Social Impact Investment
Our executive vice president and general counsel is responsible for our governance, stakeholder engagement efforts and social investments. The Health, Environmental, Safety and Corporate Responsibility (HES&CR) Committee of our board of directors provides oversight of our social responsibility and sustainability efforts and meets twice a year. Once a year our full board receives an update on our social investments.
Our Social Investment Strategy, a key part of our Community Engagement Strategy, is tailored to the needs of each community and aligned with our internal business priorities and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We seek to improve the quality of life in the communities where we work through financial contributions, advisory services, pro bono work and in-kind donations. We encourage employees to join us through our dollar-for-dollar matching programs, volunteer events and annual giving campaign.
In 2021, we invested ~$15 million in global social projects and programs. We review our social investments annually to help ensure our partnerships are delivering a meaningful impact. This includes reviewing the financial and operational performance of potential and current partners; evaluating their missions and values to confirm alignment with one or more of our investment areas; and requiring partners to report clearly defined program goals, details and data on project outcomes using our Social Investment Evaluation Rubric.
- ᵃ Total Giving: $2.2 million in corporate giving and $.2 million in employee giving; Total Sustainable Investments: $12.4 million.
- ᵇ In 2021, we had substantial in-kind donations of computer equipment, other technology and office supplies as a result of our move to a new office building.
Building Strong Communities Through Education
We believe the foundation of a strong community is a quality education system. By investing in inclusive and equitable education, we help build the socio-economic growth that has the power to improve lives and enable communities to reach their full potential.
Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation Expansion
In the Houston area, only 21% of third graders have mastered reading standards and 29% fail to meet minimum reading expectations. A child’s literacy level depends on spending time at home with books, yet on average, children living below the poverty line have access to less than one age-appropriate book at home. We’ve partnered with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation (BBHLF) since its inception in 2013 to combat the city’s literacy crisis through initiatives like the My Home Library program that was introduced in 2017. This program gives children the books they need to develop reading skills that will create a pathway to future success.
Since the launch of the My Home Library program, in partnership with BBHLF, we have provided approximately 20,000 books to Houston-area students’ home libraries at no cost to the student or their school.
In 2021, the pilot year of the expansion program, we hosted home library distribution events in Houston and at six additional elementary schools across the country, reaching more than 2,000 students in the Eagle Ford in south Texas; Carlsbad, N.M.; Lindsay, Okla.; and New Town, N.D. In total, we distributed approximately 9,000 books and designed events to build the students’ excitement for reading through special activities, incentives and read-alouds from Marathon Oil volunteers.
Unconventional Thinking in Teaching Program
At Marathon Oil, unconventional thinking means constantly looking for new ways to solve problems and deliver results. Teacher retention was a U.S.-wide issue in 2021. In response, we applied our innovative approach to problem-solving and launched the Unconventional Thinking in Teaching Program, which awards grants to innovative teachers in our operating areas.
“As part of our strategic focus on education, we want to make sure we’re not only reaching students but also the teachers who are on the frontline of impacting and developing the next generation of unconventional thinkers. We want to show our support for those dedicated educators who have a passion for teaching and are committed to the students in the communities where we live and work.” - Lee M. Tillman, Chairman, President and CEO of Marathon Oil
Providing Innovative Support to Educators
Through our Unconventional Thinking in Teaching Program, we directly support teachers looking for new ways to solve problems and deliver results. We also strive to increase teacher retention by supporting the people who are responsible for developing our next generation of leaders.
We focus on creating a program easily accessible to teachers in our operating states. Educators can apply or be nominated by members of their community. In the program’s first year, we received more than 140 entries, which were then judged blindly by a panel of Marathon Oil employees. Fourteen teachers were selected as winners, each receiving a $2,500 grant to support the purchase of classroom resources or personal professional development.
Technology Donations through Comp-U-Dopt
In collaboration with Communities In Schools (CIS) of Houston and Comp-U-Dopt, we donated 100 laptops to students in our new partner school, Spring Shadows Elementary, located near our new Houston headquarters. The school worked with CIS counselors to identify students who were struggling academically and lacked technology access at home. In addition to the Spring Shadows laptop donation, we also donated over 750 computer monitors to Comp-U-Dopt for use in their school outreach programs.
According to Raymond Stubblefield, principal of Spring Shadows Elementary, “80% of our students don’t have access to a personal device. Your contribution of laptops allows students to access a multitude of learning opportunities. This would not be possible without your support.”
Keeping our Communities Healthy and Safe
We invest in creating healthy and safe communities by addressing stressors in the communities where we operate that pertain to road safety, human trafficking, healthcare and other issues. Several of our 2021 efforts are described in more detail below. Learn more about our response to combatting malaria in the Equatorial Guinea section.
Addressing Food Insecurity
In an effort to address the increasing demand at local food banks and school-based food programs, we have continued our long-standing support and partnerships with food bank locations throughout our operating areas in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and North Dakota.
Our partnerships focus on childhood hunger initiatives, providing thousands of meals to local students and their families.
We are committed to providing anti-trafficking education and resources to our employees, partners and communities. As part of this initiative, in 2021, more than 125 Permian and Oklahoma employees were certified by Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) as “TAT Trained.” TAT’s training program educates people on the realities of human trafficking and its intersection with the energy industry. In the upcoming year, we look forward to expanding this program to our other locations across the country.
We have a dedicated Human Trafficking section in our Code of Conduct, which is applicable to employees and suppliers. It states that a Code violation can result in disciplinary action, including dismissal, and in the event of a serious violation of law, notification to appropriate government authorities.
In 2021, we launched a new partnership with the Permian Road Safety Coalition (PRSC), which promotes public-private partnerships to address road safety in the Permian Basin. During the first 30 months of its existence, the PRSC has helped reduce roadway fatalities in the Permian Basin by 35%.
Fostering Resilient Communities
We work to create more resilient communities by investing in the protection and restoration of natural resources, including water, land and air, as well as increasing environmental education and awareness.
In 2021, we completed a successful multi-year investment in the Pecos Watershed Conservation Initiative (PWCI) through a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). PWCI has enhanced a unique desert landscape in eastern New Mexico and West Texas where cattle ranching and oil and gas production coexist with species found nowhere else. Since its inception, the initiative has improved the management of nearly 25,000 acres of grasslands, restored or enhanced 4,000 acres of grasslands and 20 acres of riparian habitat and improved more than 90 miles of fencing for pronghorn passage.
In 2022, we shifted our support to NFWF’s Northern Great Plains Program, which focuses on grasslands restoration in the Bakken.
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