Trade associations

ExxonMobil provides support for a variety of trade associations, think tanks and coalitions to promote informed dialogue and sound public policy in areas relevant to the company’s interests and operations. These areas include a wide range of topics, among them: corporate governance, environment (including climate change), education, economic development, fiscal policy, international trade, labor/pension matters, civil justice reform, public health, regulatory issues, sustainability and workplace safety.

While some trade associations participate in the development of public policy, the majority of trade associations are focused on other industry-specific issues, including developing and implementing safety standards, sharing best practices, and professional development.

ExxonMobil’s participation often includes taking leadership positions on trade association boards, policy committees and technical work groups, which provide valuable opportunities to learn from others and share our positions and principles. We consistently communicate our policy principles to the trade associations of which we are members. While it would be impractical to expect perfect alignment between ExxonMobil’s policy positions and those of every trade association, and unreasonable to expect any single member of a given association to ensure that was the case, we strongly encourage our trade associations to support initiatives that we believe in, including the goals of the Paris Agreement and support for cost-effective, technology-neutral emission-reduction policies that will help society achieve a net-zero future.

It is important to note that there may be occasions where trade associations we support oppose proposed climate-related legislation, regulation, or other public policy initiatives. This may be due to disagreement on a specific element of the policy approach, rather than disagreement on the fundamental need to address climate change and society’s ambition to achieve a net-zero future. We therefore do not regard these situations necessarily as misalignment if the organization supports the need for action on this critical societal issue. The organization may simply prefer an alternative approach for valid reasons such as cost-effectiveness.

In assessing trade association memberships and any perceived policy misalignments, the company considers potential risks related to shareholder relations, legal, financial and corporate reputation. While we reserve the right to initiate, sustain or withdraw support for an organization at any time, several principles guide our approach:

  • We believe our participation in trade associations enables us to effectively advocate for positions we support, share our views, learn from other companies, and influence trade association policy debates.
  • We do not expect that a third-party organization made up of dozens or even hundreds of members will be perfectly aligned with our views on all topics at all times.
  • Our support does not constitute an endorsement of every policy position or point of view expressed by a recipient organization.
  • We regularly review our memberships for alignment on climate-related policy issues and other topics. Where misalignment exists, we will work within the organization to achieve alignment; where we fail to see sufficient alignment across critical issues, or where an organization is not committed to engaging constructively, we may choose to cease membership.

Policy spotlight

Inflation Reduction Act (IRA)

With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the U.S. government enacted a set of climate policies to potentially incentivize a lower carbon economy.