Issue review

Consistent with IPIECA’s Oil and Gas Industry Guidance on Voluntary Sustainability Reporting, we use a “materiality process” to identify sustainability topics that are relevant to the company and key stakeholders.

Report Dec. 20, 2019

Issue review

ExxonMobil began conducting annual materiality assessments in 2006 to identify environmental, social and governance issues of particular interest to our stakeholders. We conduct an annual assessment to ensure our analysis reflects events and changing business priorities. The results of our materiality assessment help inform the development of our annual Sustainability Report

ExxonMobil engaged a variety of internal stakeholders and hosted a cross-functional workshop to gather insight from employees across our upstream, downstream and chemical businesses. We interviewed employees to support the issue identification process and gain a deeper understanding of the most critical issues. We complemented the internal engagement by conducting a media review, soliciting feedback from our External Sustainability Advisory Panel and engaging with external stakeholders. We also reviewed external resources and frameworks, including the IPIECA reporting guidance, coverage in peer company reports, rater and ranker questionnaires, investor publications and the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals. 

We list the 2018 material issues below. For the purposes of this report, the concept of “material issues” refers to IPIECA reporting guidance on potential disclosures and does not correspond to the concept of materiality used in the securities laws and disclosures required by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rules. Visit our content index for a detailed mapping of the locations of information regarding material issues.


  • Environmental management system
  • Engaging on climate change policy
  • Managing climate change risks
  • Developing innovative products and technology
  • Managing impacts on air and water
  • Waste management
  • Spill performance
  • Operating in sensitive environments


  • Safety
  • Workplace security
  • Community investments
  • Working with local communities
  • Human rights
  • Supply chain management
  • Healthy and engaged workforce


  • Ethics and integrity
  • Board leadership
  • Engaging with governments
  • Shareholder relations

Related content

Sustainability Report

The Sustainability Report describes ExxonMobil’s efforts regarding environmental, social and governance performance.

Sustainability Report

ExxonMobil and sustainability

ExxonMobil is committed to producing the energy and chemical products that are essential to modern life, economic development and improved standards of living. In doing this, we are also committed to protecting our people, the environment and the well-being of communities where we operate.

Sustainability Report Dec. 20, 2019

Content index

View our content index to explore content within the 2018 Sustainability Report.

Sustainability Report Dec. 20, 2019

Performance data table

We assess our performance to support continual improvements throughout the organization.

Sustainability Report Dec. 20, 2019

External Sustainability Advisory Panel Statement

ExxonMobil’s External Sustainability Advisory Panel independently reviews our sustainability activities, including this report. We formed the panel in 2009 to understand additional external perspectives related to environmental, social and governance topics.

Sustainability Report Dec. 20, 2019

Reporting guidelines and legal information

We developed this year’s Sustainability Report in accordance with the reporting guidelines and indicators of IPIECA, the global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues, the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers and the American Petroleum Institute.

Sustainability Report Dec. 20, 2019