Shell Canada revives Environmental Fund with enhanced focus on project resultsShell Canada marked Earth Day, April 22, by renewing its Shell Environmental Fund (SEF). Following a brief hiatus, the Shell Environmental Fund (SEF) is again accepting applications for 2004.
"After contributing over $10 million to approximately 3,500 Canadian projects, we needed to step back and look at what was accomplished with this substantial investment," said Tim Bancroft, the company's vice-president of sustainable development. "After consulting the external panels, who help us make the decisions, and looking at the final reports submitted by the SEF grant recipients, we are satisfied that the SEF is still a unique and effective way for Shell to support environmental improvement and protection across Canada."
First launched in 1990, the SEF marked a major milestone at the end of 2003 when the program reached the $10 million mark in total grants. At that point, the company decided to review the program to ensure that it continued to meet the needs of both the Company and the SEF's intended recipients.
A distinguishing feature, and major benefit, of the program is the decision-making process that brings together external environmental experts with Shell representatives. "We could not begin to bring the wealth of knowledge to the decisions that the representatives of environmental organizations bring. They understand the regional environmental issues and we work together to make the right grants," Bancroft explained.
As a result of the review, Shell will make some changes to the application process and requirements during 2004, while retaining the program's focus on local, community-driven projects that improve or protect the Canadian environment will continue.
One change that applicants will notice is a greater focus on expected results. "When we started the SEF, we didn't know what kind of projects would come to us. Now, we can see that the projects that are most successful are those that incorporate a clear results focus. To support that, we've improved our application to include a stronger emphasis on results and environmental benefit," noted Bancroft. "The results of our review and the changes we're making will ensure that the SEF will continue to be a resource for those who have the energy and ideas to improve and protect our environment."
More information is available from advisors Tara Black, 403/691-4463, or Linda Anne Sharp, 403/691-3774, or on the Shell Environmental Fund Web site, www.shell.ca/sef.