The Lessons of Partnership
David J. O'Reilly, Chairman and CEO
U.S. Department of State Award for Corporate Excellence 2003 ceremony
Washington, D.C., October 15, 2003
Thank you, Secretary Powell, Assistant Secretary Wayne, dignitaries and guests. I am deeply honored to receive the Award for Corporate Excellence on behalf of ChevronTexaco. I also want to congratulate U.S. Steel Corporation for their great work in Slovakia.
To our Nigeria-based employees watching in Abuja, I am accepting this award on your behalf. You have demonstrated a commitment to corporate responsibility and to making a positive contribution to people's lives. It's an ideal I know is shared by our 53,000 employees in over 180 countries around the world. In that sense I feel that I am also accepting this award on behalf of all of them.
As a company we are committed to helping foster social and economic development as we pursue our business goals. Our operations are often based in countries where poverty, lack of education and health care and civil unrest are all too common. We see and experience the problems created by poverty and feel it is a moral imperative that we try, as Reverend Leon Sullivan taught us, to lend people not a hand out but a hand up. In my view, making a positive difference in this way is the real meaning of corporate responsibility.
But we recognize that as one company we can only be effective to a point. To bring about substantial and lasting change requires all stakeholders – governments, NGO's, communities and companies – to work together. I believe there is a need for greater collaboration and deeper cooperation if we are to be successful.
We work with many partners in Nigeria, and one that I'd like to specifically mention is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, as they too deserve credit for joining us in bringing sustainable benefits to our host communities.
I've said in the past, global poverty is the defining challenge of the 21st Century. As much as anywhere, the Niger Delta embodies that challenge. No one should minimize it. But no one should minimize our steadfast commitment to positive and innovative change. We will continue our efforts to harness our human, financial and technical resources to help communities where we work.
In closing, like Secretary Powell, I also want to mention the airlift that Chevron Nigeria Ltd. undertook earlier this year to help refugees at our Escravos Terminal in the Niger Delta. I believe the actions taken by our employees and contractors dramatically illustrate the depth of their commitment to helping their neighbors. I'm convinced they saved lives.
So again, I salute our Nigeria-based employees, contractors and partners for your commitment, hard work and dedication. You are to be commended for receiving this award.
Updated: October 2003