5,535 $m
Shell was one of 50 innovation leaders worldwide identified in the prestigious MIT Technology Review and the brand’s “Let’s Go” initiative looks to broaden its mix of energy sources. It has invested USD $1.3 billion in R&D and formed Sirius Well Manufacturing Services as a joint venture with CNPC, advancing techniques to standardize well design and automate drilling, becoming more logistically efficient while reducing its environmental footprint. The brand slipped six places on Interbrand’s Best Global Green Brands 2013 report, and continues to face sustainability challenges. Shell is dealing with fallout from a 2012 maritime incident off the coast of Alaska that severely damaged its drilling rig, protests over drilling in the Arctic, and controversy for bringing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to China’s Sichuan region, an earthquake hotbed. Its plans to invest USD $1 billion in China’s shale industry, and its focus on an area that saw a devastating earthquake in 2008, is coming under fire with environmental groups that contend fracking causes earthquakes. As part of its efforts to address sustainability, Shell teams with environmental NGOs, including the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which advises the brand on the impact of extraction on World Heritage sites, and The Nature Conservancy to use artificially engineered oyster reefs to reduce erosion. A transparent approach will help balance its reputation and improve customer confidence in the brand.