Identifying and Engaging With Stakeholders
At Equitrans, we know stakeholder engagement is critical to our success. We encourage our stakeholders to provide open and candid feedback, and our open communication with stakeholders builds valuable, lasting relationships. Our stakeholders rely on our ability to listen. In turn, the feedback from our stakeholders allows Equitrans to mitigate risks and proactively enhance and build transparency.
In 2022, we adopted and began implementing a formal Environmental Justice Policy, affirming our efforts to provide reliable energy infrastructure safely, efficiently, and responsibly, while treating all people with fairness and inclusivity, regardless of their race, color, national origin, or income. Together with our Stakeholder Engagement and Community Investment Policy, Equitrans’ Environmental Justice Policy is designed to provide greater accessibility to stakeholders, build stronger working relationships, and create positive outreach opportunities throughout our operating communities. In early 2023, formal environmental justice training was rolled out across the Company. This training session is mandatory for all Equitrans employees and is available for the Company's contractor employees and third-party vendors.
From an operational perspective, and to ensure we adhere to all regulations and requirements, our primary engagements are with landowners, local governments, and local communities. Interacting with stakeholder groups throughout all project phases — including initial route planning, easement negotiations, the permitting process, construction, restoration, and after an asset is operational — is fundamental to Equitrans’ success and is a key element of our stakeholder engagement practices. Our mechanism for engagement is often dependent upon the urgency or type of notification needed and our engagement activities may take place in person, via phone or video calls, via email, and through standard letters or postcards. In 2022, Equitrans initiated a toll-free Community Hotline (888-574-6944) specifically designed for the timely exchange of questions, concerns, and suggestions from members of our local communities, as well as our many other stakeholders.
Equitrans utilizes our Investor Relations (IR) and executive management teams to interact with our existing and prospective security holders. We identify our shareholders through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Form 13F holdings and third-party shareholder services. Our IR team actively communicates with both institutional and individual investors via direct phone calls and video conference calls. Our teams periodically attend and participate in energy-focused investor conferences and in non-deal investor roadshows. We also interact with our shareholders through face-to-face meetings, phone/video discussions, and quarterly earnings conference calls. In doing so, we engage with present and future shareholders along with sell-side analysts who publish research on our Company. In addition, Equitrans teams engage with shareholders and research analysts to garner feedback and input, which is utilized to inform the Company on market and industry dynamics.
Equitrans’ Environmental Justice Policy affirms our efforts to provide reliable energy infrastructure safely, efficiently, and responsibly — while treating all people with fairness and inclusivity, regardless of their race, color, national origin, or income.
In addition, Equitrans interacts with our existing and prospective security holders through our Investor Relations (IR) and executive management teams, actively communicating with both institutional and individual investors via phone and video discussions or face-to-face meetings. We identify our shareholders through the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Form 13F filings and third-party shareholder services. The Company conducts quarterly earnings conference calls and, periodically, our teams may attend and participate in energy-focused investor conferences and non-deal investor roadshows. We engage with present and future shareholders, along with sell-side analysts and research analysts to garner feedback and input, which is utilized to inform the Company on market and industry dynamics.
Maintaining a two-way dialogue through continuous communication allows our stakeholders to stay informed, build trust in Equitrans, and increase our awareness of stakeholders’ needs and concerns. Our formal Stakeholder Engagement and Community Investment Policy furthers our commitment to proactive communication with stakeholders and to community support through financial and non-financial contributions. Programs covered under this Policy incorporate the following key stakeholder priorities:
- Environmental stewardship
- Good neighbor community programs
- Energy efficiency and access to low-carbon and renewable energy
- Environmental justice
- GHG offsets and climate-change resiliency
Our Basis for Identifying Stakeholders
As our operations evolve, we continuously work to evaluate, identify, and update potential stakeholders involved with our projects and operations. Equitrans strives to engage with any stakeholder who may potentially be impacted by our operations or may have questions regarding our business. We focus on and identify stakeholders who may face direct impacts from our operations, such as landowners, municipalities, regulatory authorities, contractors, and suppliers, that oversee our business and operational activities.
- Community Members and Organizations
- Government Officials and Agencies
- Tribal and Indigenous Communities
- First Responders
- Financial Research Analysts
- Industry Associations
- African American Chamber of Commerce, Western Pennsylvania
- American Petroleum Institute (API)
- Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
- Energy Infrastructure Council
- GPA Midstream, Appalachian Basin Chapter
- Greene County Chamber of Commerce
- Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (INGAA)
- INGAA Foundation
- Marcellus Shale Coalition
- Ohio Oil and Gas Association
- Our Nation’s Energy Future (ONE Future)
- Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry
- Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association
- Public Affairs Council
- Southern Gas Association
- St. Clairsville Area Chamber of Commerce
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Utilities Telecommunications and Energy Coalition of West Virginia
- Virginia Oil & Gas Association
- Washington County Chamber of Commerce
- West Virginia Manufacturers Association
- Women’s Energy Network
- API Environmental Partnership: A voluntary industry trade group that uses a systematic approach to reduce methane and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions. The group champions the implementation of six Environmental Performance Programs that identify efficient and effective technologies to further reduce methane and VOC emissions from pneumatic controllers, liquids unloading, Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programs, compressors, pipeline blowdowns, and flares. Environmental Partnership participants take action, learn, and collaborate to continuously improve environmental performance.
- INGAA Greenhouse Gas Emissions Commitments: A natural gas transmission and storage facility initiative focused on minimizing GHG emissions from pipelines, compressor stations, pneumatic controllers, and storage wells while maintaining pipeline integrity and safe operations. INGAA members are committed to reducing GHG emissions in a prudent and environmentally responsible manner, avoiding adverse customer and community impacts, and setting and meeting their respective emission reduction goals by continuously improving practices.
- ONE Future Coalition: A coalition of natural gas companies that voluntarily collaborate to reduce methane emissions across the natural gas supply chain. ONE Future is focused on demonstrating an innovative performance- and science-based approach to methane emissions management. Coalition members are connected through one collaborative goal: to achieve an average rate of methane emissions across the entire natural gas value chain that is one percent or less of total (gross) natural gas production and delivery.
- Appalachian Methane Initiative (AMI): A coalition of natural gas operators committed to enhancing methane monitoring and facilitating additional methane emissions reduction in the Appalachia Basin. AMI was formed to promote greater efficiency in measuring emissions, as well as generating and monitoring data that will allow members to advance their methane mitigation efforts.
We believe our commitment to sustainable operations facilitates improvements and fosters honest and proactive communication with our stakeholders. Further information on our stakeholder activities can be found in our Community Engagement section, and a discussion on our key stakeholder topics is available in the Materiality Assessment section of this report.