CITGO Releases First-Ever Report on Environmental, Social & Governance Initiatives

HOUSTON — For the first time ever, CITGO Petroleum Corp. released a report detailing its environment, social and governance (ESG) initiative.

Titled A Clear Direction Forward, the report represents a significant shift in CITGO's approach to corporate responsibility reporting, with an increased emphasis on ethics and governance accountability, according to the company.

"CITGO has never been more dedicated to our core values of environmental stewardship, integrity, respect, fairness, social responsibility, operational availability and competitiveness," said CITGO President and CEO Carlos Jordá. "This report shows those CITGO core values at work."

Jordá cited improved corporate governance as a particular area of emphasis.

"When the CITGO board of directors was appointed in 2019, one of its key objectives was to review and strengthen corporate governance," he added. "We are particularly gratified with the significant progress we've made infusing good governance practices across the company."

A Clear Direction Forward features environment performance data detailing a 96 percent reduction of sulfur dioxide and 65 percent reduction of nitrous oxide emissions from 2004 to 2019, plus significant reductions in water use at CITGO's three refineries.

The report also includes CITGO's first statement addressing climate change, including support for legislation that seeks to curb greenhouses gases; and remediation and restoration of Petty's Island, N.J., a 350-acre site that was once a CITGO terminal and has been transformed into an urban wildlife preserve and destination for ecotourism and environmental education.

According to the report, steps taken to enhance corporate governance, internal controls, compliance and ethics since the 2019 appointment of a new CITGO boards of directors includes:

  • Appointment of CITGO's first chief compliance and ethics officer, who reports directly to the CEO and to the audit committee of the board of directors;
  • An enhanced integrity hotline that allows anyone, including business partners, to confidentially report compliance or ethics concerns without fear of reprisal;
  • Creation of an overhauled code of business conduct that outlines the responsibilities of all CITGO employees, officers, contractors, business partners, suppliers and third-party representatives;
  • Establishment of six compliance and ethics teams throughout the organization, including supply and marketing, shared services, finance and each of CITGO's three refineries;
  • Strengthening of key committees on the CITGO board of directors, including compliance and ethics, audit and commercial committees to better help identify risk and advise on strategic development efforts; and
  • Regular training for employees on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and relevant compliance and ethics training for employees on a general or targeted basis.

According to CITGO, other highlights of the report include:

  • Data on CITGO's workplace diversity and gender equity, with 37 percent minority and 36 percent female representation as of December 2019, respectively, at the professional level, and multiple women in key leadership roles at the corporate executive level;
  • Metrics demonstrating outstanding workplace safety performance at CITGO, with incident rates below refining industry averages each year since 2015;
  • Numerous national awards CITGO has received in recent years, including the EPA ENERGY STAR designation, AFPM Elite Gold Safety Award, ILTA Safety Excellence Award and API Distinguished Pipeline Safety Award;
  • Details on CITGO's commitment to meet the immediate and long-term health needs of the most vulnerable in and from Venezuela through the nonprofit Simón Bolívar Foundation; and
  • Examples of CITGO's ongoing commitment to corporate social responsibility.

"When the new board of directors and management team joined CITGO in 2019, we focused on institutionalizing best practices at CITGO and the Simon Bolivar Foundation – and elevating the importance of diversity and inclusion," said former CITGO chairwoman and current board member Luisa Palacios. "The results are evident in a more socially responsible company that strives to be an outstanding corporate citizen, prioritizes integrity and transparency and is driving progress in diversity with the appointment of multiple women to key corporate leadership roles for the first time."

The increased focus on transparency and accountability to a broad set of stakeholders is intended to be an ongoing corporate priority.

"We will continue working to protect our people, communities and our planet through actions that are guided by sound judgment and strong adherence to our corporate code of ethics – and we will transparently report our progress," said Jordá, "It's who we are."

The full report is available here.

Headquartered in Houston, CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, La.; and Lemont, Ill., and wholly and/or jointly owns 42 terminals, six pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. CITGO transports and markets transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products and supplies a network of more than 4,500 locally owned and operated branded retail outlets, all located east of the Rocky Mountains.