Our Process and Material Topics
Our Sustainability Framework is designed to help us identify and prioritize the issues deemed as most critical to our business and our stakeholders. Materiality is at the heart of this framework — it helps us focus on the areas where we can most significantly improve performance and also enhance engagement with our stakeholders.
In 2022, Equitrans renewed our 2019 materiality assessment to ensure we are continuing to prioritize the most significant ESG topics within our business and industry. In doing so, we significantly expanded our sustainability engagement throughout our social value chain. We surveyed nearly 400 employees, as well as our Board of Directors, and engaged more than 300 external stakeholders, including investors, financial institutions, customers, landowners, elected officials, suppliers, and ESG raters & rankers. In addition to conducting extensive stakeholder surveys, we also evaluated supplemental sources from relevant industry associations, agencies, and ESG frameworks, and leveraged both the GRI and SASB standards as inputs to the assessment.
As with our initial 2019 assessment, in 2022 we once again used Datamaran, a third-party ESG risk management software platform, to collect and evaluate information from our stakeholders and key supplemental resources. This evaluation included ranking the importance of each topic, based on stakeholder weightings, to determine the topic’s overall relative importance to Equitrans and our stakeholders. The analysis created a prioritized list of material ESG topics, which we then validated with Equitrans’ leadership, including our Board of Directors. The assessment results confirmed that Equitrans is continuing to focus on the most appropriate ESG issues.
100% of Equitrans’ Board Members responded to the 2021 materiality assessment survey.
We first identified potential ESG topics by reviewing relevant standards (e.g., GRI and SASB) and peer reporting. Once we identified an initial list, we mapped the ESG topics and their associated impacts to our Company’s value chain.
To refine and prioritize our initial ESG topic list, we undertook extensive surveys and evaluated numerous supplemental sources. We used a third-party ESG risk management software platform to collect and evaluate information, the analysis of which created a prioritized list of Equitrans’ material ESG topics.
After analyzing stakeholder input during the prioritization phase, we validated our list of material ESG topics with Equitrans’ leadership, including our Board of Directors.
At the conclusion of our assessment, we recognized 14 top-tier material ESG topics. As compared to our last formal assessment, this includes the addition of four new topics to our list of top-tier disclosures — Political Engagement, Water Management, Security and Cybersecurity, and Waste Management. For these new topics, we are currently evaluating our management approach and working diligently to enhance our data collection for more detailed reporting.
In 2021, GRI updated and released its “Consolidated Set of the GRI Standards 2021” — which will be required for companies’ reporting beginning in 2023. As an early adopter, Equitrans’ 2022 CSR utilizes this most recent set of GRI Universal and Topic Standards, as well as GRI’s Oil and Gas Sector Standard 2021, and continues to follow SASB Oil & Gas Midstream reporting standards. Based on our 2022 Materiality Assessment, Equitrans’ primary material topics are listed below, in alphabetical order, and form the basis for our report:
- Air Emissions
- Biodiversity and Land Stewardship
- Business Ethics and Integrity
- Community Engagement
- Corporate Governance
- GHG Emissions and Climate Change
- Occupational Health and Safety
- Pipeline Safety and Integrity
- Political Engagement
- Public Safety and Emergency Response
- Security and Cybersecurity
- Waste Management
- Water Management
- Workforce Culture
Expanding Our Sustainability Reporting
In addition to our top-tier ESG disclosures, as identified through the formal materiality assessment, Equitrans also reports several ESG-related topics that we manage under our sustainability framework, primarily due to their importance to the Company. For additional transparency, and based on our priorities evaluation, we also include the following five ESG topics, in alphabetical order, as primary disclosures in our report:
- Diversity and Inclusion
- Economic Impact
- Supply Chain Management and Human Rights
- Sustainability Governance