You are here: Home Investor Network Shareholder Resolutions ExxonMobil Sustainable Strategy 2011
Document Actions
  • Print this Print this
  • Email this page

ExxonMobil Sustainable Strategy 2011

WHEREAS,  ExxonMobil  has  discussed  an  approach  to  “energy  sustainability”  that  balances economic  growth, social  development  and  environmental  integrity  “so  that  future  generations are  not  compromised  by  actions taken  today”  (2009  Corporate  Citizenship  Report).  However,  by  its  ongoing  commitment  to  continued concentration  on  fossil  fuel  production,  it  shows  its  dependency on energy-sourcing that undermines the possibility of ever achieving this goal. The proponents of this resolution believe sustainability means, in effect, that we don’t take from the earth what we can’t return. They see energy sustainability as involving a kind of “Golden Rule” wherein  we  do  not  use  up  the  earth’s  non-renewable  resources  in  ways  that  will  jeopardize its future. They believe the Company’s words about sustainability must be accompanied by concrete 
metrics and goals toward achieving it.
 
In  its  2009  World  Energy  Outlook,  the  International  Energy  Agency  warned  about  the  “dangerous  increase  in global  temperatures  and  sharply  higher  oil  and  gas  bills  for  consuming nations” if the world doesn’t change its present fossil fuel-based energy economy. It  stated:  “Continuing  on  today’s  energy  path  .  .  .  would  mean rapidly increasing  dependence  on  fossil  fuels,  with  alarming  consequences  for  climate  change  and  energy  security.” It said  “the  world  is  now  on  track  for  a  six-degree-Celsius  increase  in  global  temperatures  by  later  in this century”  and  that,  in  order  to  ensure  that  global  temperatures  be  “around  two  degrees  Celsius  above pre-industrial  levels.  .  .  demand  for  fossil  fuels  would  have  to  peak  by  2020”  (WSJ 11.11.09). 

Despite  the  IEA  concern,  ExxonMobil  is  committed  to  “continuing  on  today’s  energy  path.” XOM’s Outlook for Energy: A View to 2030 mentions nothing about changing its energy  mix  so  that  “demand  for  fossil  fuels”  will decline  after  2020.Instead  its  future  depends  on  increased demand  for  fossil  fuels  in  ways  that  peer-reviewed scientists  demonstrate  will  be  simply unsustainable for people and our planet.   Another  negative  impact undermining  the  possibility  that  XOM’s  present  approach reflects  sustainability  involves  societal  health.  Besides harming  the  environment,  burning XOM’s  fossil  fuels  contributes  to  health  expenditures.  According  to  the National  Academy of  Sciences,  burning  fossil  fuels  costs  the  United  States  about  $120  billion  a  year  in health expenses, mostly because of thousands of premature deaths from air pollution (NYT, 10.20.09). Meanwhile, unlike XOM, many companies are finding a “fiduciary” and “business case” for  developing  clear  metrics  and  goals  vis-à-vis  sustainability.  They  find  it  in  their  corporate interest given rising populations making greater demand on traditional energy sources like fossil fuels. 
 
RESOLVED: shareholders request ExxonMobil’s Board of Directors to establish a Committee of independent and Company experts in climate and technology to make recommendations and report and can  become  the  recognized industry  leader  in  developing  and  making  available  the  necessary technology  and  products  to  become  an environmentally  sustainable  energy  company  at  every level of its operation.