Management systems, standards and controls
We believe the answer lies in three uncompromising pursuits: exceptional technology, rigorous standards and an unwavering commitment to best-practice safety procedures.
The Valdez incident of 1989 was a low point in ExxonMobil’s history, but it was also a turning point. In its aftermath, we launched a top-to-bottom review of our operations and then implemented a system that today guides every operating decision we make on a daily basis. That system is called OIMS (Operations Integrity Management System).
It consists of 11 separate elements that measure and mitigate safety, security, health and environmental risk to people, the environment and the communities in which we operate. Fundamental to OIMS is assessing the risk involved in our operations — from offshore platforms to our offices — and then developing plans to mitigate and manage that risk over the operation’s life.
ExxonMobil’s systematic and disciplined approach to safety has produced significant improvements, but we know there is risk, too, in complacency. So, as we continue to explore for new sources of energy, we will also continue to explore new ways to increase safety. That is our obligation and that is our commitment.
How we translate these principles into action
Balancing the interests of the company, its many stakeholders, and the needs of the communities within which we operate means setting rigorous ethical standards that govern each and every decision we make.
These ethics and high standards of business conduct allow us to operate in an economic climate where large-scale investments support our long-term business and contribute to the communities where we work.
ExxonMobil complies with all applicable laws and regulations, and where laws and regulations do not exist, we maintain the use of our high standards. Our commitment to high ethical standards, legal compliance, and integrity is reflected in our global policies and practices. The metrics we track and report demonstrate how effective our management systems are at guiding our performance. Our management systems enable us to comply with new regulations efficiently, providing us with a competitive advantage.
ExxonMobil’s System of Management Control Basic Standards defines essential principles and concepts that drive our business controls. Our Controls Integrity Management System is designed to assess and measure financial control risks, including procedures for mitigating concerns, monitoring compliance with standards, and reporting results to the appropriate operations and management groups within ExxonMobil. These company-wide financial controls meet or exceed the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and NYSE listing standards. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP conducted an independent assessment that determined our internal controls system is effective for financial reporting. Regular self-assessments and audits help ensure that every operating unit consistently implements our controls and standards.
Operations Integrity Management System
OIMS provides a systematic, structured, and disciplined approach to measure progress and track accountability for safety, security, health and environmental performance across business lines, facilities and projects. We evaluate opportunities to improve the OIMS Framework and completed an update in 2020. On an annual basis, Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance, Inc., reviews our ongoing performance and certifies OIMS is consistent with the standard on environmental management systems and occupational health and safety management systems of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14001:2015; ISO 45001:2018).
Our OIMS establishes expectations that apply across all our operations to address risks inherent to our business, including environmental risks. The OIMS framework contains 11 elements related to leadership, operations and maintenance, community relations, emergency response, incident investigation and information and documentation, among others. It also provides protocols and guidance for mitigating risk. ExxonMobil monitors the performance of joint ventures and company assets operated by others against OIMS expectations and encourages them to consider improvements, as appropriate.
Each element of OIMS contains overarching objectives and expectations. The OIMS framework also includes the characteristics of and processes for implementation.