Proxy Season Update: ExxonMobil

2014 Annual Meeting: 10:30 AM EDT, Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street, Dallas, Texas 75201

ExxonMobil has three pending ESG shareholder proposal in 2014.

  • ENVIRONMENT: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets
    • This proposal, filed by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell New Jersey, begins by noting that “mounting scientific, social, and financial evidence demonstrates the urgency to establish and meet specific, measurable, and sustainable goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG).” The proposal asks that ExxonMobil adopt quantitative goals for reducing the GHGs emitted by both its operations and its products.
    • This resolution from the United Steelworkers asks for annual reports on policy, payments, memberships in groups that write model legislation, information on how these payments occur, and how management and the board of directors monitor them. The proposal says the reports should include:

      1. Company policy and procedures governing lobbying, both direct and indirect, and grassroots lobbying communications.
      2. Payments by ExxonMobil used for (a) direct or indirect lobbying or (b) grassroots lobbying communications, in each case including the amount of the payment and the recipient.
      3. ExxonMobil’s membership in and payments to any tax-exempt organization that writes and endorses model legislation.
      4. Description of the decision making process and oversight by management and the Board for making payments described in sections 2 and 3 above.

      For purposes of this proposal, a ‘grassroots lobbying communication’ is a communication directed to the general public that (a) refers to specific legislation or regulation, (b) reflects a view on the legislation or regulation and (c) encourages the recipient of the communication to take action with respect to the legislation or regulation. ‘Indirect lobbying’ is lobbying engaged in by a trade association or other organization of which ExxonMobil is a member.

      Both ‘direct and indirect lobbying’ and ‘grassroots lobbying communications’ include efforts at the local, state and federal levels.

      The report shall be presented to the Audit Committee or other relevant oversight committees of the Board and posted on the company’s website.

  • SOCIAL: LGBT Rights
    • This proposal from the New York State Common Retirement fund asks that ExxonMobil “amend its written equal employment opportunity policy to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to substantially implement the policy.”

      Proponents have been extremely successful in persuading large companies that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity cannot be tolerated, although the latter is a second frontier. This issue consistently gets high levels of investor support and prompts lots of withdrawal agreements. As lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights have become more accepted, the number of shareholder resolutions has dropped.

Download Proxy Preview 2014 to find more climate, lobbying, and LGBT rights resolutions.