When it comes to supporting the local community, it’s not a sprint, but a Marathon
Marathon Petroleum Corporation—the nation’s largest crude oil refining company—refines nearly 2.9 million barrels of crude oil per calendar day across its 13-refinery system. The Garyville Refinery is one of the largest in the United States, with a workforce of more than 900 employees. As such, it is a major contributor to the local and state economy via annual wages, local contracts, and taxes.
“As an energy industry leader, our career opportunities fuel personal and professional growth,” says Iman Montgomery, Corporate Social Responsibility Representative for MPC. “This past January, the Garyville Refinery hired its latest operator class—25 new MPC employees, which includes residents of St. John the Baptist Parish.”
MPC also has a comprehensive community investment program, centered on being a good neighbor. Last November, the company kicked off its Celebrating Resiliency & A Brighter Tomorrow community initiative. During the commencement event, MPC announced $1 million in Hurricane Ida disaster relief and almost $1 million in workforce development, sustainability and thriving community grants that will come to fruition this year. Furthermore, MPC encourages employees to support local organizations and community efforts by matching their donations to eligible organizations at 100 percent and by funding volunteer incentive awards.
Montgomery, a native and lifelong resident of St. John the Baptist Parish, says that MPC embraces a culture of diversity and inclusion, which allows a vast array of voices to be heard and experiences shared. “We welcome new ideas, invest in our people and work to foster a collaborative, inclusive team environment,” he says. “We’re also the first U.S. independent refiner to link executive and employee compensation to diversity, equity and inclusion metrics.”
In addition to building an inclusive company culture, MPC prioritizes safety and protecting the environment for its employees and its neighbors. “We’re challenging ourselves to lead in sustainable energy,” Montgomery says. “This objective drives us to lower our carbon intensity and conserve natural resources across our operations. We embed sustainability in our decision-making, and in how we engage our people and our many stakeholders.”
For example, MPC’s refineries have more Energy Star certifications (a program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy that promotes energy efficiency) than all other refineries in the nation combined. The Garyville Refinery has earned the Energy Star certification every year since it has been available to refiners.
“We were the first independent refiner to issue a climate-related perspectives report in line with recommendations from the international Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures,” Montgomery adds. “We’re also the first independent refiner to establish a greenhouse gas emissions intensity reduction goal and link it to executive and employee pay.”
In addition to improving the energy efficiencies of its refineries, MPC also minimizes its environmental impact through advanced practices and investments to protect biodiversity and to reduce waste and freshwater withdrawal. On the charitable contributions side, the Garyville Refinery partnered with the Pontchartrain Conservancy last year to plant 500 trees in St. John the Baptist Parish.
“Once planted, these trees will help restore the coastline along Lake Pontchartrain,” Montgomery says. “Also, as part of the grant, the Pontchartrain Conservancy will engage a local school to help in STEM education about coastal restoration.”
MPC also recently sponsored the Runway Wobble event at the Port of South Louisiana Executive Regional Airport. The event benefitted the nonprofit, Pilots for Patients, which provides free air transportation to patients needing diagnosis and treatments at medical facilities not available to them locally.
“Garyville Refinery and the Port of South Louisiana have a symbiotic relationship,” says Michael Henschen, vice president of refining at MPC. “Our businesses mutually benefit and support one another. Marathon values the port as a key, local business partner—one that allows us to supply refined products, crucial to everyday life, to Louisiana and broader markets.”