Shell works closely with leading environmental organizations, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Wetlands International, The Nature Conservancy and Earthwatch. These partnerships help the company identify and manage environmental challenges, as well as opportunities to make improvements early in the design of projects.
In 2011, Shell worked on more than 35 projects with these organizations. For example, with Wetlands International, Shell developed a software tool that could help its engineers minimize impacts on sensitive wetlands. With IUCN, Shell is working on a joint industry initiative to understand the cumulative effects of more development on the Arctic region and identify responsible ways to operate, with special focus on the welfare of local communities and the environment.
Shell continues to work with Earthwatch to develop the management skills of UNESCO World Heritage Site staff, who partner with mentors from Shell. With The Nature Conservancy, Shell researched techniques to install artificial oyster reefs in the Gulf of Mexico in the US. These reefs encourage the growth of oysters, which serve as natural water filters and help control coastal erosion.