We leveraged our emergency response protocols, business continuity plans and multidisciplinary Centralized Emergency Response Team (CERT) to manage and coordinate our efforts throughout the pandemic and to respond to the ever-changing challenges. These plans and continuity efforts, as well as regularly conducted drills and training, helped prepare Marathon Oil when COVID-19 struck.
The Emergency Preparedness and Community Awareness element of our Responsible Operations Management System (ROMS) provided tailored response plans to local operating conditions, while CERT worked quickly to create a COVID-19 Response Team and COVID-19 Playbook, described in more detail in the Safety section of this report.
Supporting Our Workforce: One Team
One of our core values at Marathon Oil is ‘One Team.’ The pandemic provided an opportunity to further demonstrate this value as we worked to prioritize the well-being of our workforce.
We acted quickly and implemented remote work beginning in March 2020 where possible, while also restricting travel because of health risks. To promote the safety of our employees and contractors who continued to work onsite to help keep the U.S. supplied with energy, we were informed by guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as well as state and local authorities. Our response included:
- Adjusting operations to protect our employees and contractors, including physical distancing and increased sanitation efforts.
- Daily health screenings for employees and contractors going onsite to a Marathon Oil location.
- Distributing face coverings and sanitizers to employees and contractors and requiring their use.
- Developing COVID-19-specific health and safety procedures, including contact tracing and attestations to verify compliance for anyone going to a Marathon Oil location.
- Implementing Return to Work protocols for employees and contractors who experienced COVID-19 symptoms or close contact.
- Providing employees with COVID-19 awareness training to familiarize them with the requirements of our new procedures.
- Posting informational signage at our locations.
- Maintaining frequent communications with employees and our partners through our emergency messaging system and CERT communications team.
For office-based staff, we provided managers with training and resources to help them lead their teams in this new virtual environment with specific guidance on how to maintain our culture of inclusion and collaboration. We worked to keep our virtual employees connected and engaged, holding regular leadership broadcasts and online “coffee chats” that often included senior leaders.
To support employees as many child- or elder-care centers closed, we allowed employees to adjust their work schedules if needed, and offered up to 15 days of emergency back-up child- or elder-care services. In addition, through our partner Bright Horizons, Marathon Oil parents could access online educational videos and activities including yoga and mindfulness, STEM learning, story time and cooking.
We also worked to raise awareness of our Employee Assistance Program, including available mental health benefits and resources, as well as webinars on topics such as coping with isolation and building resilience. In addition, we put in place a Pandemic Paid Leave of Absence Plan for any employee who exhausted their normal sick leave, and was unable to work due to their own or a household member’s eligible illness.
We implemented a phase-based return-to-office plan, with added health and safety procedures designed to minimize the transmission of COVID-19.
Supporting Our Communities
Outside of our operations, we found opportunities to support the needs of our local communities, many hit hard by the pandemic. Our response was aligned with our social investment priority areas – building healthier, safer, stronger and more resilient communities. Importantly, we targeted our support to where we could have the greatest impact on the most critical needs.
With millions of people out of work and schools closed across the country in 2020, food banks faced unprecedented demand – some citing a 400% increase in individuals seeking services month over month.
Marathon Oil donated more than $75,000 in immediate emergency relief to help feed our neighbors across our operating areas – from urban communities in Houston to tribal communities in North Dakota and rural communities in south Texas. In Oklahoma, our donation was matched through a special disaster relief fund, helping to feed an estimated 80,000 families in 53 counties through the state’s Food for Kids Program.
In New Mexico, we collaborated with Roadrunner Food Bank to launch a new Childhood Hunger Initiative in the Carlsbad Municipal School District. This program is the first of its kind in the county and provides approximately 50 pounds of food to 150 southeast New Mexico families each month. While it was set up to meet immediate needs stemming from COVID-19, this program will be on going within the school district.
In North Dakota’s Bakken, we donated emergency relief funds to both the Great Plains Food Bank and the Three Affiliated Tribes. Our investment supplied 24,200 pounds of fruit and vegetables to children and their families living in western North Dakota.
In addition to food relief, in Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, our environmental, health and safety team organized a donation of more than 12,900 N95 masks and 10,000 nitrile gloves from our warehouses to local healthcare organizations.
With schools closing across the country and the shift to distance learning, many students faced challenges to remain connected. To help, we donated 25 laptops to Comp-U-Dopt, a Houston-based nonprofit that distributes retired computers to families in need. In addition to refurbishing the computers, Comp-U-Dopt loads them with learning software.
In Carlsbad, New Mexico, we provided a grant to the local Boys & Girls Club for a new ventilation system in their gymnasium. With schools closed, the center saw a significant increase in the number of children spending entire school days at their facility. The new ventilation system allowed the club to safely open its doors to additional children.
Read about our COVID-19 response in Equatorial Guinea here.
We’re proud of our responses to the pandemic and will continue to evolve our safety, workforce and social impact programs to best respond to the changing landscape in 2021.
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