Imperial Oil Limited

InfluenceMap Score
D-
Performance Band
44%
Organisation Score
43%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Energy
Head​quarters:
Calgary, Canada
Brands and Associated Companies:
Exxon
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Imperial Oil appears to engage negatively on climate change. The company has limited transparent engagement with specific climate regulations, however, it actively promotes a sustained role for oil and gas in the energy mix. Imperial Oil is also on the board of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which engages negatively on climate policy.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Imperial Oil’s public positions on climate policy show mixed positions. The company’s Advancing Climate Solutions Report from July 2022 has stated support for the Paris Agreement and Canada’s net-zero target by 2050. However, the company’s position on the need for climate regulations is largely negative. In the previously mentioned report, Imperial Oil stated support for climate regulations with major exceptions that would weaken the ambitions of climate policies. This includes the company’s continued emphasis on policies that are market-driven, flexible, and those that reduce “minimize complexity and administrative costs”. Further, in the corporate website, when accessed in January 2022, the company stated that climate policy should be technology-neutral. While Imperial Oil has stated support for climate policy, it places major exceptions to this support. For instance, in the company’s registration at the Alberta Lobbyist Registry in July 2022, it stated that the long-term objective of climate policy should be to reduce the “serious” risks of climate change policy while ensuring energy access to all– suggesting that the company prefers less ambitious policies.

Engagement with Climate-related Regulations: Imperial Oil appears to be actively engaged on climate-related regulations, with limited transparency on its positions. The company’s July 2022 Advancing Climate Solutions Report supported a border carbon adjustment mechanism in Canada. Evidence from lobbying registries in Canada shows that Imperial Oil is directly engaged with policymakers on carbon tax in British Columbia and Alberta, and Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act at the federal level. However, the specific details and positions on these engagements are not disclosed. Similarly, Imperial Oil is directly engaged on GHG emissions legislations in Canada such as the Alternative Fuels Act at the federal level and BC Renewable & Low Carbon Fuel Requirements Regulation and Low Carbon Fuel Standard in British Columbia. However, the company has not revealed its positions on these policies. The company’s filing with the Alberta Lobbyist Registry from November 2021 reveals that it has engaged on Renewable Fuel Standards, however, the company’s position again remains unclear. Imperial Oil has not responded to the CDP Climate Change Information Request since 2018.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Imperial Oil appears to oppose the transition to a clean energy mix. While the company has stated in its corporate website that it engages with policymakers to support the transition to a net-zero future, evidence from the Canadian lobbyist registries indicate the contrary, as the company strongly supports a long-term role for oil and gas. Imperial Oil has advocated for policy support for the oil and gas sector to the federal government and to the governments of British Columbia and Alberta in 2022. Similar lobbying activities were registered in the Ontario Office of the Integrity Commissioner in September 2021, where the company advocated for various forms of support for the oil and gas industry, including a pipeline replacement project.

Furthermore, the company’s communications to investors appear to support the need for additional oil and gas investments. For instance, in an investor presentation from March 2022, Imperial Oil stated that further investments in oil and gas were “required in any scenario”. During this presentation, the company’s CEO Brad Corson also supported “significant future investment” in oil and gas, particularly in Canada. Imperial Oil also advocated for support for the industry in the Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring program between June to November 2021.

There is some evidence to show that Imperial Oil advocates for investments in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), however, this appears to be in conjunction with the Canadian oil sands operations. In the Advancing Climate Solutions Report, published in July 2022, the company supported CCS as a “critical technology” to achieve the net-zero goal in the oil sands. As for positions on other decarbonization measures stated in this report, such as electrification of transport, Imperial Oil appears to have a mixed position that supports hybrids, renewable fuels, electric vehicles, and hydrogen. In Alberta, Imperial has revealed in the official lobbyist registry that it is engaged on several policies related to decarbonization - low carbon fuels, biodiesel, biofuels, and fuel additives standards, without disclosing the outcomes that the company is lobbying for.

Industry Association Governance: Imperial Oil has very limited disclosure on its indirect lobbying activities via industry associations. In its 2019-2020 Sustainability Report, published in March 2021, the company disclosed that it collaborates with industry and business associations to engage with governments and climate policies. However, the report only disclosed the company’s membership in associations where annual fees exceeded $25K. This includes membership in influential associations such as the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers CAPP), the Canadian Fuels Association, and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Further, this disclosure does not provide further details on the role of the company in the associations, nor how it sought to influence the policy stance of the associations. As of August 2022, the company has not provided an updated disclosure. The company has also not published a review of its alignment with its industry associations on climate change. InfluenceMap’s analysis shows that CAPP, where Imperial Oil CEO Brad Corson is a board member, has lobbied against ambitious climate change policy while supporting the continued role for oil and gas in the Canadian energy mix.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information, see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
35%
 
35%
 
47%
 
47%
 
51%
 
51%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.