Chief Sustainability Officer Message
The foundation of Equitrans Midstream is built on our commitment to safely, responsibly, and efficiently deliver energy services on which our customers and communities rely. As one of North America’s premier midstream services companies, we understand that our business has an impact on the world around us. 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.
Sustainability is embedded in our Company’s vision, mission, and core values; and at the highest levels of our organization, our Board of Directors and executive leadership team are dedicated to responsibly managing our key ESG issues. At Equitrans Midstream, “sustainability” is a multi-faceted term that signifies our commitment to safe, responsible operations and to environmental stewardship in the communities where we operate. 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. To reinforce our sustainability commitment, in 2020 Equitrans appointed its first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO). As CSO, I am proud to share some of our successes and outline the vision for our future as we continue to develop our ESG platform and prioritize our sustainability efforts.
We recognize that climate change is a pressing issue that poses many challenges for our business and society. As such, we are working to better understand our impact and implement actions to mitigate emissions and improve resiliency. In late 2020, we worked with our Board of Directors to develop Equitrans’ initial Climate Policy – outlining our commitment to fighting climate change, as well as our aspirations for future action. Additionally, we are embedding sustainable practices within our culture, such as linking performance metrics with a planned course of action to achieve immediate methane reduction efforts in 2021.
We also recognize our operations may affect the environment and biodiversity values through the use of land and materials. During the past year, we evaluated our current practices and policies in these areas and identified opportunities for short-term improvement to promote sustainable practices.
We also expanded our disclosure of environmental performance in our 2020 Corporate Sustainability Report. Looking ahead, we published a new Notification of Violation (NOV) Tracker that will be periodically updated on the Sustainability pages of our website – increasing our commitment to transparency for environmental compliance.
At Equitrans, the safety of our employees, contractors, and communities is paramount to everything that we do. Through our safety initiatives and programs – we are not only measuring performance – we are inspiring behaviors and building an instinctive culture. For example, we developed a program that incentivizes employees to look for and report on potential safety issues. Our Observations with Serious Potential (OSP) program empowers all of our employees and contractors to create a culture where safety truly rises above all else. These initiatives are shifting mindsets and truly making safety a way of life at Equitrans.
More broadly, we believe that empowering and investing in our people is critical to Equitrans’ future success. We know that maintaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace helps engage employees and foster innovative ideas. For this reason, throughout 2020 we continued to enhance the importance of diversity and inclusion as a central element of Equitrans’ corporate culture. Going forward, we will build on our existing efforts to provide employees with opportunities to develop, grow, and achieve their goals.
In addition to investments in our employees, we have also enhanced our approach to external stakeholders and communities. Through the development of a formal Stakeholder Engagement and Community Investment Policy, we will continue to foster collaboration and trust with our communities and other key stakeholders. As part of our process, we are also formally implementing a more strategic community investment program, which is specifically intended to support our various sustainability initiatives. We believe that long-term success lies in our efforts to develop strong partnerships and ensure transparent communications with all stakeholders.
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. In 2020, we evaluated and refined our corporate governance practices and approved changes to our governing documents to further enhance transparency and trust with our investors and other key stakeholders.
To more deeply embed sustainability into our business, we established an ESG governance structure that organizes and implements the strategic management of ESG issues. Our ESG governance structure allows us to integrate sustainability across all areas our Company – from executive leaders to front-line employees – and contributes to cross-functional collaboration and innovation. To support companywide integration and to align with the importance we place, and will continue to place, on our social responsibility and sustainability initiatives, the global oversight and responsibility of these initiatives has been accepted by our full Board of Directors.
We are proud of our 2020 achievements, and we look forward to building and improving on our sustainability ambitions in the coming months and years. This is only the beginning. We remain committed to year-over-year sustainability reporting to demonstrate our progress over time. I invite you to read more about Equitrans Midstream’s ESG efforts in our 2020 Corporate Sustainability Report and on the Sustainability pages of our corporate website – checking back often for progress updates as we continue our journey.
Todd L. Normane
VP, Chief Sustainability Officer & Deputy General Counsel