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Case study: How MPC promotes workplace diversity

Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) is a leading, integrated, downstream energy company headquartered in Findlay, Ohio, operating a refining system with more than 3 million barrels per day of crude oil capacity across 16 refineries. MPC seeks to provide its employees with a collaborative, supportive and inclusive work environment  Tweet This!, where they can maximise their full potential for personal and business success.

This case study is based on the 2019 Sustainability Report by MPC published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ ESG/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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MPC’s company-wide Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) programme is managed by a dedicated D&I Office team and supported by leadership, and focuses on understanding the benefits of diverse perspectives, increasing diversity across the organisation and recognising that cultural inclusion is an ongoing process. In order to promote workplace diversity MPC took action to:

  • build awareness
  • increase diverse representation
  • launch Employee Networks

What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report MPC identified a range of material issues, such as business ethics and accountability, water use and conservation, cybersecurity, spill prevention, workforce safety, air quality and emissions. Among these, promoting workplace diversity stands out as a key material issue for MPC.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards              

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The reporting organization shall identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations and interests.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups MPC engages with: 

To identify and prioritise material topics MPC engaged with its stakeholders through the following channels:

Stakeholder Group                Method of engagement
Employees ·      Code of Business Conduct

·      Integrity Helpline

·      Employee satisfaction survey

·      Performance management

·      Safety meetings

·      CEO communications

·      Employee Network Groups

·      Wellness programmes

Business Partners ·      Procurement process

·      Stakeholder interviews

·      Contract negotiations

·      Core contractor programme

·      Project management



·      Global, regional and local industry events, forums and conferences

·      Proprietary company events and meetings

·      Partnerships and working groups to advance best practices



·      Websites, news media and social media

·      Community investment programmes

·      Community engagement

·      Employment

·      Landowner events

·      Focus groups

·      Community surveys

·      Tours

·      Community hotlines

·      Community Advisory Panels

·      Facilitation of community events

·      Sponsorship of charity fundraising events

Governments ·      Advocacy

·      Policy development

·      Industry and trade association representation

·      Regulatory compliance

·      Permit reviews

·      Regulatory audits

·      Leadership and collaboration on community investment projects

·      Legislator engagement days

·      Tours

·      Marathon Petroleum Corporation Employees Political Action Committee

Shareholders ·      Investor presentations and conferences

·      Analyst calls

·      Annual Shareholder Meeting

·      SEC filings

What actions were taken by MPC to promote workplace diversity?

In its 2019 Sustainability Report MPC reports that it took the following actions for promoting workplace diversity:

  • Building awareness
  • MPC regularly hosts D&I workshops and employee-led panels, and also develops training programmes, often with the support of its Employee Network Groups. In its communities, MPC engages in outreach and participates in community-led diversity celebrations and educational events. To ensure success, MPC also reinforces its value of inclusion through active engagement from its leaders, who provide individual mentoring to employees. Additionally, MPC provides peer support and development programmes, and reviews participation rates to avoid disparate representation. MPC’s Employee Networks are critical contributors to its employees feeling engaged and included, so MPC has incorporated communications from its networks into the onboarding process for new employees. MPC also periodically performs targeted D&I assessments to identify areas for improvement.
  • Increasing diverse representation
  • Increasing diverse representation throughout its workforce is MPC’s primary D&I objective. MPC vigilantly monitors its progress, provides quarterly updates and engages in ongoing dialogue with its leadership team. As part of its Diversity Improvement Plan launched in 2019, MPC enhanced its talent acquisition practices to reflect its commitment to diverse candidates in the hiring process. With the support of executive leaders, MPC extended its balanced slate approach to all positions at manager level and higher, which means that MPC uses its best efforts to include at least one qualified individual who is female or from a racial or ethnic minority group in the final candidate pool. These efforts are coupled with additional hiring process enhancements, such as providing training to avoid unconscious bias in hiring, ensuring diversity on all hiring and interviewing teams, requiring internal and external postings of positions, and leveraging MPC’s Employee Network Groups.
  • Launching Employee Networks
  • In June 2019, MPC launched its Employee Networks across the organisation. These networks focus on six populations: Asian, Black, Hispanic, Veterans, Women and LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer). All networks encourage ally membership. Over their first six months, MPC’s Employee Networks quickly expanded to 54 total network chapters across 79% of its locations, with over 1,900 employees participating. This broad support extends also to leaders throughout MPC, with each Employee Network represented by two active executive sponsors. The sponsors meet regularly to share updates, gain alignment, build deeper connections across networks and pursue collaboration ideas. MPC’s Employee Networks not only provide opportunities for its employees to make meaningful and supportive connections, but also serve a significant role in its D&I strategy.

Which GRI Standards and corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have been addressed?

The GRI Standard addressed in this case is: Disclosure 405-1 Diversity of governance bodies and employees

Disclosure 405-1 Diversity of governance bodies and employees corresponds to:


80% of the world’s 250 largest companies report in accordance with the GRI Standards

SustainCase was primarily created to demonstrate, through case studies, the importance of dealing with a company’s most important impacts in a structured way, with use of the GRI Standards. To show how today’s best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success – and how you can too.

Research by well-recognised institutions is clearly proving that responsible companies can look to the future with optimism.

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By registering for the next 2-day FBRH GRI Standards Certified, IEMA & CIM recognised course you will be taking the first step in gaining the many benefits of sustainability reporting.

Most importantly, you will gain the knowledge to use the GRI Standards, project manage your own first-class sustainability report and:

  • Identify your most important impacts on the Environment, Economy and Society
  • Begin taking solid, focused, all-round sustainability action ASAP



1) This case study is based on published information by MPC, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:


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