- products & services
- your industry
- about us
Even though sustainability programs have been integrated within our business for decades, we still receive many questions about our approach and contributions. Committed to fielding your sustainability-related questions and concerns, below are answers to a number of more frequently asked questions.
Sustainability programs are an integral part of the way ExxonMobil does business. Our industry-leading processes and systems support the progress of sustainability every day. We are committed to conducting business in a manner that is compatible with the environmental and economic needs of the communities in which we operate, and that protects the safety, security, and health of our employees, those involved with our operations, our customers, and the public.
Through the corporate-wide Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS), we establish environmental, health, safety, and security standards and expectations across our global operations in a disciplined and uniform approach that meets ISO 14001 environmental management system requirements. ISO 14001 comprises a set of environmental management system requirements, established by the International Organization of Standardization in 1996 (and updated in 2004), for companies to introduce enterprise-wide systems that control the environmental impacts and aspects of their operations.
Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Ltd (LRQA), a recognized international management system auditor and certifier specializing in ISO standards, routinely evaluates our utilization of OIMS. LRQA has concluded that the system and its deployment meet ISO 14001 requirements. Lloyd’s has stated that it believes: “ExxonMobil to be among the industry leaders in integrating environmental management considerations into its business processes for ongoing operations and planning for future projects.”Back to Top
Addressing sustainability as part of a focused commitment to act as a responsible employer, business partner and neighbor, our approach is embedded in our Operations Integrity Management System. We do not set corporate-wide environmental targets, believing that local, facility-specific environmental goals are more effective at driving significant improvements in environmental performance.
All of our facilities set a wide array of environmental goals and targets each year. Each business is responsible for operational integrity-related metrics which are closely monitored and stewarded. This rigorous “bottom-up” approach is proven to be a more effective way to drive results and efficiency improvements, including reductions in GHG emissions. Continuing to use this approach will yield further improvements in all sectors of our business.
Sustainability results are published annually in ExxonMobil’s Corporate Citizenship Report (CCR). This report includes detailed information about our programs, including six focus areas. These are: reducing environmental impacts; managing climate change risks; protecting safety and health; respecting human rights and security concerns; promoting economic development; and ensuring industry-leading corporate governance.Back to Top
We report metrics on an annual basis in our Corporate Citizenship Report and consider sustainability attributes in our product and technology development.
Working hard to safely and responsibly deliver the chemical products needed for economic and social progress while increasing efficiency and reducing emissions, takes the careful application of science and technology.
To properly assess the environmental impacts associated with product development, we believe in a scientific and environmentally conscious life cycle assessment (LCA) approach based on a cradle to grave analysis of all the parameters involved.
LCA as outlined in ISO 14040 and 14044, provides a comprehensive view of the potential environmental impacts of a product or process including raw material extraction, energy use, processing, distribution, use, disposal and end of life. In other words, it tells us how our products eco-perform.Back to Top
We believe the risk of climate change is real and our concerns are the same as many people everywhere. And that concern is how to provide the world’s growing population with the energy it needs to advance, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Rising greenhouse gas emissions pose significant risks to society and ecosystems. Since most of these emissions are energy-related, any integrated approach to meeting the world’s growing energy needs over the coming decades must incorporate strategies to address the risk of climate change.
We are taking action by:
Our strategy to reduce GHG emissions is focused on:
Our policies, activities and emissions information is available in our annual Energy Outlook, Corporate Citizenship Report and website. In addition, we have released our Carbon Disclosure Project submission and additional reports to shareholders outlining how the company plans capital expenditures, assesses and plans for policies limiting greenhouse gas emissions and works to reduce emissions.Back to Top
We are conducting scientific research to discover innovative approaches to developing existing and next-generation energy sources, while at the same time developing products that can enable more efficient energy consumption.
We devote approximately $1 billion a year to cutting-edge research conducted through a combination of programs, including efforts within the company, collaboration with industry partners, and sponsored research at academic and non-governmental institutions. These ongoing activities which explore early-stage innovative projects through partnerships with leading universities around the world include:
For more than a decade, we have also worked with automotive partners to study combustion fundamentals and devise concepts to improve the efficiency and reduce the emissions of engines. As an example, we developed an innovative onboard system that converts conventional hydrocarbon fuels such as gasoline or diesel into hydrogen for a fuel cell, eliminating the need for separate facilities to produce and distribute hydrogen. Measured on a “well-to-wheels” basis, this fuel system could be significantly more fuel-efficient and emit less carbon dioxide (CO₂) than a traditional internal-combustion engine.Back to Top
Our annual report is guided by our materiality process, through which we determine the most important issues to our stakeholders and our business. Our reporting also is consistent with:
Our Corporate Citizenship Report reporting is cross-referenced with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G3.1 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. These standards can be downloaded at ipieca.org and globalreporting.org.
Environmental Resources Management Inc. (ERM) reviewed our Corporate Citizenship Report against the IPIECA/IOGP/API Oil and Gas Industry Guidance on Voluntary Sustainability Reporting (2010) and the GRI G3.1 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. ERM found that the report contents address the indicators shown in the index and full report.
Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance Ltd. (LRQA), a recognized international management system auditor and certifier specializing in ISO standards, has attested that ExxonMobil’s reporting processes were effective in delivering safety, health and environmental indicators that are useful for assessing corporate performance and reporting information consistent with IPIECA / API Guidance.
LRQA is ExxonMobil’s certification body for ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 (Lubricants operations) and Responsible Care® (Chemical operations) and the California ARB GHG verification.Back to Top
A commitment to ethics and integrity is a core aspect of our corporate culture. While we are not a formal signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, its values represent key elements of our Standards of Business Conduct. Our presence in nearly every country of the world requires that employees, officers, directors and those working on our behalf comply with U.S. anti-corruption, antitrust, anti-boycott, trade sanctions and export controls laws, as well as laws in other countries applicable to our business.
Everyone is expected to uphold the highest ethical standards of business integrity. Employees are subject to disciplinary action, including termination, for violations of our policies. Employees receive training on our Standards of Business Conduct every four years through business practice reviews, including a detailed review of the company’s anti-trust, anti-corruption, and gifts and entertainment policies. Employees are also required to read the Standards annually and confirm compliance. These Standards set the ethical conduct expectations of our corporation and our majority-owned subsidiaries.Back to Top
ExxonMobil and its affiliates (ExxonMobil) operate in various environments and diverse cultures. Respecting human rights in conjunction with our business activities consists of several core elements including adhering to corporate policies and expectations, complying with applicable host country regulatory requirements and engaging with external groups.
Wherever ExxonMobil operates, certain principles consistently apply to the company's relationships with its employees and its expectations of conduct in the workplace. ExxonMobil's Standards of Business Conduct and Statement on Labor and the Workplace are consistent with the spirit and intent of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization (ILO) 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, specifically the elimination of child labor, forced labor and workplace discrimination. Employees are required to comply with all company employment policies and practices.
In addition, we do business with companies that observe similar standards. Our standard contract language requires adherence to all applicable laws and regulations. ExxonMobil expects its suppliers, vendors and contractors to conduct their operations and business practices in a manner consistent the ILO Declaration and to manage activities in a manner that respects human rights and is consistent with the goals of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.Back to Top
ExxonMobil manufactures or contracts to manufacture certain catalysts for which tin or tungsten are necessary for the product’s functionality. We also make use of certain tin and tungsten catalysts in our refineries and chemical plants. We have conducted in good faith a reasonable country of origin inquiry regarding the conflict minerals and report our information to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. More information on our corporate policies and supplier requirements can be found here.Back to Top
We believe that all solutions have a role to play in meeting the growing demand for energy and chemical products.
ExxonMobil publishes a detailed long-term energy and chemicals supply and demand outlook each year (see the Outlook for Energy). The report currently extends to 2040 and incorporates data from trade organizations and publications, public announcements and internal estimates.
Global demand for petrochemicals has grown by about 4% annually. Our report indicates that bio-based plastics developed from sugar cane or other plant materials has grown significantly in recent years. Chemical demand will continue to see significant growth, increasing by about two-thirds between 2010 and 2040.Back to Top
Approximately 80% of this 10 million tons is from land activities (Sources: Jambeck et al, 2015: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2008). Some cities and states have responded by banning bags and other plastic products but, unfortunately, these efforts do not address the root cause of the problem – littering in developed countries or limited trash or recycling infrastructure in developing countries.
That is why, as producers of products that find their way into the marine environment, we, along with other plastic manufacturers, are working with government officials, scientists, retailers, anti-litter groups and consumers to devise solutions to prevent marine debris.
Through participation in the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and PlasticsEurope, we support the “Declaration for Solutions on Marine Litter.” The declaration describes steps that the industries will take, and suggests approaches and platforms for global cooperation and future partnerships.
We have been working with many groups to launch programs to help address the problem of plastics getting into oceans, including a focus on litter prevention and energy recovery from plastics. This includes forming the World Plastics Council dedicated to contributing to solutions to the global marine litter challenge. This group supports initiatives such as the global Marine Litter Solutions Coalition which represents 60 associations in 34 countries and supports more than 180 projects.
The plastic industry supports scientific research on marine debris and microplastics. It supports legislation to phase out microbeads in consumer products and has put nearly 700 bins on beaches and partners with environmental groups and ocean advocates to study other solutions.Back to Top
Plastics are valuable materials that can and should be recycled.
Plastics also contribute to sustainability gains in others ways. By enabling more to be done with less, plastic products and packaging helps to promote energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve resources. In many cases, we can enhance plastics’ environmental benefits by recycling them after use. Since 1990, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) Plastics Division, which includes ExxonMobil, has invested more than $2 billion to support increased recycling and educate communities in the United States.
In 2013, over 2.9 million pounds of plastic bottles were collected for recycling in the United States and the total plastic bottle recycling collection rate was 30.9%, according to the ACC post-consumer plastic bottle recycling report.Back to Top
The success and sustainability of our business depend on how well we manage socioeconomic impacts and address the interests of the communities in which we work. Proactively identifying, avoiding and managing potential impacts, while also enhancing community benefits, is integral to completing projects successfully and developing long-term, positive relationships.
Our strategic community investments complement our business and are aligned with a country’s economic and social goals. In 2015, we contributed $268 million to communities around the world. The majority of our spending is focused on signature, corporate-led initiatives to improve education, combat malaria and advance economic opportunities for women. This is then supplemented with local, community-specific programs that range from workforce development efforts to responding to natural disasters.
For example, in the past 15 years, we have invested $145 million to help eradicate malaria, reaching more than 125 million people and contributing to the 60% reduction in mortality worldwide.
Over the past 16 years, we have contributed $1.2 billion to education programs around the world.
Considering the development goals of each community when deciding where, when and how best to invest, we often participate in public-private partnerships and ongoing stakeholder engagement to improve social and economic conditions.
In order to maximize the long-term sustainability and benefits of our efforts, we continue to improve our understanding of our programs’ impacts. In 2013, we enhanced the measurement frameworks of our philanthropic programs. We continue to incorporate our findings, in close collaboration with our partners, into designing more robust measurement and evaluation plans and enhancing our partners’ measurement capacity.Back to Top
We proactively report sustainability information and data in our annual Corporate Citizenship Report and seek stakeholder engagement from our External Citizenship Advisory Panel and other groups, firstly, to determine the focus of the report and, secondly, regarding the content of report once it is published.
We actively implement strategies to address the challenge of sustainability – balancing economic growth, social development and environmental protection – so that future generations are not compromised by actions taken today. Our programs include six citizenship focus areas: corporate governance, safety and health, environmental performance, managing climate change risks, economic development and human rights and security.
Practices implemented in these areas include: