Safety consultant goes viral for leaving Shell after a decade, says ‘core business’ is dangerous

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  • At 8:27 a.m. Monday, Carolyn Dennett emailed 1,400 executives at the oil and gas conglomerate, Shell, to announce their resignations after 11 years doing security consulting for the company through her firm.
  • Shell’s internal security program is dubbed “Goal Zero” and is aimed at “no damage and no leaks,” Dennett said. “Goal Zero is respectable, but they don’t equate to the massive damage they are doing,” she told CNBC.

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At 8:27 a.m. Monday, May 23, Carolyn Dennett emailed 1,400 executives at the oil and gas conglomerate, Shell, to announce her resignation after 11 years working as a security adviser.

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Dennett, who is based near London, asked executives and management at Shell to “look in the mirror and ask themselves whether they really believe their vision for more oil and gas extraction is a safer future for humanity.” protects.”

Dennett later posted a screenshot of her resignation email, a one-minute and 12-second video in which she explains her decision straight into the camera, and a written explanation of her decision. professional networking site linkedin,

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Since that time, his LinkedIn post has garnered nearly 10,000 responses and more than 800 comments, some from Dennett’s supporters and some to Shell’s.

his market research business, Effect, began working with Shell in 2011, when BP’s 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico put a new emphasis on safety precautions throughout the oil and gas industry. They were brought in to design, pilot and manage surveys of workers to understand how strictly safety precautions were being followed. With the information collected, Dennett will make recommendations on how to improve the culture around safety among workers.

Dennett did not take the decision to stop doing business with Shell lightly.

“That’s when I decided to do it, which was probably a few weeks ago, and I’ve been over it for a few months, to be honest,” Dennett told CNBC on Tuesday. “You don’t make this kind of decision too quickly. It’s something you have to consider.”

But ultimately, Dennett says, she couldn’t continue working for Shell because the company’s focus was placed between safety concerns of individual workers and the fundamental danger of extracting oil and gas and burning it for energy. .

Shell’s internal security program is dubbed “Goal Zero” and is aimed at “no damage and no leaks,” Dennett said.

“Goal Zeros are respectable, but they don’t quite equal the damage being done. Keeping individual people safe and trying to stop leaks that cause pollution and environmental problems is great, but if your native Dennett told CNBC that your business is pumping CO2 into the atmosphere at a rate that we know can’t be sustained, we can’t.

“There’s something wrong with it.”

why did he break up

If Dennett thought Shell was making a good effort to transition from carbon-emitting energy sources to clean energy sources, she says she would have stayed.

But he didn’t see that. In contrast, Dennett was asked to reformat a safety survey so that it could use it for new projects to build pipelines and rigs. And that’s when Dennett decided that what she was seeing “wasn’t right,” she told CNBC.

“It wasn’t just those two projects. I knew there was more coming down the line,” Dennett told CNBC. “There was going to be another four, five, six, seven.”

The second reason Dennett says he left is because climate change was not discussed internally.

“We have survey data, there’s that chance for people to give an open response, and they do — a thousand words on safety. Very little conversation on climate change, or anything like that, and environmental issues, beyond knowing that There is pollution in the local community,” Dennett said.

“And you just think, why isn’t this happening? Maybe in the PR department, and the marketing department, and the brand communications department, I suspect they talk about nothing else, but they see themselves as a more sustainable company. But if that conversation is not taking place on the operational front line, it means that this is not the culture.”

Shell has a new energy portfolio and Dennett has worked with that division. But they are more of a side project in Dennett’s view.

“It’s not very real,” Dennett said. Smaller acquisitions, for example, like a German battery company, “felt like window dressing, to be honest.”

“If the core part of your business is pumping CO2 into the atmosphere at a rate that we know can’t be sustained, then we can’t do it the way we’ve done for the past 30 years.”
Caroline Dennett
Founder, Klout Market Intelligence & Research

Shell told CNBC that it remains committed to its decarbonization goals.

“Shell is determined to fulfill our global strategy of becoming a net zero company by 2050, and thousands of our people are working hard to achieve it. We have set goals for the short, medium and long term, and There is every intention to hit them,” the company said. “We are already investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy, although the world will still need decades of oil and gas to decarbonize in areas that cannot be easily decarbonised.”

Shell isn’t Klout’s only customer. And Dennett knows that he is in a position of privilege to be able to decide to terminate his contract with Shell.

“I know there are people who are on the front lines in those industries, they don’t have a choice. They really don’t have a choice — it’s oil and gas or bust,” Dennett told CNBC.

In Europe, North America, and some other regions, there are places for skilled workers to find employment, especially if they have engineering skills or other technical skills.

“But in places like Nigeria, there really isn’t much and local communities are so destroyed by pollution that traditional types of farming and fishing are very limited,” Dennett told CNBC. “You could probably go to another oil and gas player, but that’s it, just jumping from one to the next.”

Ultimately, Dennett hopes that Shell leaders will listen to his message.

“They are a powerful company that can do so much good in the world,” Dennett said. “It’s a shame, they have all the ability and power to do that. I really wish they had a vision and a strategy for the future that didn’t involve dodging climate risks.”

Credit: www.cnbc.com /

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