We believe social investment helps Marathon Oil contribute to the long-term sustainability of communities where we operate.
Our commitment is to partner with community organizations to develop and support projects that address existing social issues related to education, health and the environment. We often collaborate with business partners and nonprofit organizations and seek to connect our partners to further strengthen programs and communities. Marathon Oil emphasizes capacity building so communities can sustain social programs beyond our investment and involvement.
In light of the drop in commodity prices in 2015, Marathon Oil reduced our philanthropic spending 45 percent compared to 2014, while maintaining support for programs that align with our business strategy and demonstrate positive results. We continue to review all philanthropic giving based on the sustainability of Marathon Oil and our communities.
Marathon Oil invests in education from kindergarten through college to strengthen communities and build the foundation for the future workforce. We are guided by our Integrated Education Funding Model to drive positive, meaningful change in academic performance, graduation rates and interest in STEM fields. The model helps us identify and invest in promising programs, measure effectiveness and work with stakeholders to address outside factors that can impact the outcomes of educational programs, such as parental support and underlying social issues. To learn more, please see the case study on our investments in education.
Marathon Oil has an ongoing partnership with the American Heart Association (AHA) as part of our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our employees, their families and communities where we work. AHA emphasizes prevention and building healthier lives free from cardiovascular disease and stroke, which helps ensure a healthy workforce.
Several U.S. states where we operate now mandate that high school students receive cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) education before they graduate. In 2015, we trained almost 100 high school students in our South Texas Eagle Ford asset using life-saving AHA CPR kits. In 2016, we plan to expand this program to our Oklahoma asset.
To encourage employees to support our nonprofit community partners, the Marathon Oil Gives program provides a one to one match for employee donations to Company-supported organizations. In 2015, we matched approximately $500,000 in employee gifts, for a total of $1 million to more than 100 nonprofit organizations. Marathon Oil Gives also encompasses a matching gift program to U.S. universities and encourages volunteerism by contributing $500 annually to qualified nonprofit charitable organizations where eligible employees volunteer at least 30 hours outside of their normal workday.
On the local level, our asset teams supported a wide range of community organizations. For example:
To act on our core value of environmental stewardship, Marathon Oil seeks opportunities to protect and conserve natural resources, habitats and environments through social investment and philanthropic giving.
In 2015, we continued to support the National University of Equatorial Guinea (UNGE) Pico Basile Conservation Project that improves forestry management and develops environmental education programs and interventions. The project developed anti-littering and anti-poaching television spots encouraging Equatoguineans to take care of their environments and to respect the national forest reserves. It also developed the first documentary on Equatoguinean wildlife conservation, “Secrets of the Forest,” which is being shown to primary and secondary school children throughout the country in 2016.
Through our partnership with Green Standards in the U.S., Marathon Oil helped 12 nonprofit organizations while minimizing waste. Whenever possible, we donate surplus furniture, appliances and other materials to Green Standards instead of sending it to a landfill. Green Standards then resells, recycles and donates these materials to minimize waste and help communities.