Valero Energy Corporation | Conduct a Racial Equity Audit at Valero Energy Corporation

AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Conduct due diligence, audit or risk/impact assessment
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI)
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
RESOLVED that shareholders of Valero Energy Corporation (“Valero”) urge the Board of Directors to oversee an independent third-party racial equity audit analyzing Valero’s impacts on nonwhite stakeholders and communities of color and Valero’s plans, if any, to mitigate those impacts. Input from civil rights organizations, experts on environmental racism, and employees should be considered in determining the speci?c matters to be analyzed. A report on the audit, prepared at reasonable cost and omitting con?dential and proprietary information, should be publicly disclosed on Valero’s website.
Supporting statement

Several aspects of Valero’s business and operations suggest that a racial equity audit would be useful. In 2020, the O?ice of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found that a Valero subsidiary had used an employment selection processes with an adverse impact on nonwhite applicants.1
Valero’s Environmental Justice Policy Statement asserts that Valero “strives to operate as a good neighbor, and looks for opportunities to work with local o?icials and directly with fence line neighbors to improve the quality of life for neighbors and communities.”2 But Valero has come under ?re for polluting communities of color:
· Residents have fought to limit a Texas re?nery’s emissions of hydrogen cyanide, a neurotoxin, in Hispanic neighborhoods.3
· The neighborhood in which another Texas re?nery is located, which is 90% African American, “ranks above the 95th percentile nationally for both the EPA’s air toxics cancer risk and respiratory hazard metrics.”4
· As You Sow’s Racial Justice Scorecard for S&P 500 companies placed Valero in the bottom 10, with negative scores on the environmental racism performance indicators, meaning that it harms communities of color more than bene?ts them.5
A racial equity audit could also examine whether Valero’s political activities have a negative racial impact. In 2019, Valero and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (“AFPM”), to which Valero belongs,6 lobbied states to criminalize pipeline protests.7 Valero contributed 2020 election results,8 an action some viewed as “a direct attack on the voting rights of people of color.”9
Last year, Valero argued that two reports it had issued, a “Racial Equity Assessment” and “Audit of Valero’s Environmental Justice Commitments and Actions”, obviated the need for a racial equity audit. Neither of those reports was produced by a ?rm that is clearly independent from Valero: The Assessment was produced by a partner in a law ?rm that has represented Valero for at least 10 years in securities o?erings, transactions, and litigation.10 Montrose Environmental Group, which conducted the Audit, was a “diamond sponsor” of a recent Valero charity fundraiser and will reprise that role in 2024,11 suggesting that it does or hopes to do business with Valero. While the Assessment focuses on Valero’s public processes, commitments and positions, a racial equity audit would analyze Valero’s actual behavior.
9 See;
10 E.g.,;

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