Exxon Mobil Corporation | Report on Petrochemical risks: single-use plastics at Exxon Mobil Corporation

20.81% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Proposal number
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Environment
ESG sub-theme
  • Waste and pollution
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED: Shareholders request that ExxonMobil issue a report, at reasonable cost and omitting proprietary information, addressing whether and how a significant reduction in virgin plastic demand, as set forth in Breaking the Plastic Wave’s System Change Scenario, would affect the Company’s financial position and the assumptions underlying its financial statements.
Whereas clause
WHEREAS: Plastic, with a lifecycle social cost at least ten times its market price, threatens the world’s oceans, wildlife, and public health.[1] Concern about the growing scale and impact of global plastic pollution has elevated the issue to crisis levels.[2] Of particular concern are single-use plastics (SUPs), which make up the bulk of the 24-34 million metric tons of plastic ending up in waterways annually.[3] Without drastic action, this amount could triple by 2040.[4]

A shift from virgin plastic production is critical to reducing plastic pollution.[5] The Environmental Protection Agency’s draft strategy to prevent plastic pollution calls for voluntary reduction in production.[6] A robust pathway addressing plastic pollution is presented in the widely respected Breaking the Plastic Wave report, which found that plastic leakage into the ocean can be reduced 80 percent under its System Change Scenario (SCS), but requires a significant absolute reduction of virgin SUPs.[7]

In response to the plastic pollution crisis and the necessity of reducing plastic production, countries and major packaging brands are beginning to drive reductions in plastic use.[8] This will affect the plastic production supply chain. BP has recognized the potential disruption global SUP reductions could have on the oil industry, finding a global SUP ban by 2040 would reduce oil demand growth by 60 percent.[9]

The Company faces growing risk from continued investment in virgin plastic production infrastructure. Several implications of the SCS, including a one-third absolute demand reduction of mostly of virgin SUPs and immediate reductions in new investment in virgin production, are at odds with ExxonMobil’s planned investments. The Company has been identified as the largest global producer of SUP-bound polymers (11.5 million metric tons in 2021).[10] It has committed to increased use of recycled polymers but uses pyrolysis oil to generate plastic feedstock, a controversial process cited as inefficient and greenhouse gas-intensive with toxic byproducts and emissions, which may increase financial and reputational risk.[11]

Exxon’s efforts to reduce plastic waste fail to address the potential for regulatory restrictions or a significant disruption in demand for virgin plastic, which could result in stranded assets.
Supporting statement
SUPPORTING STATEMENT: Proponents recommend that, at Board discretion, the report include:
Quantification of its polymer production for SUP markets;
A summary of existing and planned investments that may be materially impacted by the SCS; and
Disclosure of key metrics for chemical recycling processes, including inputs, outputs/yield, energy use, carbon and waste emissions, and any related measures taken to ensure safe operations.

How other organisations have declared their voting intentions

Organisation name Declared voting intentions Rationale
VidaCaixa For
Rothschild & co Asset Management For

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