It’s official. According to Exxon and its latest Corporate Citizenship Report it is not a dinosaur when it comes to climate change or corporate responsibility.

The company is actually committed to “meeting energy demand in an economically, environmentally, and socially responsible manner,” according to Rex W. Tillerson, ExxonMobil’s new Chairman. The company report is its latest greenwash attempt to persuade us all that it is taking climate change, corporate responsibility and safety issues seriously. But how true is it?

Lets take a quick look at some of the highlights

  • First on Safety. Throughout 2005, the company “maintained its industry-leading safety and health record, with its “Nobody Gets Hurt,” programme. Don’t mention the three employees and five contractors who were killed, though.
  • Now on emissions. In 2005, the company crows that it reduced greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 9 million metric tons annually, but still its production of oil and gas was at its highest level since 2000. What happens when this oil and gas is burnt? Carbon dioxide is produced, the main greenhouse gas.
  • Exxon senior management employ the philosophy of “Protect Tomorrow, Today.” How does the company reconcile this with the fact that it consistently highlights uncertainties in climate science and opposes the one agreement that is doing something about climate change – the Kyoto Agreement?
  • What Exxon does not mention in the report is that they are still funding a network of right-wing think tanks that continue not only to deny climate change and, if you look at the latest adverts from the Exxon-funded Exxon Competitive Enterprise Institute, that deny the evidence that the Arctic and Antarctic are severely warming. These adverts also to say that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant it’s just natural. It’s Life. It’s like going back twenty years and being at an OPEC conference.
  • Exxon says that it is promoting “environmentally responsible” development of Canada’s tar sands; where oil is extracted from sand and which is seen as highly polluting and very energy intensive. Critics of the project say it will be a climatic disaster.

Still looks like a dinosaur to me…despite 72 pages of greenwash.