Strategic social investment

Shell Oman Marketing’s social investment initiatives focus on three strategic themes: road safety, environment and community development

This year Shell Oman Marketing celebrates the 60th anniversary of its downstream business activities in Oman. Through the years, Shell has been a key and highly engaged participant in the economy of Oman and the progress of the nation, delivering innovative and pioneering technologies with consistent world-class quality products and services to the Omani market, while sharing benefits with the society.

The company continues to make plans, execute projects and run facilities that create lasting social benefits. At the top of this comes the company’s focus on Omani talent development, a fact highlighted by the 90 per cent Omanisation rate across the organisation, including the top management.

In addition to this, Shell works with local suppliers and contractors to create In-Country-Value (ICV), thereby being a good corporate citizen, through business practices and ethics. The company also maintains a high standard of health, safety, security and environment (HSSE), driven by respect for people and the core values of honesty and integrity which are embedded in Shell’s General Business Principles for over 40 years.

“Our approach to sustainable development (SD) affects the choices we make about our portfolio and products and the way in which we operate,” says Burair Al Lawati, social investment, government & external relations manager at Shell Oman Marketing. “Enterprise development and ICV have been in the DNA of Shell Oman’s operational model before it was even considered “cool” to do so or talk about it. The most visible example of this is our service stations’ retailers.”

Supporting SMEs

Shell Oman supports Omani Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) by enabling them to operate Shell Service Stations, shops and other facilities. With over 187 strategically located service stations in the Sultanate, the SMEs get the opportunity to grow their business through a proven business model that is backed by access to global knowhow. Besides the tremendous business potential, the SMEs benefit from continuous and extensive knowledge-transfer as well as HSSE, marketing, training and technology support from Shell Oman. Currently, there are more than 120 Omani enterprises that work as retailers at Shell service stations, and many of these Omani enterprises have achieved multiple local and global recognitions from the Royal Dutch Shell Group for being the ‘Retailer of the Year’, showcasing local Omani talent and for their potential to a global audience.

Says Burair, “If one looks at our trade and supply business, you will realise that Shell Oman had opted many years ago to work with local distributors and contractors for the distribution of our fuel and fuel products (including lubes), instead of owning its own fleet of bridgers (tank lorries) or trucks.”

As of today, the company works with a large network of local contractors’ in the distribution sector to deliver Shell fuel products (Four transportation companies) across the Sultanate. This decision was part of the company’s long term strategy and commitment to sustainable development, by creating In-Country-Value in its business activities.

“Our ICV agenda can also be seen in the lubricants business, as Shell Oman continues to leverage the benefits of its lubricants blending plant which is the only ISO-certified facility of its kind in the Sultanate. The Plant creates an added value for the country by exporting approximately two-thirds of “Made-In-Oman” Shell lubes, to more than 15 countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, while meeting the local market’s demands,” he explains.

A few years ago, Shell Oman moved its base-oil storage facility from a neighbouring country to Sohar Port, as part of an ICV and HSSE agenda, thereby further contributing to sustainable development by supporting SMEs, and in turn helping create more ICV.

Road safety, environment, community development

Talking about the focus areas and objectives of the company’s CSR initiatives, Burair said: “Shell Oman is committed to meet the Sultanate’s growing energy demands and contribute to its prosperity in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible way, while sharing benefits with the Omani society. The company has put in place an annual social investment budget and has developed a strategy that targets a wide range of initiatives to drive social awareness and contribute to the well-being of the local community focusing on three strategic themes: road safety, environment and community development.”

He added, “Shell Oman continues to build on its excellent long-term relationships with its stakeholders in the public and private sector as well as non-government organisations and youth charity groups with active staff participation to ensure the reach of its CSR programmes to the grassroots level, and to enhance the effectiveness of such initiatives.”

Apart from the targeted strategic social investment initiatives planned at the beginning of every year, Shell Oman keeps a window open for dialogue with the Omani community in terms of a social investment budget through donations and sponsorships to address the requests received from various organisations, charities and entities in Oman. This approach allows the company to build on its strategic long-term relationship with its stakeholders in the public and private sector, as well as non-government organisations and youth charity groups that help raise awareness and funds for various causes.

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