Tag Archive for ‘ExxonMobil’
Exponent, Inc. is a publicly traded giant in litigation defense and regulatory science with more than $300 million in annual revenues, offices in 20 U.S. cities and five foreign countries, and about 1,000 employees. It’s a go-to destination for major industries with liability problems–even as it is derided by critics as a hired gun whose findings are for sale.
An executive for an investment firm that adheres to the principles of Islam and Islamic finance explains why the firm has stepped into the arena of shareholder engagement with its first shareholder resolution, calling on Exxon Mobil to increase transparency in its lobbying spending.
A 2012 Congressional Research Service report, “Financial Performance of the Major Oil Companies, 2007-2011”(PDF), analyzes the business results of the five biggest firms operating in the U.S. market: ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips. The report notes that their combined revenues in 2011 were equivalent to more than 10% of U.S. gross domestic product.
Corporate governance activist Robert AG Monks argues that American corporations today are like the great European monarchies of long ago. “Corporations have effectively captured the United States: its judiciary, its political system, and its national wealth, without assuming any of the responsibilities of dominion,” he writes. “Evidence is everywhere.”
A new measure designed to combat corruption in resource-rich countries by requiring mining and energy companies to disclose payments to foreign governments was highlighted this week by U.S. President Barack Obama in a speech at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York. The requirement is a provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill signed into law by Mr. Obama in July.
Regulators and rulemakers led the list of 100 most influential people affecting corporate governance in America’s board rooms in 2010, according to the National Association of Corporate Directors. Sen. Christopher Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank, authors of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Law, were re-elected to the list as was Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary L. Schapiro.
Investment firm Walden Asset Management recently researched and compiled quotes from sustainability and corporate responsibility reports by several dozen companies in a wide range of industries. The exercise showed, says a Walden executive, that attention to such issues has become vitally important for a company’s business, and that transparent reporting is, as one CEO said, one of “the prices of doing business today.”
Investors filed a record 101 climate and energy-related resolutions with 88 U.S. and Canadian companies in 2010, a 50% increase from the year-earlier, according to activist shareholder organizations. A record 51 resolutions were withdrawn after the companies agreed to climate change and energy-related commitments.
The resolutions, up 40% from last year, have been presented to some of the nation’s largest coal companies, electric power and oil producers, home builders, big box retailers, financial institutions and other businesses thought to be not adequately disclosing and managing potential climate-related business impacts.
The only hope for a new carbon-cutting law from the U.S. Congress in 2010 could involve what has long been thought of as the least politically viable approach: a tax on carbon. But achieving that might very well require an alliance of strange bedfellows – including environmental advocates and ExxonMobil, long a chief climate change skeptic.