Community engagement and grievance management
We work collaboratively and transparently with local communities to promote positive, long-term relationships. We consult with local groups and individuals regularly and seek to have our stakeholders effectively represented as community concerns are discussed and decisions are made. Our engagement process is tailored to be locally and culturally appropriate and provide accessible, inclusive, and effective channels for exchanging information and proactively identifying issues or concerns. Examples of activities in our engagement process include open houses, community gatherings, and individual meetings.
By integrating the results of these discussions into our decisions, we can help avoid or reduce potential impacts on communities, enhance benefits, support effective investments, avoid delays, and resolve issues at the local level.
Our ongoing community engagement includes a grievance-management process that provides a diverse set of platforms for individuals and communities to raise concerns. Depending on the location and nature of our activities, the process may include direct, in-person, and electronic engagement and the use of third-party proxies such as civil society organizations and nongovernmental associations. We dedicate personnel to map, track, analyze, respond to and resolve community grievances in a timely manner that seeks to support confidentiality and non-retaliation.
There are five core steps to ExxonMobil’s grievance-management approach:
- Publicize the process, and support accessibility for stakeholders.
- Receive, register, and acknowledge grievances, respecting confidentiality.
- Review and investigate, with the help of external stakeholders and qualified personnel.
- Develop resolution options and respond to and/or close out grievances.
- Monitor and evaluate outcomes.
Our practices are guided by the IFC and Ipieca, the global oil and gas association whose stated goals are to advance environmental and social performance across the energy transition. Individual processes may be complex or simple, driven by the characteristics of each location, type of activity, local sensitivities, potential impacts, and other variables. Our key performance indicators are tailored to reflect these variables.
Managers across business lines steward programs in their areas, with support from community relations and subject matter experts from across the business. Executive management endorses and monitors the implementation of these programs, including a regular review of stakeholder reports, a summary of grievances, and project responses.
For more information on how our processes and practices for stakeholder engagement and grievance management support our integrated approach to human rights due diligence, see the section on Human Rights.
Environmental justice in the United States
We are embedded in communities where thousands of our employees work and live, surrounded by their friends, families, and neighbors. Our experiences have reinforced our belief that every community has a unique culture and history that should be respected, and that all people, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, deserve to be treated fairly. Most importantly, we understand how important our activities are to the communities in which we operate and the social and economic progress of people living and working in those areas.
We consult with local groups and individuals regularly and seek to have diverse stakeholders represented when community concerns are discussed and decisions are made. This is why, as part of our engagement process, we seek to identify and consult with potentially vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our communities and understand possible barriers that may limit their active participation. We work to tailor our processes as needed and provide accessible, inclusive, and effective methods for exchanging information and proactively identifying issues or concerns.
We seek inclusive engagement as it helps us to consider a broader set of community perspectives. Where appropriate, we integrate the results of these discussions into our decisions to help avoid or reduce potential negative impacts or enhance benefits, support effective investments, and resolve issues.
Nothing is more important to us than running facilities that are safe for those who work there and who live nearby. We evaluate risks and opportunities at different stages of our projects and operations, using internal and external resources to inform our own assessment processes. When evaluating potential socioeconomic and environmental impacts for new activities, we also consider whether possible risks can be more effectively managed through alternative project design, including different technology, routing, siting, materials, or equipment.
Our company’s policies, practices, and expectations of employees support our efforts to:
- Foster a culture of trust through inclusivity and transparency.
- Identify, mitigate, and respond effectively to the potential impacts of our operations.
- Make financial contributions and develop programs in communities to address needs or opportunities where we have some expertise or value to add.
- Work to ensure local communities directly and indirectly benefit from our presence.
For example, the Gulf Coast Growth Venture (GCGV), a joint venture petrochemical manufacturing facility near Corpus Christi, Texas, started up at the end of 2021, following hundreds of outreach meetings with local organizations, chambers, government agencies, civic groups, and neighborhoods. The GCGV Good Neighbor Program was launched to address topics that local residents identified as most important, with four key components: Health & Safety, Education & Workforce, Environmental Stewardship, and Quality of Life. The program has provided:
- $5 million for a new community center in Gregory, Texas.
- Nearly $150,000 in grants to support local hospitals.
- Job placement support for military veterans through VetHire.
- $100,000 in financial support to San Patricio County workforce development.
- $1.5 million for a technology lab at Del Mar.
- $2 million to the Texas State Aquarium for a new wildlife rescue center.
For more than 140 years, we have been an integral part of the communities in which we operate. We remain determined to enhance our efforts to work alongside all our communities, contributing to their social and economic progress, and building on the positive aspects of our operations while mitigating any potential negative impacts.