press release

Chevron Chairman Ken Derr Lauds Rev. Leon Sullivan


NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 1999 -- Before an audience of 500, including ambassadors, world leaders, humanitarians and corporate CEOs at the United Nations Tuesday, the Reverend Leon H. Sullivan introduced the Global Sullivan Principles. A code of corporate conduct, the principles are designed to promote business support for human rights, economic justice, racial and gender equality, and a healthy environment. Chevron Corp. is one of the initial signatories to the Global Sullivan Principles.

"These principles are destined to become a highly effective set of ideals because they articulate a code of conduct that influences actions and involvement in the real world," said Chevron Chairman Ken Derr, in remarks during the introduction ceremony. "I'm convinced they will be a success because of the quality of the ideals, the strength of the organizations associated with them, and because they've come from a man of unquestioned integrity, the Rev. Leon Sullivan.

"At Chevron, we have a code of ethics we call 'The Chevron Way.' Not only does it include our mission, vision and our primary financial objective, it also includes the 'hows' of how we conduct our business -- through a cohesive team committed to honesty, integrity, diversity, protection of people and the environment, safety in the workplace, pollution prevention and community outreach."

Derr said that for Chevron to sign onto the Global Sullivan Principles is a natural extension to "The Chevron Way" -- which embodies the spirit of the way the company has done business at home and abroad for over 120 years. Chevron currently operates in more than 100 countries throughout the world.

Intended to serve as a positive blueprint for the policies and practices of socially responsible companies, the Global Principles are aimed at businesses large and small, and in particular those that conduct business in developing nations. While a voluntary set of standards, signatories agree to provide annual information to the Rev. Sullivan on their performance in the areas described by the Principles.

"When a company respects diversity, helps economies grow, provides safe work places, protects the environment, and contributes to the health and educational facilities in a community, a business can help raise the aspirations of the people around it. And with that, you've started to trigger a cycle of prosperity," Derr said.

The Chevron chairman said that the Principles provide guidance in a complex world, where equally worthwhile interests often compete for limited resources. "They also hold signatories to some very high standards. But operating in a socially responsible way is good for society and for a corporation. When your corporation has earned the Rev. Sullivan's seal of good practices, you'll know that you have done your best."

A retired Philadelphia minister and social activist, the Rev. Sullivan is held in esteem throughout the world. His new code of corporate conduct is rooted in the 1977 "Sullivan Principles for South Africa," which many believe played an important part in ending apartheid in that country. They are also in keeping with the Global Compact issued earlier this year by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who was an integral part of the Global Principles ceremony.

Appearing at the United Nations event with the Rev. Sullivan, Secretary General Annan and Derr were executives from Colgate-Palmolive, General Motors, Shell Oil, Sunoco Inc., and other major corporations.

Updated: November 1999