Chevron committed for the first time to an aspiration of net zero emissions from its operations as the company responded to rising investor and societal pressure to play a bigger role in a transition to a low-carbon future.
Chevron is also incorporating its customers’ emissions into some of its goals, the San Ramon, California-based company said Monday in a statement.
While the pledge falls short of those made by European peers such as Shell and BP, it’s the first time Chevron has outlined such a long-term strategic commitment on emissions. Previously, the company had merely outlined a pathway to net zero and had shorter-term targets focused on emissions intensity, a relative measure to the amount of energy produced, rather than absolute levels of pollution.
In May, shareholders voted for the company to reduce its so-called Scope 3 emissions, despite Chevron’s board urging them not to do so.
Last month Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth said the company would continue to grow production of fossil fuels, but would do so as cleanly as possible. He bound Chevron’s climate efforts with a strategy of improving financial returns, arguing that one without the other won’t work for shareholders and the environment. The approach contrasts with that of its European peers, which are planning long-term pivots toward more renewable energies over time.