Respecting human rights

ExxonMobil’s commitment to respecting human rights is embedded throughout our corporate policies, practices and expectations. Our practices are guided by the goals of universally recognized human rights principles and support our integrated approach to identifying and mitigating potential human rights impacts of our activities. We strive to have a positive influence on our workforce and in the communities where we operate. ExxonMobil condemns human rights violations in any form and has actively expressed these views to governments and stakeholders in countries in which our affiliates operate. We do not utilize forced or compulsory labor in our operations and forbid the use of children in our workforce.

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Respecting human rights
Image United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to this content.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to this content.

Approach

ExxonMobil is steadfast in our commitment to respecting human rights as a fundamental principle in our operations. Our approach is guided by the goals of universally recognized principles, which are integrated into our policies and practices, and regularly reinforced through training.

Guided by the goals of globally recognized principles

Our respect for the rights of our workforce and those within the communities where we operate is embedded throughout our corporate policies, practices and expectations and reflect the spirit and intent of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They also support the International Labour Organization 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (ILO Declaration), including:

  • Freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining.
  • Elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labor.
  • Effective abolition of child labor.
  • Elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

Our policies and practices also incorporate elements of the 2011 U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) “Protect, Respect and Remedy” framework for the distinct but complementary roles of businesses’ and governments’ regarding human rights including commitments, due diligence and access to remedy.

When applicable, our practices are also guided by the goals of the:

ExxonMobil also participates in related international initiatives, including our active involvement with Ipieca, the global oil and gas association for advancing environmental and social performance across the energy transition. Our engagement with Ipieca also includes developing and sharing practices on human rights due diligence and human rights supply chain management across the oil, natural gas and other extractive industries.

Integrated into our policies and practices

While ExxonMobil is not a formal signatory to the U.N. Global Compact, a voluntary corporate initiative in support of U.N. goals, our Standards of Business Conduct incorporate key elements of the pact.

These standards include what we call our “foundation policies” and define our goals for the Corporation’s ethical conduct. The Board of Directors adopts and administers these standards, which uphold the values of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption. In addition, our wholly-owned and majority-owned subsidiaries generally adopt similar policies.

Core policies from our Standards of Business Conduct include:

  • Ethics: We comply with applicable governmental laws, rules and regulations.
  • Health: We identify, evaluate and manage health risks related to our operations that potentially affect employees, contractors or the public.
  • Complaint procedures and open door communication: These encourage employees to ask questions, voice concerns, and make appropriate suggestions regarding the business practices of the Corporation.
  • Environment: We conduct our business in a manner compatible with the balanced environmental and economic needs of the communities in which we operate.
  • Safety: We conduct our business in a manner that protects the safety of employees, others involved in operations, customers, and the public.
  • Equal Employment Opportunity: We provide equal employment opportunity in conformance with all applicable laws and regulations to individuals who are qualified to perform job requirements.

Our Statement on Labor and the Workplace reinforces ExxonMobil’s commitment to providing positive, productive and supportive work environments. Additionally, our Standards of Business Conduct provide a framework for responsible operations and are consistent with the spirit and intent of the ILO Declaration. ExxonMobil and its affiliates support these principles, developing and implementing policies, procedures and practices that align with applicable laws and specific circumstances to accomplish the objectives of the ILO Declaration.

Our Statement of Principles on Security and Human Rights highlights our commitment to conduct business in a way that protects the security of personnel, facilities and operations and respects human rights. The framework guides our majority-owned operating affiliates on managing interactions with host government-assigned security and private security providers. It also offers guidance for documenting and reporting allegations of human rights abuses in the protection of our assets.

Our Supplier, Vendor and Contractor Expectations call for the operations and business practices of these entities to be conducted in a manner consistent with the ILO Declaration, which recognizes freedom of association and includes the elimination of child labor, forced labor and workplace discrimination. These expectations communicate that our suppliers, vendors and contractors respect human rights in a manner consistent with the goals of the UNGP. They are held to stringent compliance, anti-corruption, conflict of interest, safety and other guidelines in order to remain in good standing.

Reinforced through training

We reinforce our commitment to respecting human rights through training

Employees are introduced to the Standards of Business Conduct, which include ExxonMobil's foundation policies, upon commencement of employment.  During employment, employees are reminded of the Standards of Business Conduct annually.  Business practices training is required for employees every four years. This includes training on select foundation policies such as Ethics as well as complaint procedures and open door communication. Our wholly-owned and majority-owned subsidiaries generally adopt policies similar to our foundation policies and provide similar training. 

Human rights awareness training is available to all employees to build an understanding of human rights issues and an awareness of potential human rights risks. Human rights is also included as a core element of our two-day Socioeconomic Management training course offered in an instructor-led training environment.

 

Management and application

ExxonMobil identifies, assesses and manages human rights risks and opportunities through practices that support due diligence and access to remedy. We have three focus areas: communities and people; security; and workforce and supply chain.

Due diligence

Our practices support early identification and assessment of potential human rights impacts, along with other socioeconomic impacts and opportunities associated with our activities. We work to avoid or reduce any human rights or socioeconomic risk through comprehensive planning, effective mitigation, monitoring and other measures. As part of our Environmental, Socioeconomic and Health Impact Assessment and Management process we conduct initial country assessments that include early identification of qualitative human rights risks. We also apply a human rights risk screening tool to support our analysis of these potential risks at country, project and operations levels, incorporating elements aligned with key global human rights principles.

Our socioeconomic management practices are guided by our corporate Environmental Aspects Guide (EAG) and are consistent with our Environment Policy and Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS). More information on the EAG can be found here.

Access to remedy

Consistent with international standards, we help provide effective, accessible and culturally appropriate channels for individuals or communities to raise concerns in a way that seeks to support confidentiality and non-retaliation. We make these available through our community and operations-level grievance management processes, as well as our complaint procedures and open-door communication for employees.

More information can be found here on how our processes and practices for stakeholder engagement and grievance management support our integrated approach to human rights and access to remedy.

Focus Areas

Communities and people
Our goal is to maximize benefit of our business to local communities and to appropriately manage environmental, socioeconomic and health risks. Our socioeconomic management practices support our integrated approach to respecting human rights and include elements such as community health, safety and security; local economic development; land use, resettlement and livelihood restoration; cultural heritage and Indigenous peoples.

More information on our approach to socioeconomic management can be found here.

Security
Since 2002, ExxonMobil has been a member of the Voluntary Principles Initiative (VPI), a multi-stakeholder effort supporting the implementation of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (VPSHR). Our standard security services contracts include provisions, where appropriate, requiring training for security personnel on expectations and responsibilities associated with one or more of the goals articulated in the following:

These standard security services contract provisions require contractors to monitor, report and investigate credible allegations of human rights abuses. Contractors are required to immediately remove any of their personnel accused of violating human rights.

ExxonMobil operates in places where engagement with host governments is needed to support security and respect for human rights in local operations. Where host governments require ExxonMobil to engage their official government security forces, we work to have written agreements with the host nations that include expectations for respecting human rights consistent with the goals of the VPSHR.

We help train security providers on the goals of the VPSHR and provide targeted training for ExxonMobil personnel in global affiliates where host government security forces are engaged. The training focuses on our expectations for host government security deployment, including identification of the risks of security-related human rights impacts in communities.

Workforce and suppliers

We respect the human rights of our workforce through our focus on workforce development, safety, security and health, as well as our procedures for complaints and open door communication. Details on management and implementation in these areas can be found at these links:

We use an integrated, risk-based due diligence approach that focuses on workplace rights and leverages our current practices and systems to identify, assess and manage potential human rights risks within our supply chain.

Before awarding a contract, ExxonMobil screens suppliers across a number of compliance areas, including sanctions, anti-corruption, and human trafficking. We use third-party information such as government and media databases. Our due diligence process for identifying, assessing and monitoring human rights risks focuses on three factors: the supplier, the commodity, and the location. Identification of a higher risk in these areas triggers our further assessment of a supplier’s policies and risk management practices prior to continuing with the contracting process.

More information on broader supply chain management can be found here.

Performance

To monitor our effectiveness, we have processes to track performance across the specific areas associated with communities and people, security, workforce and suppliers. Additionally, through monitoring and evaluation of feedback, as well as grievance mechanisms and emerging trends at our project and operating sites, we are able to develop or enhance associated management plans and incorporate learnings into our training programs.

We continue to actively engage with evolving international initiatives.

  • In 2020 and 2021, ExxonMobil helped develop the new edition of the Human Rights Due Diligence Guide, the Labour Rights Risk Identification in the Supply Chain, and the Supply Chain Library of Questions and Resources, all published by Ipieca.

Over the past several years, we have provided the following training to reinforce our respect for human rights:

  • Since 2016, we have supported the development and delivery of training on the goals of the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights for more than 40,000 security service providers and members of government security forces.
  • Since 2016, more than 700 procurement employees have received training tailored to procurement professionals to help improve their understanding of human rights in the supply chain.
  • More than 2,100 employees in 45 countries have completed the human rights awareness training since 2015.

Key examples of our disclosures and compliance with laws and regulations related to human rights include:

  • In accordance with the U.K. Modern Slavery Act of 2015 the Australia Modern Slavery Act of 2018, and the Norway Transparency Act of 2022, our U.K., Australia, and Norway affiliates prepared an Annual Slavery and Human Trafficking Statement, a Modern Slavery Statement, respectively.
  • Our annual conflict minerals filing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission provides disclosures regarding supply sources of gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum.