Pressure Mounts on Oil Giant After CBIS
Proposal Garners Majority of Votes
CHICAGO, May 27, 2022
/PRNewswire/ -- Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc.
(CBIS), a leading Catholic, socially responsible investment
management firm and Registered Investment Advisor to Catholic
investors around the world, has reported that a shareholder
proposal urging ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) to quantify the potential
effect on its business of global action to address climate change
garnered a majority shareholder vote at Exxon's annual meeting.
The proposal, filed by a coalition of two dozen faith-based and
socially responsible investors led by CBIS, urged ExxonMobil to
issue an audited report assessing the impact of the International
Energy Agency's Net Zero 2050 Scenario (IEA NZE) on the
assumptions, costs, estimates, and valuations underlying its
According to John Geissinger,
CBIS' Chief Investment Officer, the scenario described in the
proposal addresses the shifts in public policy and consumer demand
that would accompany the limiting of global temperature rise to 1.5
degrees -- the level scientists indicate cannot be breached if the
most catastrophic effects of climate change are to be avoided.
"The company must face the reality that nations worldwide are
committing to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, and it
needs to quantify for investors the potential effects in its
financial statements," says Geissinger. "The generalities that
ExxonMobil has been providing regarding how the company might
manage its assets or shift investments in a Net-Zero analysis are
no longer sufficient. We're pleased with the results of the
proposal as it demonstrates to Exxon that the shareholders want
additional transparency into this critical issue."
"The CBIS Resolution Committee, comprised of members of CBIS'
leadership, views this proposal as strategically in line with the
Pope's call for progressive transformation to a low-carbon economy.
We tactically built on the momentum after the near majority vote on
a similar resolution in 2021," says Jeff
McCroy, President & Chief Executive Officer of CBIS. "In
keeping with Catholic teaching, we see shareholder advocacy around
the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change as our
McCroy continued, "CBIS' continued investment in Exxon has
enabled CBIS to pursue the work of the De La Salle Christian
Brothers and the CBIS mission, including Laudato Sí: On Care for
our Common Home. Divestment, although a simpler path, removes the
ability to make impactful changes as an engaged shareholder."
Independent analysis by the Carbon Tracker Initiative has
detailed the lack of quantification in the company's disclosures
regarding the effect of the scenario's assumptions on Exxon's
current business model or financial results.
CBIS' Proxy Exempt Solicitation highlights the gap between the
company's disclosures and the shareholder request. Reflecting the
importance of the issue, this resolution was among the few
proposals flagged for consideration by influential investor
network Climate Action 100+, and was supported by proxy advisors
ISS and Glass Lewis for the second straight year.
"The IEA NZE anticipates that as governments around the world
make and implement Net-Zero commitments, demand for oil and gas may
radically fall," says Geissinger. "Many of Exxon's peers are
already providing quantitative disclosure of the potential impacts
of Net-Zero on their revenues, assets, and liabilities. It's clear
that most of Exxon's shareholders believe their company must take
the same step."
For more information on the ExxonMobil resolution and CBIS'
other corporate engagements, please visit cbisonline.com. To hear
CIO John Geissinger's remarks at the Exxon Shareholder Meeting,
About Christian Brothers
Investment Services (CBIS)
CBIS is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm amplifying
the power of Catholic investors to transform the world. Responsible
for more than $10 billion in assets
under management, Chicago-based
CBIS works with Catholic investors to develop socially responsible
investment strategies and solutions that uphold Catholic beliefs
and values without sacrificing returns for investors, often taking
an engaged ownership role to command change in its investments.
Founded in 1981 by the De La Salle Christian Brothers, CBIS engages
third-party institutional investment firms to actively sub-advise
its portfolios. For more information, visit cbisonline.com, or call