Equitrans Midstream Corporation (NYSE: ETRN) released its annual corporate sustainability report, which was produced in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Core option and also incorporated the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) Oil & Gas – Midstream Standards. The report content reflects materiality assessment results, which identify the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) topics most significant to the Company’s business and stakeholders. The report can be viewed online: Equitrans' 2021 Corporate Sustainability Report.
“Since our launch as a standalone company in late 2018, we have been working to position Equitrans to be resilient in any environment, including that related to climate change,” said Diana M. Charletta, Equitrans’ president and chief operating officer. “As we continue our journey toward building and improving our sustainability initiatives, our 2021 report expands our range of material ESG topics, outlining the progress we have made and our direction for the future.”
“In the transition to a lower-carbon economy, our new Climate Policy details targets for reducing our methane and total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the coming years. We must balance the immediate and increasing need for reliable, cost-effective energy in our country with sustainable climate and environmental goals necessary for future generations. As an essential business, we are proud to sustainably pursue energy solutions that serve our customers, create value for our shareholders, and support our many stakeholders.”
Highlights of Equitrans Midstream’s 2021 Corporate Sustainability Report:
Zero Is Possible – Today
- Equitrans’ Zero Is Possible – Today platform is the manifestation of our overriding belief that success is only realized when every contributor is safe and unharmed.
- By expanding the ZIP program to include our commitment to Environmental Stewardship, the concept of Zero Is Possible also applies to Equitrans’ environmental efforts, such as minimizing methane releases, preventing spills, and working in compliance with permits.
- As a result of efforts related to Equitrans’ Incidents with Serious Potential; Observations with Serious Potential; and Corrected Safety Observations initiatives, there was a 181% increase in total reported safety observations during 2020, as compared 2019, resulting in opportunities to reduce risk and enhance the safety of our work environments.
Pipeline Safety & Integrity
- During 2020, Equitrans proactively invested approximately $1.6 million in pipeline safety initiatives, as well as more than $400,000 in corrosion prevention activities. We also replaced 21,880 feet of bare steel with coated steel to complete our Bare Steel Replacement Program.
- We enhanced information regarding the ‘lifecycle phases of pipeline construction and included an in-depth analysis of our slip prevention plan, from identification through prioritization.
- We enhanced our disclosure regarding Equitrans’ Crisis Management Plan, which provides an enterprise-wide management process and structure to enable appropriate levels of communications and response to major events or potential crisis situations.
Biodiversity and Land Stewardship
- We refined our management approach and expanded reporting on the topics of biodiversity, ecosystems, and environmental resources. Equitrans’ primary operations include roughly 110,000 acres that are near or within environmentally sensitive or protected areas.
- For 2020, Equitrans reported total air emissions of 2,851.5 metric tons, a 12.5% reduction versus the previous year, primarily due to lower engine nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide stack test measurements.
- Equitrans incorporates Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) at all federally regulated sites to reduce volatile organic compound and hazardous air pollutant emissions. At sites that do not have a federal mandate, we are voluntarily performing LDAR surveys annually.
- The report includes Scope 1, 2, and 3 GHG emissions for 2020, with a decrease in total Scope 1 methane emissions, as compared to 2019, due to fewer pipeline and compressor blowdown events, which primarily emit methane.
- For 2020, Equitrans’ overall methane intensity rate decreased 17% year-over year.
- As outlined in our Climate Policy, Equitrans understands that our natural gas operations are necessary to meet our nation’s growing demand for reliable energy, and we are committed to taking the necessary steps to reduce our carbon footprint.
- Equitrans is a member of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America’s Methane Commitment; the American Petroleum Institute’s Environmental Partnership; and the ONE Future Coalition, a group of natural gas companies committed to limiting methane emissions to 1% across the value chain by 2025.
- Our Stakeholder Engagement and Community Investment Policy captures our efforts to build collaboration and trust with our communities and other key stakeholders.
- Through our corporate giving and sponsorship program, we donated a total of $265,500 to support local organizations, non-profit groups, first responders, and municipalities seeking assistance for community projects during 2020.
- In 2020, the Equitrans Midstream Foundation made $460,000 in donations, with a special focus on COVID-19 relief grants and initiatives. Through its employee match program, which matches contributions dollar-for-dollar from $100 to $50,000, the Foundation made an additional $385,000 in employee matching donations.
- Through our E-Train On-Track committee, Equitrans supports its employees engaging in community service initiatives and company-sponsored social/recreational activities that align with our Core Values of Safety, Integrity, Collaboration, Transparency, and Excellence. During 2020, in line with CDC pandemic protocols, E-Train On-Track coordinated eight events to promote employee volunteerism and community service.
- Equitrans offers a “Volunteer Paid-Time Off” program, allowing employees to use two business days of paid volunteer time annually to engage with their community. Our employees logged a total of 458 volunteer hours during 2020.
Diversity and Inclusion
- In July 2020, Equitrans formally launched a new Inclusion Program with the commitment of cultivating an inclusive, respectful work environment that values differing perspectives and encourages the power of teamwork and accountability. The Program is being used to advance our recruitment processes, leadership education, employee engagement, facility accessibility, and inclusion-related policies.
- In early 2021, Tom Karam, Equitrans’ chairman and chief executive officer, signed the Action for Diversity and Inclusion Coalition’s CEO Pledge, reiterating our dedication to inclusiveness.
- In 2020, Equitrans contributed $1.15 billion in value-added contributions to the United States Gross Domestic Product; and our business generated $169 million in state and local tax revenues, and $192 million in federal tax revenue.
- In addition to our 777 regular, full-time employees at year-end 2020, our business activities supported nearly 13,500 ancillary jobs during the year.
Board Composition and Diversity
- In 2020, ETRN expanded its Board of Directors to nine directors from seven in 2019, including augmenting its Board of Directors with two additional female directors, bringing the total number of female directors to four, all of whom are independent. Overall, eight of ETRN’s board members are independent, relative to five in 2019.
- All of Equitrans’ directors are experienced in relevant sectors, including energy, regulatory, utility and/or government, as well as have experience in relevant disciplines including finance, accounting and/or audit and control.
- In 2020, Equitrans appointed its first Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer to oversee its sustainability program. In 2021, we established an ESG Committee and six ESG Working Groups to implement and manage the day-to-day efforts and actions related to our most material ESG and sustainability topics.
- Equitrans’ Board of Directors and, as applicable, its committees, review key ESG policies and commitments, and regularly receive updates regarding our sustainability program, corporate sustainability report, and pertinent ESG topics.
Security and Cybersecurity
- Equitrans’ security program is intended to reduce the risk of both major and minor incidents, and we expect to standardize companywide security measures in accordance with the U.S. Transportation Safety Administration regulations during 2021.
- Equitrans considers cybersecurity a Tier 1 Enterprise Risk, and we routinely participate in third-party reviews to sustain and enhance the resiliency of our systems, maintaining a continuous improvement approach to cyber protection. Our Board of Directors and its relevant committees receive routine updates on cyber risk and best management practices.
- Equitrans believes upholding human rights is critical for creating sustainable value for our Company and the communities in which we operate. We are committed to safeguarding dignity and respect for all people throughout our value chain, and our Human Rights Policy, released in early 2021, details our commitment.
About Equitrans Midstream Corporation
Equitrans Midstream Corporation (ETRN) has a premier asset footprint in the Appalachian Basin and, as the parent company of EQM Midstream Partners, is one of the largest natural gas gatherers in the United States. Through its strategically located assets in the Marcellus and Utica regions, ETRN has an operational focus on gas transmission and storage systems, gas gathering systems, and water services that support natural gas development and production across the Basin. With a rich 135-year history in the energy industry, ETRN was launched as a standalone company in 2018 with the vision to be the premier midstream services provider in North America. ETRN is helping to meet America’s growing need for clean-burning energy, while also providing a rewarding workplace and enriching the communities where its employees live and work.
Source: Equitrans Midstream Corporation
Equitrans publishes 2021 Corporate Sustainability Report, expanding material ESG content disclosures and outlining the company’s progress & direction for a sustainable future.