDS in Africa: Three scenarios to 2025", a report by UNAIDS launched in 2005, presents three possible case studies for how the AIDS epidemic in Africa could evolve over the next 20 years based on policy decisions taken today both by African leaders and the rest of the world. This partnership brought together motivated and knowledgeable stakeholders from governments, business and civil society in a comprehensive approach to examining the deeper causes and wider impacts of the epidemic.

The partnership
Shell's approach to prevention and management of HIV/AIDS includes collaboration with relevant local and global organizations as well as other key stakeholders to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic collectively in the societies where the company operates.

Shell was keen to work with UNAIDS because, along with its many cosponsors, it brings together an unprecedented amount of expertise in the area of HIV/AIDS. UNAIDS' co-sponsoring organisations are: the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), International Labour Organization (ILO), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank.

Actions Taken
The scenario project gathered divergent views and perspectives to inform a shared understanding of the HIV/AIDS challenge amongst a variety of stakeholders. Additionally, it sought to help activate a broad-based response from all segments of society with regard to the prevention of infections and the support, treatment and respect for those who are HIV positive. Through a multi-stakeholder process, the project sought to produce models of the potential consequences of HIV/AIDS in Africa over a 20-year time horizon. For three years, Shell contributed its scenario-building expertise to the project, through its Global Business Environment division, and acted as the Process Advisor. Shell also provided the project office. This included office space, computers, and general office services, with an approximate in-kind estimate of $500,000 USD.

Benefits to Society
The process of building scenarios created a shared "future" space through which stakeholders can exchange perspectives, share and stimulate learning, create new understandings and explore different options.. A report, along with the scenarios, was placed in the public domain and widely disseminated. The report and other outcomes of the scenario-building process will hopefully be used by various stakeholders in their own endeavors to design and scale up the response to HIV/AIDS. Additionally, it is hoped that the scenarios will inform policy response to the AIDS epidemic; catalyze a partnership approach among key stakeholders; help in shaping public debate by fostering communication and understanding between different parties; and assist in effectively targeting and channelling financial and other resources allocated to preventing and mitigating HIV/AIDS.

Benefits to the Company
Responsible businesses recognize that HIV/AIDS affects their employees, contractors, suppliers, and customers and that it impacts the entire business environment. Business also has the potential to contribute both positively and negatively to the impact of HIV/AIDS. Africa is an important region for Shell and thinking broadly and deeply about such key issues serves to better inform business actions and decisions. Involvement in this initiative has provided Shell with an opportunity to learn more about critical factors that affect its businesses and to contribute its own expertise.

2. Workplace Programme, Shell Companies in Nigeria
In Nigeria, HIV/AIDS prevalence is 3.9%, with 2.9 million people estimated to be infected. Shell Companies in Nigeria have taken an integrated approach to tackle HIV/AIDS in the Niger Delta, involving workplace committee coordination efforts, high quality clinical care for employees and dependents, as well as support to contractors and communities.

In the workplace, 6,000 employees of Shell companies in Nigeria participate in ongoing knowledge and awareness building activities and receive counseling and voluntary HIV testing (VCT). From 2003-2006, voluntary HIV testing increased two hundred-fold from less than 20 to 4,000 tests performed. Employees and dependents with HIV receive free anti-retroviral treatment and care. Shell's clinical program has successfully focused on the area of preventive mother to child transmission, in which 100% of pregnant women were counseled in 2006. As a result, the number of HIV+ children born to infected mothers has steadily declined.

Shell companies in Nigeria have executed their HIV/AIDS program in collaboration with various NGOs, including the Institute of Human Virology, Planned Parenthood Foundation Nigeria (PPFN), Population Service International (PSI), Family Health International (FHI), Society for Family Health, and Pharm Access Foundation.[1]

Shell works with the National Advisory Council on AIDS (NACA) through the Nigerian Business Coalition against AIDS (NUBICAA), and has adopted NACA's five-year strategy targets for HIV/AIDS in their own programs.[2]

Many of the annual 50,000+ contract workers also benefit from the workplace HIV/AIDS program by participation in targeted awareness and prevention activities. These are often conducted remotely at project sites to enable access.[3]  In 2004 Shell delivered 271 lectures to some 9,400 people, including women and young people in schools and communities and over radio and television. [4]

In 2006, company's extensive and structured community related HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs included Shell sponsored an HIV/AIDS Quiz Competition (Shell AIDS Schools Challenge) successfully rolled out in 45 secondary schools in the Niger Delta. "An estimated 12,2 million listeners and viewers benefited from the program at the Niger Delta regional levels while the corresponding figure for the National reach was 15 million[5]."

3. Designing an HIV/AIDS workplace programme in the Middle East
Shell is also implementing its HIV/AIDS Guidelines in challenging lower prevalence settings such as the Middle East.

Surveys assessing knowledge, attitudes, practices and behaviours (KAPB) regarding HIV/AIDS are often used when designing HIV/AIDS programmes. The situation in a number of countries in the Middle East is however somewhat particular in the sense that HIV testing and a HIV Negative status are prerequisites for non-nationals in order to obtain or extend a work and residence visa. This means that the Shell HIV/AIDS guidelines, which include provision of treatment, cannot be fully implemented in these countries. Despite these particularities a KAPB survey can be used to design an HIV/AIDS programme for a multinational company in the Middle East, a lower prevalence region characterized by a large non-national workforce and local legislation as mentioned above.

Pharm Access Foundation developed a KAPB survey for the Shell workforce in Dubai. The survey was pilot tested in a small group of employees. The pilot study comprised four phases: focus group discussions, survey revisions, a survey pre-test, and final survey revisions. Focus group discussions revealed serious concern about the anonymity of the survey. In addition, several non-Arab employees found the questions too personal. None of the Arab participants indicated to be offended by the questions.

The final survey version, in which all questions assessing background characteristics were removed to ensure anonymity, was distributed to 271 employees of a target population of 475. As an incentive, Shell companies promised to donate money to an HIV/AIDS project in the UAE for each returned questionnaire. Of the employees, 235 returned the survey. Many respondents expressed positive comments praising the company's initiative to address HIV/AIDS. Aggregate results were discussed with the employer and are being used to design a tailored workplace HIV/AIDS programme.

Lessons learned
Ensuring both actual and perceived anonymity was a key factor in ensuring acceptance and good response rate. While recognizing that a KAPB survey without questions on background characteristics limit the analysis of the information collected, the KAPB survey remains very valuable tool for monitoring and designing HIV/AIDS workplace interventions and can be successfully administered in the Middle East.

When carefully introduced, tested and adapted to the local situation, a KAPB survey is a useful tool to design an HIV/AIDS workplace programme in a lower prevalence setting with a large non-national workforce and a local legislation that requires an HIV Negative status in order for non-nationals to work. Because provision of treatment is not possible in these countries as well as because of the low-prevalence, the workplace programmes will have a stronger emphasis on prevention and stigma reduction.

M. Locadia (PharmAccess Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands), S. Bierema, M. Malca (Shell Middle East, Dubai, United Arab Emirates) H.P. Wiebing (former employee of Shell International, The Hague, The Netherlands).

4. HIV Prevention on Sakhalin Island, Russian Federation
The Sakhalin Energy Investment Company (SEIC) Ltd, of which Shell is a principal owner, works with Sakhalin Regional Authorities and other key local stakeholders to jointly address HIV/AIDS on the coastal island in the east of Russia.

Early and Sustained Cooperation
In March 2004, SEIC initiated a jointly organized (SEIC/UNAIDS/Sakhalin Oblast Authority) high-level workshop on HIV/AIDS/STI entitled "Business and community leaders' Response to STI/HIV/AIDS and other diseases of social character", as the first step in a coordinated approach on Sakhalin Island. Participants included federal, regional and local government, NGOs and other organizations. This resulted in a declaration by Oblast authorities to prevent and address HIV/AIDS on the island in a multi-sectoral and cooperative manner. A Health Advisory Committee and an HIV/AIDS/STI sub-committee were formed and have met regularly to monitor and manage the regional response on the issue, including participation by the SEIC Corporate Health Manager.

Details of the Partnership
A lasting partnership of SEIC with a key HIV/AIDS stakeholder, the Sakhalin Oblast AIDS Center, has been enabled by an innovative solution to arrange supportive funding of the AIDS Center program services via the NGO Anti-AIDS Organization. This is necessary because as a state supported organisation, AIDS Center cannot directly accept private sector funds.

Community contributions by SEIC have included: an annual donation and condoms on World AIDS Day to the regional AIDS Center, hospital upgrades to improve controls for blood borne pathogens, and peer trainer school awareness programs. In addition, equipment has been donated and in-kind technical support provided to enable development of a community HIV/AIDS/STI information website.

The AIDS Center and Anti-AIDS Organization have provided technical support for HIV prevention programs delivered to the SEIC workforce along the project pipeline route and have also developed an innovative train-the-trainer program for development of teenage peer educators to help protect young people at risk.

Lessons learned
To assist an appropriate community-owned and driven response to HIV/AIDS, operators of large projects must focus on early engagement of key stakeholders and on developing and strengthening partnerships as an ongoing process. By strengthening capacity of local stakeholders, Sakhalin Energy continues to contribute to a sustainable solution to address HIV/AIDS.

»Read more about Royal Dutch Shell's HIV/AIDS program

Malaria Profile

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) works to curb the spread of malaria in the country's Niger Delta region. The company's malaria control measures have resulted in a significant reduction both in malaria cases and mortality rate. SPDC's malaria working group has successfully coordinated and continuously improves the Regional response to malaria. The company is a working with Africare in a $4.5 million partnership to roll back the disease in 55 communities in Nigeria. Deploying an integrated malaria control program is a business priority to prevent illness, death and employee absenteeism.