CSB Publishes New Case Study, “The Campaign to Reenergize ExxonMobil”

Gas station pump

Active ownership is gaining traction as an ESG investing strategy. With the power to directly influence a company’s decision-making, investors are paying more attention to how active ownership can make substantive progress in corporate sustainability.

A new case study written by CSB Senior Scholar Chet Van Wert explores the effects of a transformative strategy implemented at ExxonMobil by activist hedge fund Engine No. 1 called “Reenergize Exxon.”

The case study, “The Campaign to Reenergize ExxonMobil,” outlines the shortcomings of ExxonMobil in meeting shareholder demands and the effectiveness of campaigns such as Reenergize Exxon in transforming financially and environmentally underperforming companies through active ownership.

The cornerstone of Engine No. 1’s strategy was using proxy access to nominate four members to ExxonMobil’s board of directors. Despite meeting great opposition from the company’s management, three of the four nominees were elected to the board. The election of these three board members illustrates a vital shift in the strategy of investors and asset managers. Investors of capital are moving toward analyzing a company’s performance in material ESG areas to promote long-term growth, rather than focusing solely on financial returns. 

To learn more about the Reenergize Exxon campaign and how active ownership is pushing the boundaries of ESG investing, read the full case study here