Our operations' contributions

By carefully and thoughtfully increasing efficiency and reducing emissions and waste, we are enabling a better future. Through the diligent application of our Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS), our employees continually seek new ways to improve our manufacturing facilities, offices and logistics operations in the key areas below.

This section provides detail on the environmental performance of ExxonMobil’s Chemical business. For additional information on our social and economic contributions and environmental data from other parts of the corporation, see our Corporate Citizenship Report

Health & safety

Safety is more than a priority within our organization; it is a core value and an integral part of our culture. Protecting the safety and health of our workforce, and the communities in which we operate, is fundamental to our business. Our goal is “Nobody Gets Hurt” and we will never stop working towards it.

Taking a proactive approach to safety rooted in our OIMS, builds layers of protection into our operations and processes to help prevent harmful incidents. Training and process improvements resulted in 2015 being the safest year in the history of the Chemical business. We experienced our lowest number of injuries with two calendar years without a lost time injury to employees. The most significant improvement was seen in our manufacturing organization: 12 of our sites last year were completely injury-free for both employees and contractors. Between 2011 and 2015, there has been a six-fold reduction in the lost time incident rate (LTIR) from 0.059 in 2011 to 0.006 in 2015.

Emissions reduction

We believe the risk of climate change is real. Aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide (SO₂) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) is a key focus. Cost-effective new technologies and new operating practices are at the core of our efforts.

For short-term success, our Global Energy Management System (GEMS), a tool within OIMS, identifies energy saving and emission reduction opportunities. For the mid-term, we deploy highly effective, proven cogeneration technology, while research programs focus on emissions reduction for the longer-term. 

As a result of our activities, net equity GHG emission intensity (metric tons/100 tons of production) has fallen almost 14% across our Chemical business between 2006 and 2015. Since 2013, net equity GHG emission intensity is down 8%, primarily due to the Singapore chemical plant becoming more efficient as production has significantly increased.

Between 2006 and 2015, the Chemical business has reduced our VOC emission intensity by 44% from 0.43 to 0.24 metric tons per 1000 metric ton of production.

During the same period, NOx emission intensity fell by 17% to 0.29 metric tons per 1000 metric tons of production. Meanwhile, SOx emission intensity decreased 10% to 0.09 metric tons per 1000 metric tons of production. The combined reductions of VOC, NOx and SOx emission intensity were 29% from 0.88 to 0.62 metric tons per 1000 metric tons of production (see the Corporate Citizenship Report). 


2015 was a very successful year for reductions in flaring at our Chemical manufacturing operations. Although overall production was up, flaring was down 21% compared to 2014.

Energy use

GEMS has helped us generate relative energy efficiency improvements over the years. Between 2006 and 2015, energy intensity in our global Chemical manufacturing operations has decreased 4%, while production has increased during this time frame.

ExxonMobil is a vertically integrated corporation, affording unique opportunities to maximize operational efficiency by controlling factors like waste heat, and sharing resources / infrastructure. For example, incorporation of cogeneration into ExxonMobil’s manufacturing facilities has played a major role in delivering significant energy efficiency opportunities.

Since 2001, ExxonMobil has invested more than $2 billion in cogeneration projects and continues to develop additional opportunities which will save energy and reduce emissions. This includes more than $200 million in capital expenditures at global Chemical facilities since 2004 to reduce GHG emissions.

Over the past decade ExxonMobil has added more than 1,000 megawatts of cogeneration capacity and continue to develop additional investment opportunities (see the Corporate Citizenship Report). With interests in more than 100 installations at more than 30 locations around the world, the approximate 5,500 megawatts of cogeneration capacity is equivalent to the annual energy needs of 2.5 million U.S. homes. 

Water use

Because it is limited and we recognize some of ExxonMobil’s operations can use significant amounts of water, we are committed to being efficient with every aspect of water use — our withdrawals, consumption and discharges. Carefully managing water resources, we use the same systems, processes and policies that govern our overall approach to environmental management (see OIMS). Where appropriate, we use alternative water sources and seek opportunities to reduce, reuse and recycle water. For more information on water, see our Corporate water overview.

Between 2006 and 2015, the amount of freshwater consumed (millions of cubic meters) by the Chemical business has decreased by 22%.

Local water management efforts at our Chemical manufacturing sites contribute to the decline in our water consumption. For example, starting in 2014 the wastewater treatment facility at our Singapore chemical plant began using state-of-the-art membrane bioreactor technology to treat wastewater. This enables, on average, 30 to 40% of treated water to be reused as cooling water with further increases planned.

Waste reduction

Within our sustainability programs is a commitment to reduce our footprint of both non-hazardous and hazardous waste across the Chemical business. Our actions have resulted in a 13% decrease in net hazardous waste between 2013 and 2015. This reduction is primarily due to the installation of new waste-water treatment capabilities at our Singapore facility. We monitor our progress and continually seek ways to make further reductions. 

Socio-economic contributions

Committed to operating in a manner that is both environmentally and socially responsible includes addressing social and economic needs to ensure stronger futures for the communities where we work. Striving to have a lasting, positive effect on local communities we provide direct and indirect economic benefits by creating new jobs, developing a technically skilled workforce and purchasing local goods and services.

ExxonMobil has an integrated contribution program across the corporation to help us maximize the impact of our social and economic development programs. In 2015, ExxonMobil contributed over $268 million to communities around the world with the majority of spending focused on our signature, corporate-led initiatives to improve education, combat malaria and advance economic opportunities for women. Additionally, we supplement our corporate-led initiatives with local, community-specific initiatives that range from workforce development efforts to responding to natural disasters (see the Corporate Citizenship Report for more information).

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