The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Stefanie Spear,, 216-387-1609

Valero Aligns Executive Compensation With Climate Targets

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Valero has introduced a new "Energy Transition performance measure" into its incentive compensation program for executive officers, as requested in a shareholder resolution filed by investor representative As You Sow.

The first-time proposal asked the company to align its executive compensation plan with the Executive Remuneration Indicator of the new Net-Zero Company Benchmark from CA100+, which seeks details of how executive remuneration arrangements specifically incorporate climate change performance metrics. In recognition of Valero's progress on this Indicator, As You Sow has withdrawn its resolution.

"Investors welcome Valero's new policy linking executive compensation to climate-related goals," said Lila Holzman, senior energy program manager of As You Sow. "We look forward to seeing how this good governance practice helps accelerate Valero's climate progress."

The Climate Action 100+ (CA100+) initiative -- a group of more than 500 investors representing $52 trillion in assets -- released the benchmark in fall of 2020. The benchmark calls on the largest carbon emitting companies, including Valero, to produce targets and plans for reducing their full range of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to net zero, linking executive compensation to achievement of those targets and plans, improving climate governance, and providing specific climate related financial disclosures.

Given the urgency of the climate crisis, shareholders seek clarity on whether their companies are adopting business plans aligned with a sustainable, net-zero carbon economy, or continuing business as usual on a path toward global value destruction. By aligning with the benchmark's comprehensive indicators, companies can demonstrate whether they are taking needed actions. A public scoring of companies' disclosures against the indicators is expected to be released later this month.

"We know that compensation incentives drive outcomes," said Danielle Fugere, president of As You Sow, "so linking success in meeting climate goals to compensation awards will drive positive climate outcomes."

As You Sow and other investors have filed similar resolutions requesting alignment with one or more of the specific indicators laid out in the Net Zero Benchmark at companies including: General Electric, Caterpillar, General Motors, Twitter, and United Airlines. The United Airlines resolution has already been withdrawn by lead filer Mercy Investment Services, as the company set an enterprise-wide net-zero-by-2050 emissions goal. Other resolutions are planned to go to a vote this spring.

"It's risky for a company to refuse a request backed by $52 trillion. We hope to see the other CA100+ focus corporations respect the wishes of their largest shareholders," said Paul Rissman, Co-Founder of Rights CoLab, who advised As You Sow on their CA100+ resolutions.

To learn more about As You Sow's work on climate change, click here.

As You Sow is the nation's non-profit leader in shareholder advocacy. Founded in 1992, we harness shareholder power to create lasting change that benefits people, planet, and profit. Our mission is to promote environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies.