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Chevron First Big Oil Firm to Track Carbon Content

chevronoilrigThe Sisters of St. Dominic of Caldwell, N.J., a faith-based institutional investor and member of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), has withdrawn its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions shareholder resolution at Chevron Corp. now that the oil company has agreed to track and report on the carbon content of its products.

The Sisters of St. Dominic noted that by withdrawing the proposal, it is acknowledging Chevron’s progress in developing programs for energy efficiency and investments in less-polluting products.

According to Chevron’s latest corporate sustainability report, in 2008, the company reduced its GHG emissions by 800,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, and said it is committed to energy efficiency. The company has increased the energy efficiency of its global operations by 28 percent since 1992.

The Sisters of St. Dominic represent a group of 16 investors that filed the proposal at Chevron this year. According to the investors, Chevron is the first major U.S. oil company to agree to track carbon and report on the carbon content of its products, unlike ExxonMobil’s refusal to deal with an emerging low-carbon economy.

ICCR said a similar resolution sponsored by more than 30 institutional investors will be presented before shareholders at ExxonMobil. The company’s board of directors is urging shareholders to vote against the proposal.

In February, Ceres, a coalition of investors and environmentalists, put several companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. on a “Climate Watch” list, citing concerns that the firms’ long-term competitiveness could be hurt by their lack of action on climate change. Last May, the company also faced a rebellion by its shareholders due to its lack of commitment to environmental initiatives.

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