Chief Sustainability Officer Message
The foundation of Equitrans Midstream’s commitment to safely, responsibly, and efficiently deliver energy resources on which our customers and communities rely is more important than ever. We acknowledge our responsibility to manage the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues that matter most – and our continued commitment to sustainability enables us to create long-term value for our stakeholders and to minimize impacts on the environment and society.It is our pledge that we will conduct business in a socially responsible and ethical manner, respecting our employees, our communities, our business partners, and all stakeholders.
At Equitrans, there is a clear tone that begins at the top – sustainability is critically important to the world we live in, but it is also essential to the future growth of our Company. This belief is evidenced in our Vision, Mission, and Core Values; by the inclusion of sustainability metrics in our Company’s performance objectives; and, most importantly, embraced by our employees, working every day to ensure that we incorporate ESG principles in all we do. Sustainability is also embedded at the highest levels of our organization, with our Board of Directors and executive leadership team being actively engaged in responsibly managing emerging ESG issues.
As Chief Sustainability Officer, I am proud of what we have accomplished and, even more so, of our commitment to continual progress and improvement along every step of our sustainability journey. First and foremost, we have established a strong sustainability culture, which is demonstrated in the day-to-day actions and attitudes of our employees – setting the foundation for Equitrans to be a more sustainable business enterprise as we transition to a lower-carbon future.
I want to share some highlights on our current progress, our plans to manage the challenges and opportunities ahead, and our vision for the future.
Climate change is a pressing issue that poses many challenges for our business and society. We are taking steps to assess our operational footprint, implement actions to mitigate emissions and improve resiliency. In January 2021, we issued our Climate Policy, articulating our vision for Equitrans and our belief in the continuing role of natural gas as a critical component of a lower-carbon future.
As part of our commitment to address climate change, Equitrans established a target to reduce our Scope 1 and Scope 2 methane emissions by 50% by 2030. Using our 2019 baseline emissions inventory, in 2021 we reduced total methane emissions by approximately 11%. Additionally, this methane reduction target was aligned with our annual employee performance incentive program. By tying employee compensation to the Company’s methane reduction goals, we are ensuring that our commitment to sustainability is firmly embedded in our culture. For 2022, we have set new employee incentives to achieve a further reduction in methane emissions as we continue our progress toward our 2030 reduction goal.
While climate resiliency is of the utmost importance, it is not our only environmental focus. Equitrans’ Biodiversity Statement details our efforts to balance environmental stewardship with our operational development.
In addition, we initiated a comprehensive, companywide evaluation of our sourcing, usage, and consumption of water. Our long-term objective is to account for the molecules of H2O acquired by the Company, to document our usage, and to account for the molecules of H2O discharged. This will allow us to consider optimization, mitigation, and reduction opportunities in a holistic manner and to better manage the potential risks associated with consumption of this critical resource.
At Equitrans, the safety of our employees, contractors, and communities is paramount in everything we do. And while safety will always be our top priority, our vision for sustainability also includes a focus on workforce collaboration to engage employees and foster innovative ideas, while our Core Values emphasize proactive engagement with external stakeholders and communities.
In 2021, we made a concerted effort to formalize and communicate our many social commitments, including the adoption of our new Supplier Code of Conduct, Human Rights Policy, and Stakeholder Engagement and Community Investment Policy. In addition, we enhanced our culture narrative to include a more robust description of our workforce policies, together with our Inclusion Program that reinforces our commitment to maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace – one that engages employees in a manner that supports our business objectives and sustainability goals, as well as their individual development. We increased the reporting frequency of our health & safety metrics to include our forward-thinking implementation of the proactive ISP/OSP program. Lastly, we published our aspirations to align our operations with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and issued our first progress summary to highlight actions aligned with the SDGs, including the historical percentage of our corporate local giving and Equitrans Midstream Foundation donations that were affiliated with our selected SDGs.
This year, we have targeted additional improvements in Stakeholder Engagement and Community Investment to purposely focus on sustainable opportunities. We will adopt an Environmental Justice Policy to formalize our commitment to the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people – regardless of race, color, national origin, or income – with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies that pertain to our operations.
We are deeply committed to conducting business in a fair, honest, and responsible manner, and we understand that business ethics and integrity are immutable. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics ensures the integrity of our leaders, employees, and contractors, and we continually seek new ways to bolster ethics and compliance including the recently adopted Supplier Code of Conduct. To improve transparency with our stakeholders, we also published our key sustainability-related reports on Equitrans’ external website.
In 2022, we will continue to focus on ESG-related governance, including enhancing our cybersecurity practices and oversight, increasing our internal audit program of sustainability metrics, and more firmly embedding ESG into all aspects of our Board structure and committees. We also plan to expand our reporting to include the CDP Water Security Questionnaire and to undertake a TCFD Readiness Assessment to further expand our ESG platform.
In Closing . . .
Sustainability is a continuous improvement process and, having established an important foundation for Equitrans’ sustainability culture, we are certainly proud of what we have accomplished thus far, while also acknowledging the sustainability journey ahead of us.
As a critical component of Equitrans’ social license to operate, sustainability is vital for the future of our Company. We are committed to advancing sustainable practices and positioning our Company to thrive in a lower-carbon future, ensuring our operations remain safe and responsible for all generations – today and tomorrow.
Todd L. Normane
VP, Chief Sustainability Officer & Deputy General Counsel