ExxonMobil is not known as a champion of environmental justice.But according to one Scorecard announced last week, In terms of racial equality and environmental racism, the oil giant is at the bottom of the S&P 500 index.

The scorecard was compiled by As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy organization whose racial justice initiative aims to hold large companies accountable for their contributions to systemic racism.It posted a Earlier version of the scorecard In March, the 500 largest listed companies were evaluated based on 26 racial justice performance indicators-such as workplace diversity, promotion rates for employees of color, and donations to organizations fighting for racial justice.

But after someone criticized the scorecard for failing to reflect the impact of the big polluters on non-white communities, Update from As You Sow Put environmental justice first and center. One new standard rewards companies that recognize environmental justice issues, and three other rewards come from companies that violate environmental regulations, receive pollution penalties, or harm non-white communities. As You Sow Racial Justice Initiative manager Olivia Knight (Olivia Knight) said that this update will help draw a more complete racial justice profile for each company. “We believe that environmental justice and racial justice are completely related,” Knight said. “If you don’t recognize and correct environmental justice, you can’t have racial justice.”

The evaluation results of any company in the S&P 500 index are not optimistic-Microsoft and CVS are tied for first place with a total score of only 60%-but the energy sector stands out because of its particularly poor performance. Overall, the industry’s average score is only 3%, and seven companies have negative scores—meaning that their actions do more harm than good to low-income and non-white communities. Fossil fuel producers accounted for half of the 10 companies with the worst racial justice scores, with Exxon Mobil ranked last, and other oil and gas companies such as Marathon Oil and Valero Energy.

Knight said that energy companies’ low scores are mainly due to the industry’s continued pollution of non-white communities. According to environmental justice standards, the scores of 23 energy companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index are all below zero.For example, Exxon Mobil was punished for its activities in Beaumont, Texas, and one of its crude oil refineries often Non-compliance with the “Clean Air Act”, Spraying carcinogens into the majority black community.

“Environmental racism has been incorporated into their business plan,” Knight said. “They made all these environmental violations as usual.”

Exxon Mobil ranked last on the As You Sow Racial Justice Scorecard, largely because it polluted the non-white community in Beaumont, Texas.
John Nacion / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

In response to this report, ExxonMobil (which was given a 23% negative score by As You Sow) told Grist that it “supports equality, minority participation in our business, minority education and minority American leadership has a rich history in business.” Development,” cites its contribution to the Sustainability Reporting Guide Industry Manual.

The report also mentions Marathon Petroleum’s refinery near the black and brown communities in southwest Detroit, where vapor releases and chemical spills have exacerbated the local incidence of cancer and asthma.According to the government regulator Good Jobs First, Marathon and its subsidiaries have accumulated nearly $1.5 billion fine Environmental, safety and health violations since 2000. The company received a 17% negative score in As You Sow. Marathon Petroleum told Grist that the scorecard was “based on incomplete information about the company’s equal employment report” and that it is committed to working with As You Sow and other stakeholders to discuss equity issues.

Valero was ranked 491th on the As You Sow scorecard and was criticized as Proposal to lay natural gas pipelines Pass through the 97% black neighborhood of 7 miles from Memphis, Tennessee, and avoid the mostly white suburbs in the north of the city. The proposal was eventually cancelled, but the company drew further criticism due to the burning of natural gas at its southern Memphis refinery, which, as You Sow said, could lead to an increase in the incidence of cancer in the region. Four times the national averageValero Energy did not respond to Grist’s request for comment in a timely manner.

In addition to the habit of placing polluting infrastructure in predominantly non-white communities, another reason for the energy sector’s poor performance on the scorecard is what As You Sow calls “a severe lack of diversity, fairness, and inclusive disclosure” . According to the group’s press release, Relatively few S&P 500 companies publish extensive data on the composition of their workplaces, Retention rate and recruitment practices, so it is difficult to evaluate companies based on these criteria.Most energy companies also Failure to recognize systemic racism, Donating to racial justice organizations, or claiming that they are listening to black employees, leading to low scores.

Knight expressed optimism that since the nationwide protests against the killing of George Floyd and other unarmed blacks by police last summer, awareness of racial and environmental justice has increased, and some companies have turned to As You Sow to seek racial improvement. Recommendations for equal scores. But she said that because of its core business model, fossil fuel companies are far behind. Oil and natural gas will always constitute an environmental justice issue, even if it does not come from local pollution; their burning leads to climate change, which is already endangering non-white communities.

“There is no way to avoid their disproportionate climate impact,” Knight said. “We don’t have time to go around in circles-we need to fundamentally demand change.”

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