What is PROJECT BETTER WORLD (PBW)
Project Better World is a voluntary organization run by Shell employees and contractors. The organization is made up of a Global Team and the National Teams Network.
The Birth of an Idea
The idea for the project was born at a dinner table discussion in Amsterdam in April 1998. This discussion revolved around how it was possible for staff to implement Shell’s core purpose “helping people build a better world” and make Shell’s commitment to sustainable development tangible for Shell staff and for the the world.
The idea of making it possible for Shell employees to offer their skills to a non-governmental organization (NGO) was suggested and the discussion continued enthusiastically, as we imagined what benefits it could bring to Shell, from the employee to the Group level and to the society as a whole. The idea was christened “Project Better World”.
The Development of the Idea
Since 1998 the team has grown and evolved and many people have worked on the project in one way or another. The initiative has been developed from an idea to an established voluntary organization that reaches across the Shell group.
Project Better World developed a clear Mission to guide future activities:
Our mission is to build awareness and understanding of sustainable development throughout Shell, to create a cultural shift in the organization toward a sustainable future. This is done by offering the Shell community opportunities to promote sustainability in tangible projects, at their locations and around the globe, and thereby to contribute to a better world.
The Implementation of the Project
A number of pilot projects were run in 1999 with the Earthwatch Institute, one of our NGO partners. The projects were launched full-scale in 2000 and the number of applicants as well as projects available continues to increase year by year. In the year 2001, further projects were run for the first time with our second NGO partner, Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). United Nations Volunteers (UNV) is the latest NGO that teamed up with PBW. To date more than 185 Shell employees have put in over 35,000 hours of volunteer work in these projects around the world.
Further to the global projects, National Teams have been set up across the world and offer local volunteering opportunities to people in Shell, both in environmental and community-based projects. On average, these local projects involve 1,600 volunteers globally every year.
Earthwatch Institute – External Site
Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) – External Site
United Nations Volunteers (UNV) – External Site
National Teams Network
Project Better World is now recognized throughout Shell and has ongoing support from the HR Executive and Group Social Investment.