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ExxonMobil Releases CSR Report, Faces Transparency Questions, Again

Exxon Mobil Corporation has released its 2006 Corporate Citizenship Report.

According to the report:

  • The company says CO2 emissions were reduced by about 8 million metric tons last year as a result of energy efficiency improvements since 1999. However the company also says that in 2006, greenhouse gas emissions were 146 million metric tons, a 5.4-percent increase over 2005.
  • In 2006, ExxonMobil says it had a record low number of oil spills – a 21-percent reduction from 2005.
  • The company has interest in about 100 cogeneration facilities in more than 30 locations worldwide with a combined capacity of 4300 MW of power. ExxonMobil says its current cogeneration capacity reduces global CO2 emissions by over 10.5 million metric tons annually.

The company is also facing new questions about its transparency on climate change issues stemming from a new report that says the company is still funding “climate change denial” groups, a practice that it was reported to have halted.

There’s an interesting article about it in Ethical Corporation. As Fortune writer Marc Gunther puts it, in his article on the issue: “I have to say that I feel a little misled by Ken Cohen, Exxon’s head of public affairs. He did not lie to me, to be sure, but he left me with the strong impression that ExxonMobil was moderating its position on climate change.”

In its new CSR report, Exxon states that “ExxonMobil contributes to a broad array of organizations that research significant domestic and foreign policy issues and promote discussion on issues of direct relevance to the company. Our support is transparent, and our U.S. contributions can be found on our Web site. These groups range from the Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute to the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”

But it still seems a bit confused on its messaging and position, stating in another section that “Climate remains an extraordinarily complex area of scientific study. Because the risk to society and ecosystems from rising GHG could prove to be significant, strategies that address the risk need to be developed and implemented.”

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