HOUSTON, Dec. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Marking a new chapter of heightened corporate transparency, responsibility and accountability, CITGO Petroleum Corporation today released its first-ever report detailing the company's extensive environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives. Information contained in this release highlights the Company's progress in 2019 consistent with the accompanying report, as well as certain elements of its 2020 ESG progress.

CITGO Logo (PRNewsfoto/CITGO Corporation)

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

A Clear Direction Forward places CITGO among a growing number of forward-thinking corporations choosing to issue regular ESG reports, a more comprehensive and transparent method of reporting sustainability and societal impact metrics to a broader group of stakeholders.

"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."

The CEO pointed to 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," said Jordá, "we are particularly gratified with the significant progress we've made infusing good governance practices across the company."

Highlights of A Clear Direction Forward include:

  • Environmental performance data detailing reductions of 96% and 65%, respectively, in SO2 (sulfur dioxide) and NOx (nitrous oxides) emissions (2004-2019), as well as the company's impressive reductions in water use at its three refineries.
  • The company's first-ever statement addressing climate change, including support for legislation aimed at curbing greenhouse gases.
  • The extraordinary remediation and restoration of 350-acre Petty's Island, New Jersey – once home to a CITGO terminal – into an urban wildlife preserve and destination for ecotourism and environmental education.
  • A detailed description of comprehensive steps taken to enhance corporate governance, internal controls, compliance and ethics since the appointment of a new CITGO Petroleum Corporation Board of Directors in 2019, including:
    • Appointment of the first-ever CITGO Chief Compliance & Ethics Officer, reporting directly to the CEO and to the audit committee of the board of directors.
    • An enhanced Integrity Hotline, where anyone – including business partners – can confidentially report compliance or ethics concerns without fear of reprisal.
    • Creation of a newly overhauled Code of Business Conduct, outlining 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 the company's three refineries.
    • Strengthening key committees on the CITGO Petroleum Corporation Board of Directors, including compliance and ethics, audit and commercial committees, to better help identify risk and advise on strategic development efforts.
    • Regular training for employees on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and relevant compliance and ethics training for employees on a general or targeted basis.
  • Data on the company's leadership in workplace diversity and gender equity, with 37% minority and 36% female representation as of December 2019, respectively, at the professional level, and multiple women in key leadership roles at the corporate executive level, including former board chairwoman and general auditor.
  • Metrics demonstrating outstanding workplace safety performance at CITGO, with incident rates below refining industry averages each year since 2015.
  • The numerous national awards CITGO has recently garnered, including EPA ENERGY STAR designation, AFPM Elite Gold Safety Award, ILTA Safety Excellence Award and API Distinguished Pipeline Safety Award, to name but a few.
  • Details on the company's steadfast commitment to meet the immediate and long-term health needs of the most vulnerable in and from Venezuela – in light of the country's complex humanitarian crisis – through the Simón Bolívar Foundation, the company's 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation.
  • Examples of the company's ongoing commitment to corporate social responsibility include:
    • Extensive efforts to assist communities severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey, including work with Coastal Bend Food Banks to establish mobile food pantries in Houston and Corpus Christi.
    • Longstanding contributions to the community via its CITGO Innovation Academies;
    • Employee volunteer efforts via TeamCITGO;
    • Extensive contributions via organizations like the United Way and Rebuilding Together; and the
    • Multi-decade CITGO partnership with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

"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." 

CITGO emphasized that this increased focus on transparency and accountability to a broad set of stakeholders – embodied in the inaugural release of A Clear Direction Forward – will 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 CEO Carlos Jordá, "It's who we are."

To view the report, click here

About CITGO:

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, CITGO Petroleum Corporation is a recognized leader in the refining industry with a well-known brand. CITGO operates three refineries located in Corpus Christi, Texas; Lake Charles, Louisiana; and Lemont, Illinois, and wholly and/or jointly owns 42 terminals, six pipelines and three lubricants blending and packaging plants. With approximately 3,300 employees and a combined crude capacity of approximately 769,000 barrels per day (bpd), CITGO is ranked as the sixth-largest and one of the most complex independent refiners in the United States. 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. CITGO Petroleum Corporation is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Certain information included in this release and the ESG report may be deemed to be "forward-looking statements" under applicable securities and other laws that involve risks and uncertainties.  These statements relate to, among other things, expectations regarding our industry, business strategy, goals and expectations concerning our environmental, social and governance initiatives, and our market position and future operations or performance.  We have used the words "anticipate," "believe," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "will," "would" and similar terms and phrases to identify forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this release.  Unless otherwise indicated or the context requires otherwise, all references in this presentation to "CITGO," the "Company," "we," "us," "our" or similar references mean CITGO Petroleum Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries.

Any forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events, developments and business decisions to differ materially from those contemplated by these forward-looking statements.  These statements are based on assumptions and assessments made by our management in light of their experience and their perception of historical trends, current conditions (including current market conditions), expected future developments and other factors they believe to be appropriate.  Although we believe the assumptions upon which these forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, any of these assumptions could prove to be inaccurate, and the forward-looking statements based on these assumptions could be incorrect. In addition, our business and operations involve numerous risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could result in our expectations and goals not being realized or could otherwise materially affect our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.  We caution readers that these forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results that are projected, expressed or implied.  These risks and uncertainties include, among others, risks related to the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, general economic activity, developments in international and domestic petroleum markets, and refinery turnarounds and operations.  Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements contained in this release are made only as of the date of this release.  We disclaim any duty to update any forward-looking statements, except as required by law.

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SOURCE CITGO Corporation