1984 Imperial Oil Report on the Public’s Perception of Environmental Issues

This 1984 document from Imperial Oil Ltd, the Canadian subsidiary of Exxon, is a “Report on the Public’s Perception of Environmental Issues.” This document is part of the ClimateFiles Imperial Oil document set, gleaned by DeSmog researchers from the Glenbow Imperial Oil Archive Collection.

The report, prepared for Imperial by Pat Delbridge Associates Inc., “focuses on the issues and concerns of organised special interests…identifies broad environmental concerns…major trends which presently influence their priorities and strategies; and concludes with some recommendations of action approaches.”

In identifying several new ‘trends’ in the environmental movement as it relates to Imperial, the report highlights the “use of courts to prosecute/win injunctions/bring attention to concerns/receive restitution and/or compensation,” ultimately finding that “the use of courts is likely the most significant trend in environmental group activity to date.”  

The report also compiles lists of actions that Imperial and the oil industry could take in order to appease the environmental movement, categorized into “must do,” “should do,” and “nice to do” – the latter of which includes activities such as conservation and recycling, described as “actions that may be seen to be ‘anti-profit’ but are construed by the public as industry going that ‘extra mile’ for environmental benefit.”

Also of note in this document is a list compiled on page 17, describing the actions and objectives of major environmental initiatives, grouped under headings like “acid rain,” “emissions,” and “native peoples.”

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