The initiative is a social investment programme to promote sustainable energy. Its two core objectives are: reducing environmental impact of fossil fuel use and increasing access to sustainable energy, particularly in poor communities of developing countries. It will link social investment with a business approach and develop projects that build on Shell’s unique expertise and experience in energy.

The initiative will support efforts of largely non-profit organisations to develop practical sustainable energy solutions, in the areas of technology, policy and education, Shell told edie. Projects may relate to reducing the carbon impact of fossil fuel use, or promoting sustainable uses of traditional forms of renewable energy.

“The objective of sustainable energy must drive Shell’s business development and be embedded in its activities. Sustainable development is the key to achieving long-term business success,” Royal Dutch/Shell Group managing director, Jeroen van der Veer said launching the initiative at the Sustain’99 show in Amsterdam this week.

A key challenge for the next century is to provide energy in a cleaner and more sustainable way. This is an area where the Group says its commercial interests are closely related to the wider social objective of sustainable development.

Mr van der Veer also noted Shell’s new “Sustainable Development Management Framework” which aims to ensure that the commitment to sustainable development becomes “business as usual”.

Shell already has some sustainable energy operations. It has made significant investment in solar and biomass energy, set up a hydrogen business and developed technology which can convert liquid fuels into a hydrogen-rich gas which fuel cells can turn into electricity.

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