March 27, 2019 / 10:15 PM / 4 months ago

Exxon to report plastic pellet spills, shareholder says

FILE PHOTO: A logo of the Exxon Mobil Corp is seen at the Rio Oil and Gas Expo and Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes/File Photo

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp agreed to start reporting spills of plastic pellets from its chemical plants this year, according to an activist shareholder group that pressed the company on the issue.

Activist group As You Sow said on Wednesday that it would withdraw a resolution it had asked Exxon to present to investors at the company’s annual shareholder meeting this spring. Plastic pellets, which are building blocks for most plastics products, are a major source of ocean pollution, environmentalist say.

Exxon “will provide details about where, how, and when it monitors for pellet spills, describe pellet management systems it has in place, and report on spills that occurred,” the group said in a statement.

Exxon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The information on plastic pellet spills will be included in a sustainability report later this year, As You Sow said.

Exxon has sought to block a separate investor proposal that calls on the world’s largest publicly-traded oil company to set targets for lowering its greenhouse gas emissions.

Activist investors have been pressing oil companies to commit to fixed emissions targets and align with the Paris climate agreement that limits global temperature warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) before the turn of the century.

The efforts, part of a wave of climate-related proxy resolutions, are planned for spring 2019 annual shareholder meetings.

Reporting by Jennifer Hiller; editing by Grant McCool

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