Supporting a just transition 

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Supporting a just transition 

In support of a lower-emissions future, ExxonMobil continues to develop our workforce, empower local economic growth, mitigate potential negative impacts of our operations, and engage with and support the communities in which we work and live. For more than a century, we have worked to meet the changing needs of our customers and stakeholders, which has been key to creating long-term shareholder value and critical to our continued success. This includes considering the views of those in these communities who historically have had a limited but important voice on this broad topic.

ExxonMobil intends to play a leading role throughout a thoughtful energy transition, no matter how fast it may proceed or how long it may take. A key element of that leadership is the low carbon emissions business we are building. In that business and our base operations, we employ highly trained, experienced employees whose skillsets often overlap and are therefore useful across many of our businesses. Underpinning our work is one of our most critical advantages: a century of experience evolving our business to meet changing societal needs, and a culture of innovation, supported by training and the development of our employees at every stage of, what is expected to be, a decades-long career. Adaptation has been key to our success and without a workforce capable of entering and, ultimately, leading new businesses we would not have prospered for more than 140 years.

In this regard, we have always been engaged in what is now characterized as a “just transition,” one in which our employees are well positioned to play meaningful roles in a traditional energy business that will be vital for decades to come AND play an equally important role in the lower carbon emissions portfolio we are hard at work building. In many cases, the “transition” will be minimal (e.g. biofuels versus conventional fuels). In other circumstances, we are calling upon related experience to do similar work (e.g. drilling for lithium versus oil or gas). And, in some cases, like carbon capture and storage, we are expanding our efforts in work we have been doing for more than 40 years and will train a larger workforce as this part of our business grows.

Our commitment to our employees and the communities in which we work has been on display since the 19th century. While the discussion of a “just transition” is a recent development, we have been practicing it for decades – proving to our employees and their friends, families, and neighbors that we care about them, value the work they do, and are committed to developing them for the duration of their careers. At ExxonMobil, that is good business, and the just thing to do.

Image United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to this content.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to this content.


As described in our Global Outlook, economic development and energy use are inseparable. Where there is energy poverty, there is poverty. And where energy availability rises, living standards rise as well. Between now and 2050, developing countries will see GDP per capita more than double, driving higher demand for energy.

Meeting that demand with lower-emission energy options is vital to making progress toward society’s environmental goals while fully serving its energy needs. At the same time, failing to meet demand would prevent developing nations from achieving their economic goals and their citizens from living more prosperous, fulfilling lives. The need for a balanced approach has never been greater, with an understanding of how the pace and scale of an energy transition could impact workers, communities, supply chains, consumers, and broader economic development.

Sustained emissions reductions require a thoughtful and comprehensive approach. That approach must balance benefits and costs, be sensitive to society’s needs, and avoid economic hardship, market disruptions, and energy and product shortages. To accomplish this and move society toward a net-zero future, unprecedented collaboration among governments, companies, universities, organizations, communities, and individuals will be required. Informed by relevant, globally recognized principles, such as those of the International Labour Organization, that support a “just transition,” we’re working to provide energy and products people need, lead in reducing our own and others’ greenhouse gas emissions, and deliver on our strategic objectives by continuing to:

  • Respect human rights as a fundamental principle in our operations.
  • Create value for our customers, business partners, and communities.
  • Provide employees opportunities for personal and professional growth with meaningful work and training.
  • Consider and manage potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts of projects and operations throughout the asset lifecycle.
  • Actively listen and engage employees and the communities where we work in an ongoing effort to improve quality of life — responding to these parties honestly and forthrightly at all times, no matter the circumstance or issue.

Fundamentally, we work to foster mutual understanding, trust, and cooperation with stakeholder groups on these and other topics, as described throughout this Sustainability Report


Low Carbon Solutions

Low Carbon Solutions (LCS) includes employees with decades of experience at our company or in the oil and natural gas industry as well as functional experts who bring outside-in thinking. Employees joining the LCS organization are offered onboarding and technical training and LCS leaders host regular sessions open to all employees designed to increase awareness of business objectives and performance, provide expertise on variety of topics related to the business, and seek feedback from the broader workforce.

Sarah Klepper, Senior Maintenance Superintendent at our LaBarge, Wyoming facility, is leading a team to build out and operate the equipment critical to expanding Carbon Capture and Storage capability by up to 1.2 million metric tons of CO2, in addition to the 6-7 million metric tons captured at LaBarge each year. This will allow ExxonMobil to capture nearly 20% of all human-made CO2 captured in the world each year, and to produce 20% of the world's helium critical to medical and other technology applications. as well as LNG for home heating and transportation applications.

As a Chemical Engineer with a background in traditional oil and gas operations, global projects design, and planning, Sarah has been able to combine her deep knowledge of facility operations with cutting-edge emission reduction technologies like carbon capture and storage.

"It has been such a great experience to work with an incredible team and a facility that is utilizing so many first-of-its-kind technologies to reduce emissions and provide products needed globally. It's been tremendously rewarding to leverage a lot of my prior experience from our refining operations to our LaBarge facility," Sarah reflected.

Management and application

ExxonMobil chairs the Just Transition Task Force within Ipieca, which is “the global oil and natural gas association for advancing environmental and social performance across the energy transition.”1 The task force shares best practices and information to help “support the oil and gas industry’s participation in international collaboration to transition to a lower-carbon world in a way that’s just and fair for workforces, communities, and consumers.”2

We operate facilities or market products across the globe. Our standards, systems, processes and programs help us to understand and manage risks and opportunities within the unique context of each location, from developing economies focused on energy security to communities with established workforces seeking new opportunities.

We seek to invest in and support employees for long-term careers. We also work to contribute to the social progress and economic prosperity of our communities, including by building and maintaining a qualified and competitive supply chain in the locations in which we operate. We regularly engage and collaborate with industry, communities, employees, educational institutions, governments, businesses, and NGOs to support these objectives.

As we advance projects and activities associated with our Low Carbon Solutions (LCS) business, we will continue to apply our integrated environmental and socioeconomic management approach, which supports prompt identification and action to address potential socioeconomic risks and opportunities for positive impact. We update our environmental and socioeconomic assessments and management plans as needed to reflect changes to our operations or socioeconomic sensitivities.

Our employees

We work hard to provide meaningful development to every employee so that they have opportunities for personal and professional growth. The critical and transferable skills driving our success today are the same ones required for us to play a leading role in a thoughtful energy transition. In fact, our work to reduce emissions is largely grounded in the same skillsets present in our legacy businesses.

“Meaningful development” is one of our five strategic priorities. Our career-oriented, individually tailored development approach is unique and results in many employees moving to new roles about every three years. In 2022, approximately 12,000 employees took a new job role within the company, providing an opportunity to grow and develop new skills and capabilities. For many employees, this also included an opportunity to work in another region or part of our business.

Also in 2022, we reorganized around our three integrated core businesses, Upstream, Product Solutions, and Low Carbon Solutions – enabled by centralized organizations. This business structure provides our employees even greater access to opportunities for personal and professional growth. It also broadens their experiences, leadership, and technical capabilities that equip them to work on a broader portfolio of opportunities, now and in the future.

Additional information on our programs can be found in our annual Investing in People report.


We believe that respecting human rights, managing our impacts on communities, and making valued social investments are integral to the success of our business.

We recognize that our operations have the potential to impact communities, positively and negatively. That’s why we regularly engage with a diverse range of stakeholders who are representative of the community to understand and consider their concerns and potential opportunities.

As part of our engagement process, we seek to identify and consult with potentially disadvantaged communities to understand possible barriers that may limit their active participation in engagement opportunities. We then work to tailor our engagement to be locally and culturally appropriate and provide accessible, inclusive, and effective channels for exchanging information and proactively identifying issues or concerns.

Inclusive engagement helps us be responsive to concerns and opportunities and, where appropriate, integrate the results of these discussions into our efforts. Our integrated approach to managing potential socioeconomic and environmental impacts includes regular community and stakeholder engagements throughout the operational life of our assets to help avoid or reduce risks, enhance benefits, support effective investments, avoid delays, remedy impacts, and resolve issues or embrace opportunities at the local level.

Additional information can be found in the Managing socioeconomic impacts section of our Sustainability Report.


The Solent Cluster

In late 2022, ExxonMobil’s affiliate, Esso Petroleum Company Limited, joined with the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Southampton to announce The Solent Cluster. This was the first major decarbonization initiative in Southern England that could substantially reduce CO2 emissions from industry, transport, and households.

The Solent region is home to our Fawley complex near the port of Southampton, where we have produced hydrogen for more than 50 years. By leveraging our core capabilities in project management, operations experience and geophysics expertise, we have the potential to invest in low-carbon hydrogen and carbon capture facilities at Fawley.

The Cluster brings together a range of leading organizations, including manufacturers and engineering companies, regional businesses and industries, leading logistics and infrastructure operators, and academic institutions.

Supply chain

We understand the importance of building and maintaining a qualified and competitive supply chain in the locations in which we operate. As with our workforce, many of the goods and services essential for our business today are the same ones needed to support our operations in the future.

As part of our supply chain portfolio, we purchase goods and services from local, small and diverse suppliers and, where appropriate, work to build their capabilities through local programs to increase competition and innovation.

This approach helps to make a positive impact on communities by building long-term, local economic capacity in support of a just energy transition and contributes to the objectives of the related U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

Additional information can be found in the Engaging with communities and our supply chain section of our Sustainability Report.

Industry collaboration

Around the world, we have a long history of collaboration with universitiesnational laboratories, industries, and companies of all sizes. We are continuously looking for new opportunities where each participant brings unique skills and capabilities that further support the development of the current and next generation of workers and suppliers.

Many of our collaborations with universities and others in support of the energy transition are described in our Advancing Climate Solutions, Sustainability, and Investing in People reports.

We also leverage the scale of our industry through participation in trade associations and by expanding high-quality collaborations with local community and technical colleges.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) is an example of an industry association investing in the future of energy by fostering a diverse, inclusive, and resilient workforce. API offers a broad range of training and certifications, and ExxonMobil consults on program designs and curriculum development in support of the current and the next generation of workers.

The Ipieca Just Transition Task Force published its 2022 activities and a statement on accelerating a just transition, which was developed in consultation with member companies and external industry stakeholders. It identifies international efforts needed to achieve a just transition.

Ipieca also published a just transition literature review, providing insights into the concepts, definitions and priorities of a range of organizations relevant to the sector, all in an effort to raise awareness and understanding of a just transition. 


Because our business is positioned for profitable growth, even in potentially aggressive decarbonization pathways, we expect to continue to provide meaningful employment opportunities and support investment and indirect economic growth within the communities where we operate.

We are developing talent both from within ExxonMobil and through selective hiring for skills and capabilities to enhance what we already have. For example, in the area of carbon capture and storage, many of our geoscientists are working on new initiatives, while our project engineers are working on the infrastructure investments needed to support third-party emission-reduction efforts.

Another example is our Strathcona, Canada, refinery, where we are integrating lower-emission projects into our existing facilities. At this site, which is operated by our majority-owned affiliate, Imperial Oil Ltd., employees will receive training and development to operate a new biofuels unit. At the same time, local Indigenous community leaders are involved in discussions with the company about potential business development opportunities, and we have contracted with local businesses for a variety of services, such as site construction and equipment fabrication.


Fueling Victoria for the long haul

In 2021, Mobil Refining Australia Pty Ltd, our affiliate in Melbourne, Australia, began work to convert a 70-year old refinery into an import terminal. Leveraging existing facilities and infrastructure, the Altona site is in the process of becoming one of the largest and most efficient fuel import and storage facilities in the country.

Prior to the shutdown, employees were consulted to identify their wishes about the next steps in their careers. Using the advantages of our integrated business and facilitated by our development programs, where possible, we worked to identify roles for employees to support the site's transition or elsewhere in the company.

For those leaving the company, a wide range of support services were offered. They included additional training and certifications, coaching for writing resumes and applying for jobs, and a virtual career fair showcasing an array of available positions and industries looking to hire people with similar skills and talents.

The site has continued to be active with the community through ongoing philanthropic contributions and through local sourcing of a variety of services and supplies to meet the terminal’s evolving needs.

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