Tag Archives: corporation

Mars to remove artificial colors from products

Mars announced this week that it will remove all artificial colors from its human food products as part of a commitment to meet consumer preferences.

Mars, in a statement, said, “Though many of the company’s products are already free of artificial colors, by expanding the scope of the effort to its entire human food portfolio, Mars is making a commitment of significant depth and breadth. Products across the range of the company’s chocolate, gum, confection, food and drink businesses will be affected by the change, which will take place incrementally over the next five years.”

Mars said it will work closely with its suppliers to find alternatives.

“We’re in the business of satisfying and delighting the people who love our products,” said Grant F. Reid, president and CEO of Mars, Incorporated. “Eliminating all artificial colors from our human food portfolio is a massive undertaking, and one that will take time and hard work to accomplish. Our consumers are the boss and we hear them. If it’s the right thing to do for them, it’s the right thing to do for Mars.”

Mars uses a variety of naturally sourced and artificial colors in its global product portfolio.

Removing all artificial colors from a human food portfolio that features more than 50 brands will take about five years.

Responding to the news, Michael F. Jacobson, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, issued this statement: “We appreciate the fact that Mars listened to our concerns and to the concerns of its customers and that it is exercising this kind of responsible leadership.”

He continued, “The Food and Drug Administration should level the playing field for the whole industry by banning Yellow 5, Red 40, and other synthetic dyes used in food. There is simply too much evidence demonstrating that these artificial dyes trigger inattention, hyperactivity, and other behavioral reactions in children. The use of these neurotoxic chemicals to provide a purely cosmetic function in foods, particularly foods designed to appeal to children, must stop.” 

Wal-Mart’s push on animal welfare hailed as game changer

UPDATED: Walmart, the nation’s largest food retailer, announced in May its commitment to improving animal welfare throughout its supply chain and issued revised animal welfare policies hailed as game-changing.

Even some of the company’s harshest critics, including the watchdog group Mercy for Animals, cheered the policy change as signaling a new era.

The “Position on Farm Animal Welfare” posted on Walmart’s corporate site states, “We expect that our suppliers will not tolerate animal abuse of any kind.”

The statement says Walmart supports the “Five Freedoms” of animal welfare outlined by the World Organization for Animal Health:

• Freedom from hunger and thirst.

• Freedom from discomfort.

• Freedom from pain, injury or disease.

• Freedom to express normal behavior.

• Freedom from fear and distress.

The company wants suppliers of fresh and frozen meat, deli, dairy and eggs to take action against animal abuse, adopt the “Five Freedoms,” avoid subjecting animals to painful procedures, such as tail docking, de-horning and castration, and to use antibiotics only to treat or prevent disease.

Walmart also wants suppliers to stop using pig gestations crates and other housing that confines animals to small spaces.

At the Humane Society of the United States, president and CEO Wayne Pacelle said, “Timelines aside, this announcement helps create an economy where no agribusiness company — for business reasons alone — should ever again install a new battery cage, gestation crate or veal crate. Walmart is helping drive the transition away from immobilizing cages and other inhumane practices and toward a more humane, more sustainable approach to production agriculture.”

He continued, “This is an unstoppable trend and that was the trajectory even before Walmart made the announcement. The company’s embrace of a more ethical framework for the treatment of all farm animals serves as perhaps the most powerful catalyst for change throughout animal agriculture.”

Mercy for Animals president Nathan Runkle said, “This is a historic and landmark day for the protection of farmed animals in America.”

Mercy has waged a multi-year campaign against Walmart — the company accounts for about 25 percent of the U.S. food business. The Mercy effort has involved protests, publicity in major newspapers and on mobile billboards, celebrity denunciations and a petition via Change.org.

In recent years, Mercy has released investigative video documenting extreme animal abuse by Walmart suppliers. The videos show pigs hit with metal cans and sheets of wood and sows held in cages so small they could barely move.

Mercy, in its praise for the Walmart position statement, also emphasized its own position: The best way to prevent animal abuse is to stop eating animals.

Charting change

Major animal-welfare moves announced by food and retail companies since 2012:

• FEBRUARY 2012: McDonald’s Corp. requires U.S. pork suppliers to outline plans to phase out sow gestation stalls.

• AUGUST 2014: Nestle says it wants to get rid of the confinement of sows in gestation crates and egg-laying chickens in cages. It also wants to eliminate the cutting of the horns, tails and genitals of farm animals without painkillers and pledges to work with suppliers on the responsible use of antibiotics.

• DECEMBER 2014: Starbucks supports the responsible use of antibiotics, eliminating the use of artificial growth hormones and wants to address concerns related to de-horning and other forms of castration — with and without anesthesia.

• MARCH 2015: McDonald’s says it is asking chicken suppliers to curb the use of antibiotics. 

• APRIL 2015: Aramark, the largest U.S. food-service company, says it’s eliminating all cages for laying hens by 2020, gestation crates for mother pigs by 2017 and crates for veal calves by 2017.

• APRIL 2015: Tyson Foods plans to eliminate the use of antibiotics medically important to humans in its U.S. broiler chicken flocks by the end of September 2017. The company has also said it’s working on ways to curb use of antibiotics for its beef and chicken businesses.

— Associated Press

Next on ‘net neutrality’…

President Barack Obama angered Republicans but delighted netroots activists when, in mid-November, he called on the Federal Communications Commission to treat broadband Internet service much as it would any other public utility.

Though he has no direct authority over FCC decisions, the president called on the agency to prohibit Internet providers from negotiating rates for faster service, a fast-lane/slow-lane concept that consumer activists say would give large companies advantages over fledgling enterprises. The FCC is believed to be close to a decision on whether broadband providers should be allowed to cut deals with content providers.

“An open Internet is essential to the American economy, and increasingly to our very way of life,” Obama said in his White House statement. “By lowering the cost of launching a new idea, igniting new political movements, and bringing communities closer together, it has been one of the most significant democratizing influences the world has ever known.”

He continued, “‘Net neutrality’ has been built into the fabric of the Internet since its creation — but it is also a principle that we cannot take for granted. We cannot allow Internet service providers to restrict the best access or to pick winners and losers in the online marketplace for services and ideas.”

The president detailed what he called “bright-line rules” for a free and open Internet:

• No blocking. If a consumer requests access to a website or service and the content is legal, the ISP should not be permitted to block it.

• No throttling. ISPs should not be able to intentionally speed up some content or slow down others — through a process often called “throttling” — based on the type of service or an ISP’s preferences.

• Increased transparency. The connection between consumers and ISPs is not the only place some sites might get special treatment. So Obama asked the FCC, an independent entity, to “apply net neutrality rules to points of interconnection between the ISP and the rest of the Internet.”

• No paid prioritization. The administration said, “No service should be stuck in a ‘slow lane’ because it does not pay a fee. That kind of gatekeeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet’s growth.”

The president’s position is in line with about 4 million people who have called on the FCC to protect net neutrality.

“This is a huge victory for millions of Americans who have called for Title II reform and a huge blow for the cable companies that seek to establish fast and slow lanes on the Internet,” said David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress.

Demand Progress, along with Fight for the Future and Popular Resistance, organized a Washington, D.C., “party” outside the FCC after learning of Obama’s announcement.

Other events took place in Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, New York, San Francisco and Boston.

“The Internet freedom movement has a lot to celebrate,” said Holmes Wilson, co-founder of Fight for the Future. “We’re closer than ever to winning real Title II net neutrality that will protect free speech on the Internet for generations to come.”

On the Web

For more about “net neutrality” advocacy, go to battleforthenet.com.

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Lego’s building blocks to diversity

Through a partnership between Madison Metropolitan School District, the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Welcoming Schools program and Gender Spectrum, elementary school students analyzed LEGO sets and marketing and, taking inspiration from a LEGO ad from 1981, came up with a 21st century ad to remind LEGO that “diversity is perfect.” LEGO responded:

It’s amazing to see the outcome of all the time and effort you put into your analysis of gender and culture in LEGO sets. I enjoyed reading the letters you posted on your website. We know we’re lucky to have so many loyal LEGO fans around the world and we’re always pleased to get feedback.

When we develop a new LEGO set, we use customer feedback like yours — and most importantly, we ask children for opinions on every little detail. You’re the best play experts in the world and the toughest judges of what’s fun and what isn’t.

It’s true we currently have more male than female minifigures in our assortment. We completely agree that we need to be careful about the roles our female figures play — we need to make sure they’re part of the action and have exciting adventures, and aren’t just waiting to be rescued.

You say we should make female minifigures and sets for girls that look more like our other play themes. You’re right: we don’t expect all girls to love the LEGO Friends sets. We know that each child is unique. That’s why we offer more than 450 different toys in various themes so everyone can choose what matches their building skills and links into their passions and interests.

Our designers spend all day dreaming up new sets and ideas, and new roles continue to appear and old roles evolve for both male and female characters. Lots of strong women and girls live in LEGO City. They work as businesswomen, police officers and fire fighters. And THE LEGO MOVIE features Wyldstyle as a main character. She’s an awesome, inspiring character who’s also one of the best builders around!

We originally chose yellow for the color of minifigures so they wouldn’t represent a specific ethnicity in sets when there were no characters represented. In this way, LEGO figures would be acceptable all over the world and fans could assign their own individual roles. However, in some products where we want figures to be as authentic as possible, such as movie characters, and others we plan in the future, some minifigures won’t be yellow to stay true to their characterization.

We put a lot of effort into creating a variety of new and exciting characters for the Minifigures Collectibles line: so far we’ve had a female surgeon, a zoologist, athletes, extreme sports characters, rock stars, and a scientist — just to share a few examples. They cover a lot of everyday professions, but we’ve also developed heroic characters like a female Viking, Amazon warrior, space explorer… as well as fantasy and mythical female characters.

Here at the LEGO Group we’re also having many conversations about the topics you raised, so your comments will be shared with our marketing and development teams. After all, we want to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow: that means both boys and girls, everywhere in the world!

5 tycoons who want to close the wage gap

As the middle class struggles to make gains and President Barack Obama strives to shine a spotlight on the issue of income inequality, an unlikely constituency is looking for ways to close the nation’s growing wealth gap: A handful of top U.S. business tycoons.

These advocates point to notions of fairness and admit to twinges of guilt, but the core concern driving all of them – left, right and libertarian – is a belief that the economy doesn’t function efficiently when the wealth gap is wide. They are proposing solutions that range from pressuring fellow entrepreneurs to pay workers more to simply giving their money back to the government to redistribute.

Since roughly 1980, the wealthy have been prospering while the middle class stagnates or falls behind. Members of the 0.1 percent now make at least $1.7 million a year and grab 10 percent of the national income, while the median annual household income has dropped, landing at $51,017.

The gap is growing wider. Income for the highest-earning 1 percent of Americans soared 31 percent from 2009 through 2012, after adjusting for inflation. For everyone else, it inched up an average of 0.4 percent.

As U.S. society has grown more unequal, rich men and women have set up clubs and foundations to encourage economic parity, and they are actively lobbying for change.

The figure of the fairness-conscious billionaire has a precedent, said Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton. During the Gilded Age, at the end of the 1800s, tycoons took steps to increase equality and help the working class.

“Names like Carnegie, Mellon and Rockefeller – the (Warren) Buffet and (Bill) Gates of their days – grace universities, museums and medical centers in part because the originators of those fortunes gave back,” Norton said. “In the same way that some businesspeople are now taking steps to address climate change due to its effects on costs and revenues … the notion that inequality can be bad not just for ethical reasons, but for financial reasons, is one that is increasingly embraced by businesspeople.”

Here’s a look at some of these opponents of the widening gap between the poor and, well, themselves.

BUFFETT: THE BILLIONAIRE PIED PIPER

The most visible of the superrich Robin Hoods is investor Warren Buffett, who has persuaded dozens of billionaires to give away large portions of their fortunes. Buffett, 83, is the second-richest American, according to Forbes magazine, with a net worth of $58.5 billion. He heads Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which owns everything from the insurance company GEICO and Dairy Queen to underwear maker Fruit of the Loom.

For years, he has advocated policies to close the wealth gap, saying reforms are necessary for the nation’s continued prosperity. Buffett has famously complained that he pays a lower tax rate than some of his most menial-wage employees. That’s because, like many moguls, much of his income comes from capital gains and dividend payments, which are taxed at a lower rate than ordinary wages. His activism gave rise to Obama’s proposed “Buffet rule,” which would ensure that anyone making more than $1 million per year pay at least the same rate as middle-income taxpayers.

The self-made Omaha, Neb., magnate has also for years targeted unequal wealth accumulation. Buffet advocated for a progressive estate tax before members of Congress, saying in 2007, “Dynastic wealth, the enemy of a meritocracy, is on the rise. Equality of opportunity has been on the decline. A progressive and meaningful estate tax is needed to curb the movement of a democracy toward plutocracy.”

Buffett, who did not immediately respond to questions submitted via his assistant, has played a key role in encouraging his peers to redistribute their wealth by choice. In 2010, he launched the Giving Pledge program in which wealthy entrepreneurs publicly promise to donate at least half of their riches to charity. Adherents including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

UNZ: THE REPUBLICAN WHO FAVORS A RAISE

Not all members of the super-rich taking up the issue of inequality are progressives. Ron Unz, a Silicon Valley millionaire and registered Republican who once ran for California governor, is advocating the highest minimum wage in the country for his home state. Unz rose to fame when he spearheaded a 1998 ballot proposal that dismantled California’s bilingual education system. He later became publisher of The American Conservative, a libertarian-leaning magazine.

Lately, he has become obsessed with the idea that a wage hike is the best way to advance the conservative ideal of reducing dependence on government programs. Frustrated with the gridlock in Congress, Unz is pouring his own money into a November ballot measure that would increase the minimum wage in California to $12 an hour in 2016.

At that level, he said in an interview with The Associated Press, “every full-time worker would be earning almost exactly $25,000 and every full-time worker couple $50,000. Under normal family circumstances, those income levels are sufficiently above the poverty threshold that households would lose their eligibility for a substantial fraction of the various social welfare payments they currently receive, including earned-income tax credit checks, food stamps and housing subsidies.”

Unz, whose fortune comes from founding Wall Street Analytics Inc., argues that by not paying a living wage, companies are forcing the government to subsidize them through massive welfare spending. An advocate for the free market, Unz opposes any kind of subsidy. The wage proposal has led him to work with strange bedfellows, including Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate and former independent presidential candidate, and progressive economist James Galbraith.

Unz, 52, trained as a theoretical physicist, has an IQ of 214 and has written scholarly papers on the Spartan naval empire. His political rivals and allies alike have made much of his nerdy demeanor. But his unorthodox background seems to have given him the confidence to go against the conventional wisdom of his party.

“The thing that’s really shocking is that the Republican response to the problem is to call for increased welfare spending. From a free-market perspective, businesses should compete without subsidies,” Unz said. “If they can’t compete, then maybe they should go out of business.”

HANAUER: HELPING PEOPLE BUY WHAT AMAZON SELLS

Seattle venture capitalist Nick Hanauer believes the growing wealth gap threatens the economic system that has given him his wealth. One of the early investors in Amazon, Hanauer started the Internet company aQuantive Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. in 2007 for $6.4 billion.

But Hanauer said he doesn’t consider himself a “job creator.” If no one can afford to buy what he’s selling, the jobs his companies create will evaporate, he reasons. In his view, what the nation needs is more money in the hands of regular consumers.

“A higher minimum wage is a very simple and elegant solution to the death spiral of falling demand that is the signature feature of our economy,” he said in an interview with the AP last summer.

Hanauer, 54, advocates raising taxes for the rich and hiking the minimum wage to the unheard-of heights of $15 an hour. He has co-authored a book and launched an organization called The True Patriot Network to help push such proposals. In 2012, he advanced his ideas in a TED talk – one of the wonky, provocative lectures that have become a required feather in the cap of web-savvy thought leaders. But TED organizers refused to post Hanauer’s lecture on the web, because they said it was too partisan.

SILBERSTEIN: THE QUIET ADVOCATE

Steve Silberstein made his fortune in the early days of computers by co-founding Innovative Interfaces, a software company that creates technology for hundreds of college and university libraries. He sold the company, settled in a secluded town in Marin County, Calif., and became a philanthropist.

Now, at 70, he is a low-profile member of a movement to organize institutional investors in opposing what he and others say are exorbitant executive salaries.

Silberstein advocates a policy that would tie corporate tax rates to the difference in compensation between the CEO and an average worker. A company with a CEO-to-worker-compensation ratio at the 1980 level of 50-to-1 would pay tax at the current rate of 35 percent; companies with a larger pay gap would be taxed at a higher level, and those with a narrower gap would pay a lower rate.

Silberstein took a step into the spotlight when he produced the documentary “Inequality for All,” featuring former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich. It premiered last year at the Sundance Film Festival.

“He’s one of the quiet leaders of the entire movement toward wider prosperity,” Reich said. “An increasing number of wealthy businesspeople are becoming concerned that the economy can’t function without a strong middle class to keep it going.”

Silberstein told the AP his views are not so different from that original American industrialist, Henry Ford, who famously paid his factory workers enough to purchase one of the cars that came off his assembly line.

“As a result he became rich,” Silberstein said. “If the economy goes well, everybody does well, including the wealthy.”

Like many left-leaning executives troubled by the wealth gap, Silberstein insists that his ideological views play only a small part in his concerns.

“It’s a problem, and everybody is losing as a result. It’s self-interest and the interest in my country, too,” he said.

HINDERY: THE TITAN WHO WANTS TO PAY MORE TAXES

Leo Hindery Jr., the New York City media and investing mogul, is one of hundreds of wealthy people directly asking Congress to raise their taxes as a member of Patriotic Millionaires. The group was formed in 2010 to advocate for the end of Bush-era tax cuts for people making more than $1 million a year. Hindery is also a member of Smart Capitalists for American Prosperity, and he was among a group of entrepreneurs who went door-to-door in the halls of Congress in early February asking for a higher minimum wage.

A managing partner of the media industry private equity fund InterMedia Partners, Hindery was previously chief executive of AT&T Broadband and of the YES Network, the cable channel of the Yankees. He says he’s turned down raises to ensure that he never makes more than 20 times the salary of his employees. He is also one of the biggest Democratic fundraisers in the nation.

The 66-year-old argues that giving rich people tax breaks makes no economic sense because people like him don’t put their extra dollars back into the economy.

“Do you think I don’t own every piece of clothing, every automobile? I already have it. You spend money. Rich people just get richer,” he told the AP.

Hindery credits his Jesuit upbringing with giving him the tools to look beyond his own economic advantages.

“How can we believe in the American dream when 10 percent of the people have half the nation’s income? It’s immoral, I think it’s unethical, but I also think that it’s bad economics,” Hindery said. “The only people who can take exception to this argument are people who want to get super rich and don’t care what happens to the nation as a whole.”

Forbes list shows mega rich are mega richer

Life is good for America’s super wealthy. Forbes this week released its annual list of the top 400 richest Americans. While most of the top names and rankings didn’t change from a year ago, the majority of the elite club’s members saw their fortunes grow over the past year, helped by strong stock and real estate markets.

“Basically, the mega rich are mega richer,” said Forbes senior editor Kerry Dolan.

Dolan noted that list’s minimum net income increased to a pre-financial crisis level of $1.3 billion, up from $1.1 billion in 2012, with 61 American billionaires not making the cut. “In some ways, it’s harder to get on the list than it ever has been,” she said.

Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates remains America’s richest man, taking the top spot on the list for the 20th straight year, with a net worth of $72 billion, up from $66 billion a year ago.

Investor Warren Buffett, the head of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., posted another distant second place finish with $58.5 billion, but increased his net worth from $46 billion. Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison stayed third with $41 billion and was the only member of the top 10 whose net worth was unchanged from a year ago.

Brothers Charles and David Koch, co-owners of Koch Industries Inc., stay tied for fourth with $36 billion each, up from $31 billion in 2012.

Wal-Mart heirs Christy Walton, Jim Walton, Alice Walton and S. Robson Walton took the next four spots, with holdings ranging from $33.3 billion to $35.4 billion, all increasing from year-ago levels.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the founder of the eponymous financial information company, rounds out the top 10 with $31 billion, up from $25 billion.

According to Forbes, 273 members of the list are self-made billionaires, while 71 inherited their wealth and another 56 inherited at least some of it but are still growing it.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to the list’s top 20 after dropping out the year before. His net worth of $19 billion earned him the No. 20 spot.

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz also made the list, at No. 85, with a net worth of $5.2 billion. At age 29 and just a few days younger the Zuckerberg, Moskovitz ranks as the youngest member of the list.

On the flip side, the oldest person on the list is 98-year-old David Rockefeller Sr. at No. 193 with a net worth of $2.8 billion.

A total of 20 new people joined the rankings, including Richard Yuengling Jr. of Pennsylvania beer maker D.G. Yuengling & Son, who ranked at No. 371 with $1.4 billion.

Twenty-eight people dropped off the list, including six who died. Those now falling short of the cut include energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens at $950 million, Graham Weston of Rackspace Hosting Inc. at $920 million and Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder at $1.2 billion.

A total of 48 women made the list including Hyatt Hotels heir Jennifer Pritzker at No. 327.  She’s also the list’s first transgender member.

According to Forbes, the 400 people on the annual list posted a combined net worth of $2 trillion, up from $1.7 trillion a year ago. That marks their highest combined value ever.

Meanwhile, the average net worth of the list’s members rose to $5 billion, also the highest ever, up from $4.2 billion in 2012. Net worth grew for 314 members and fell for 30, Forbes said.

The increases aren’t surprising, given that net worth for America’s wealthiest people has risen in the years since the financial crisis, widening the gap between the exceptionally well-to-do and the rest of the country.

According to a study of Internal Revenue Service figures released last week, the top 1 percent of U.S. earners collected 19.3 percent of household income in 2012, their largest share in IRS figures going back a century.

U.S. income inequality has been growing for almost three decades. But until last year, the top 1 percent’s share of pre-tax income had not yet surpassed the 18.7 percent it reached in 1927, according to the analysis done by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, the Paris School of Economics and Oxford University.

Some economists have speculated that the incomes of the wealthy might have surged in the past year, because they cashed in stock holdings to avoid higher capital gains taxes that kicked in in January.

On the Web…

The Forbes 400: http://www.forbes.com/forbes400

ExxonMobil shareholders reject nondiscrimination policy

ExxonMobil shareholders have again voted down a proposal to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the company’s Equal Employment Opportunity policy.

Responding, LGBT activists were critical of ExxonMobil for its refusal to join many other major companies and ban discrimination against LGBT people. They also were critical of the White House and Congress for failure to act on measures to ban workplace bias.

ExxonMobil, according to the Human Rights Campaign, lags behind most of corporate America on its nondiscrimination policy, including its closest competitors in the oil industry. Eighty-eight percent of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in EEO policies and 57 percent include gender identity.

Chad Griffin, president of the HRC, said, “No company has proven itself a worse corporate citizen by betraying its LGBT employees time and again than ExxonMobil. By failing once more to do the right thing, ExxonMobil places itself firmly on the wrong side of history. Fair-minded consumers should take their business elsewhere.”

The activist group GetEqual said, “ExxonMobil continues to dig in its heels to prove that it is one of the most ardent proponents of LGBT discrimination in the country. While ExxonMobil rakes in billions of dollars in federal contracts each year — paid for with taxpayer money – it’s stunning that the company is so actively and blatantly out of step with the three-quarters of the American public who support LGBT workplace protections.”

Mobil and Exxon merged in 1999. Before the merger, employees at Mobil were protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and the company also offered health benefits to domestic partners of employees.

Exxon acquired Mobil, eliminated the partnership benefits and removed the non-discrimination protections.

That fueled a boycott and also work by HRC, the New York City Pension Funds and other groups to change corporate policy through a resolution at the shareholders annual meeting. In 2011, the shareholder proposal received votes representing more than 500 million shares with a market value of more than $42.4 billion. This year, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli again sponsored the shareholder resolution.

Shareholders at the annual meeting also voted nearly 3-to-1 to reject a proposal to set goals to reduce emissions from its products and operations.

HRC’s Corporate Equality Index gave ExxonMobil a score of negative 25. Chevron, BP, Shell and Spectra received scores of 85 or higher.

In addition to pressing ExxonMobil to change its policy, LGBT leaders are calling on the president to issue an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating in employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

HRC, in a statement, said, “As today’s actions show, when bad actors fail to protect their employees Americans need every tool available to protect them from workplace discrimination. ExxonMobil, as a federal contractor, would be forced to add sexual orientation and gender identity to its nondiscrimination policy, allowing its LGBT employees to go to work every day without fear of being fired for who they are or who they love.”