As the highest governance body at Equitrans, our Board of Directors is responsible for overseeing Equitrans’ business and affairs. This oversight includes our management team’s execution of Equitrans’ business strategy to create long-term, sustainable value, in alignment with our Core Values and stakeholder interests. We believe the strength of our Board is its diversity of backgrounds, skills, and experience.
Our Approach to Corporate Governance
Governance structure and composition
Nomination and selection of the highest governance body
Chair of the highest governance body
Role of the highest governance body in overseeing the management of impacts
Delegation of responsibility for managing impacts
Role of the highest governance body in sustainability reporting
Conflicts of interest
Communication of critical concerns
Collective knowledge of the highest governance body
Evaluation of the performance of the highest governance body
Process to determine remuneration
Annual total compensation ratio
Embedding policy commitments
Processes to remediate negative impacts
Mechanisms for seeking advice and raising concerns
Management of material topics
Diversity of governance bodies and employees
Our shareholders elect directors annually. During 2022, there were nine members of the Equitrans Board of Directors, eight of which were independent. Following the Annual Meeting of Shareholders in April 2022, one director retired and Diana M. Charletta, Equitrans' President and Chief Operating Officer, was appointed to the Board, making seven of the nine directors independent. Following the Annual Meeting of Shareholders in April 2023, there are eight members of the Board, six of whom are independent. Equitrans’ four standing committees support the Board in its oversight responsibilities and assist on certain delegated matters. The Board and its committees meet at least quarterly throughout the year, including to receive reports from management.
Since July 2019, the Board has concluded that combining the functions of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the most effective leadership structure for Equitrans. Mr. Thomas F. Karam, our Chief Executive Officer, served as the Chairman of the Board in 2022. Based on the recommendation of the Corporate Governance Committee, the Board reappointed Mr. Karam as the Chairman of the Board in April 2023 for a term expiring at the Company’s 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The Board believes this structure provides Equitrans and the Board with strong leadership while promoting appropriate independent oversight of management. The Board has a strong Lead Independent Director in Mr. Robert F. Vagt and a board structure that is, as of April 25, 2023, 75% independent. In addition, a combined Chairman and CEO structure allows Equitrans to communicate its business, strategy, and value to shareholders, investors, employees, other stakeholders, regulators, and the public with a single voice.
Under Equitrans’ Corporate Governance Guidelines, when the Board does not have an independent Chairman, the Board must designate an independent director as the Lead Independent Director. The Lead Independent Director convenes, presides over, and sets agendas for regularly scheduled and special executive sessions of independent/non-management directors; calls a meeting of the independent/non-management directors if requested by any other director; presides over any meeting at which the Chairman is not present; consults with the Chairman to set the annual calendar of topics to be covered at Board meetings and reviews meeting agendas; facilitates an assessment process with respect to the Board as a whole, as well as for individual directors; and serves as the designated director to speak with shareholders (when requested) and to receive communications from interested parties.
Conflicts of Interest and Related Person Transactions
Equitrans strives to operate with transparency and integrity at all levels of our business, and our Board practices reflect this. Our Board has adopted various policies that are intended to instill our Core Values throughout Equitrans and align our corporate conduct with stakeholder interests.
Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics details procedures and actions to avoid potential conflicts of interest. Equitrans’ Conflicts of Interest Policy and other relevant internal policies describe and govern conflicts of interest procedures, as well as, among other things, employment of relatives, off-duty conduct, workplace relationships, and gifts and entertainment. We disclose conflicts of interest to stakeholders as required by law. Additional information regarding employee training and compliance related to various Company policies can be found in the Business Ethics and Integrity section of this report.
Equitrans evaluates all potential related person transactions. Related person transactions (which may include transactions with directors or executive officers of Equitrans) are subject to management review and, when required, must be approved by our Board’s Corporate Governance Committee in accordance with our internal Related Person Transaction Approval Policy.
Board Composition and Diversity
The strength of Equitrans’ Board is its diversity of backgrounds, skills, and experience. Equitrans’ Corporate Governance Committee strives to ensure that the Board consists of individuals from diverse educational and professional experiences and backgrounds who, collectively, are positioned to provide meaningful counsel to, and effective oversight of, management. All of our directors are experienced in relevant sectors such as energy, regulatory, utility, and/or government, with seven of our directors having experience in the fields of finance, accounting and/or audit, and internal control. These seven directors also have experience serving on boards of other publicly traded companies. In addition, certain of our directors have experience in a number of Equitrans’ key focus areas, including climate-related experience, based on managerial experience or derived through their board service. See our 2023 Proxy Statement for information regarding such experience. Furthermore, in 2022, 11% of our directors identified as African American or Black. Our Board continues to reflect ethnic diversity in 2023.
As of April 25, 2023, our Board was composed of eight directors, the demographics of which are outlined below.
Board Composition and Diversity
Current or Former Presidents/CEOs
Average Tenure (years)
Board Gender Diversity (Male v. Female Directors)
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Nomination and Selection Process
Each year, the Corporate Governance Committee reviews the qualifications and backgrounds of the directors, as well as the overall composition of the Board. Leading up to the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the committee recommends a slate of director nominees for Board approval. The Corporate Governance Committee will consider submissions from shareholders in making its recommendations for director nominees, subject to compliance with Equitrans’ nominating requirements. The Board is responsible for approving the nominees, and the election takes place at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders.
When assessing new director candidates for nomination, regardless of who recommends the candidate for consideration, the Corporate Governance Committee will consider the background, diversity, personal characteristics, and business experience of the candidates against the following ideal attributes:
Board and Committee Peformance Assessments
In accordance with our Corporate Governance Guidelines, Equitrans’ Board and standing committees conduct annual self-assessments to evaluate their performance in meeting their oversight obligations. During the Board’s self-assessment, the Board solicits comments and feedback from all of Equitrans’ directors and is provided with feedback from senior management.
The Corporate Governance Committee leads the Board’s annual performance assessment per Equitrans’ Corporate Governance Guidelines. All standing committees also conduct their own annual self-assessments, during which each director has the opportunity to provide feedback. Upon the completion of the annual assessments, the Board evaluates and discusses the results, including opportunities to continue to enhance Board and committee performance.
Equitrans makes continued education and development available for our Board members to sharpen their existing knowledge and promote Board effectiveness. Equitrans’ management, with assistance from third-party experts as needed, offers trainings related to pertinent economic, environmental, technical, social, and/or governance topics. In accordance with its charter, the Corporate Governance Committee may collaborate with management and periodically recommend educational and training programs for the Board. Additionally, Equitrans encourages Board members to participate in external educational programs to improve topical knowledge of business affairs. Equitrans covers the cost of those programs and has obtained a membership to the National Association of Corporate Directors to expand the elective educational opportunities available to Board members.
Equitrans’ standing committees (Audit, Corporate Governance, Human Capital and Compensation, and Health, Safety, Sustainability and Environmental (HSSE) are composed of independent directors and routinely report to the Board. Each committee has a different set of responsibilities, and the committees are regularly asked to provide recommendations to the Board in their specific area of expertise. The Board annually reviews and codifies the committees’ respective responsibilities in written charters which are publicly available on our website. For more information on our Board and its committees, please view our 2023 Proxy Statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on February 23, 2023, as well as the publicly available Board committee charters and Equitrans’ Corporate Governance Guidelines.
In 2022, the Board made certain adjustments to its committees in connection with areas of increasing Board focus. In April 2022, the Board renamed the Health, Safety, Security and Environmental Committee, the Health, Safety, Sustainability and Environmental Committee to highlight the Company’s emphasis on, and the importance of, sustainability, as well as the committee’s role in providing oversight of a large number of sustainability matters. Additionally, in April 2022, the Board elected to exercise direct oversight, rather than acting through the HSSE and Audit committees, of information technology and cybersecurity matters given the increasing importance of these topics. Similarly, in July 2022, the Board renamed the Management Development and Compensation Committee, the Human Capital and Compensation Committee, and amended the committee’s charter to highlight the scope of its responsibilities beyond compensation. The committee’s responsibilities encompass key factors that influence our human capital programs and workforce, including workplace health and wellness, talent attraction and retention, pay equity, diversity and inclusion, corporate culture, and employee engagement initiatives.
The Audit Committee’s purpose is to assist the Board by overseeing:
The Company’s accounting and financial reporting processes and related disclosure matters
The audits of the Company’s financial statements
The integrity of the Company’s financial statements
The qualifications, independence, and performance of the Company’s registered public accountants
The qualifications and performance of the Company’s internal audit function
Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, including the Company’s Code of Business Conduct and Ethics
Corporate Governance Committee
The Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for:
Establishing and recommending to the Board the requisite skills and characteristics to be found in individuals qualified to serve as directors
Identifying individuals qualified to become Board members consistent with criteria approved by the Board
Recommending to the Board the director nominees for each annual meeting of shareholders
Reviewing and recommending to the Board any updates to the Company’s Corporate Governance Guidelines
Recommending Committee membership, including a Chair, for each Committee
Recommending an appropriate compensation structure for the directors, including administration of stock-based plans for the directors
Reviewing plans for management succession for all executive officers other than the CEO (which is overseen by the full Board)
Recommending director independence determinations to the Board
Providing oversight for the corporate governance of the Company, including in connection with the corporate governance aspects of the Company’s policies, programs, and strategies related to corporate social responsibility and sustainability and governance-related factors identified as part of the Company’s evaluation of ESG concerns
Reviewing related person transactions under the Company’s related person transaction approval policy
Health, Safety, Sustainability and Environmental Committee
The HSSE Committee:
Provides oversight with respect to the Company’s approach to health, safety (including physical security), sustainability, and environmental policies, programs, and initiatives
Reviews the overall adequacy of, and provides oversight with respect to, HSSE policies, programs, procedures, and initiatives, including, without limitation, the Company’s emergency response preparedness
Periodically reviews reports from management with respect to significant risk exposures related to HSSE (including, without limitation, risks relating to energy transition, emissions, and climate change, as well as biodiversity matters) and provides feedback to management regarding its approach to monitoring, controlling, and reporting on such matters and apprises the Board of its engagement with management with respect to HSSE significant risk exposures
Reviews and discusses with management the status of HSSE issues, including compliance with applicable laws and regulations, results of internal compliance reviews, and remediation projects
Ensures that appropriate HSSE goals are in place and evaluates the Company’s progress toward those goals
Human Capital and Compensation Committee
The Human Capital and Compensation Committee:
Oversees the human capital management matters relevant to Equitrans’ workforce, including workplace health and welfare, talent attraction and retention, pay equity, diversity and inclusion, corporate culture, and employee engagement initiatives, and other similar programs
Assists the Board in the discharge of its fiduciary responsibilities relating to agreements with, and the fair and competitive compensation of, the CEO and other executive officers
Makes awards (or, as applicable, makes recommendations to the Board to make awards) under the Company’s incentive compensation and equity-based plans
Provides oversight of the Company’s benefit plans in accordance with the committee’s charter and reviews and approves material amendments to and the adoption of new benefit plans
Prepares a report for inclusion in the Company’s proxy statement for the annual meeting of shareholders
Equitrans faces a variety of risks, including operational, financial, strategic, and reputational risks. The Board, acting as a whole and through its committees, oversees Equitrans’ processes for assessing and managing these risks, while management is responsible for the day-to-day management of these risks. Board oversight is primarily conducted through the Audit Committee's oversight of Equitrans’ process for assessing major risk exposures and the policies implemented by management to monitor and control such exposures. Management policies include the utilization of the Company’s Enterprise Risk Committee (ERC), which is a cross-functional team of senior management responsible for the identification and evaluation of risks. The Board also annually reviews Equitrans’ enterprise risks identified by the management team. In fulfilling its risk oversight role, the Board must consider whether the risk management processes designed and implemented by our management team are adequate and functioning as designed to identify our risk exposures and to elevate major and emerging risks to the Board for discussion.
While the full Board has overall responsibility for risk oversight, our Board committees assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities in certain areas of risk. For example:
Equitrans’ Audit Committee is responsible for, among other things, discussing Equitrans’ process for assessing major risk exposures. This encompasses considering guidelines and policies that management implemented to monitor and control such exposures, including Equitrans’ financial risk exposures, such as financial statement risk, and other risk exposures that may be delegated by the Board to the Audit Committee for oversight, and Equitrans’ risk management guidelines and policies;
Equitrans’ Human Capital and Compensation Committee oversees our annual risk assessment of our compensation policies and practices; and
Equitrans’ HSSE Committee, among other things, periodically reviews reports from management regarding the Company’s HSSE risks (including, without limitation, risks relating to safety, energy transition, emissions, and climate change, as well as biodiversity matters) and other risks as may be delegated to the Committee by the Board. The HSSE Committee also maintains awareness of and provides updates to the Board on current trends, developments, research, and other emerging issues relating to HSSE which affect, or which could affect, Equitrans, including trends in legislation, proposed regulations, and industry best practices.
The role of each of the Board’s standing committees with respect to risk oversight is further described beginning on page 15 in our 2023 Proxy Statement.
Equitrans’ significant risks are described in the Risk Factors section of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, as supplemented and updated by those risk factors included in our subsequently filed Form 10-Qs.
Director and Executive Compensation
Equitrans compensates non-employee directors with cash and equity-based compensation. Our Corporate Governance Committee reviews, and the Board approves, non-employee director compensation on an annual basis. We disclose all 2022 non-employee director compensation and relevant processes starting on page 25 of our 2023 Proxy Statement.
The Human Capital and Compensation Committee recommends, and the Board approves, the target total direct compensation for our executive officers by establishing base salaries and setting short-term (bonus) and long-term incentive targets. When appropriate, the Human Capital and Compensation Committee also provides certain limited perquisites and other benefits to executive officers and other key employees. For 2022, the ratio of the total compensation of Mr. Karam, the Company’s CEO, to the median of the annual total compensation of all employees of the Company (other than the CEO) was 65 to 1, calculated in accordance with the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In making this pay ratio disclosure, other companies may use assumptions, estimates, and methodologies different than the Company. As a result, such ratio information may not be comparable to the information provided by other companies.
The Human Capital and Compensation Committee, with the Board’s approval, reviews the performance metrics for the Company’s short-term and long-term incentive programs. The Human Capital and Compensation Committee also sets program targets and maximum metrics and approves related program payouts under the Company’s short-term and long-term incentive programs for executive officers (with the Board’s approval). The committee reviews the appropriateness of these programs for all other Company personnel as well. After the completion of the performance period, the Human Capital and Compensation Committee reviews actual performance in comparison to established metrics to determine the amount of short-term and long-term incentive awards earned by each executive officer (with the Board’s approval) and for other Company personnel in total.
The majority of our executive officer compensation is performance-based (i.e., at-risk) and we issue the compensation in the form of both annual and long-term incentives. Individuals in a position to influence the growth of shareholder wealth have larger portions of their total compensation delivered in the form of equity-based long-term incentives. The Human Capital and Compensation Committee approves annual and long-term incentive programs on a yearly basis, with recommendations from management and advice from an independent compensation consultant.
Equitrans has taken deliberate steps to link compensation to, among other things, meaningful safety and sustainability performance goals. We want to prioritize and build upon Equitrans’ continued emphasis on safe operations above all else, and the Company’s continued efforts to institutionalize its commitment to and pursuit of achievement of ESG and sustainability initiatives. Recognizing the continued focus of shareholders’ and other stakeholders’ on ESG and sustainability matters, particularly with respect to climate change, the Human Capital and Compensation Committee increased focus on sustainability metrics in the 2022 short-term incentive program. First, the Human Capital and Compensation Committee determined to again include a methane emissions mitigation metric, which required that Equitrans undertake and complete certain projects to achieve targeted methane emissions mitigation. Second, the Human Capital and Compensation Committee added a new sustainability metric reflecting Equitrans’ timely completion and submission of the voluntary CDP Water Security Questionnaire response, which included a comprehensive water inventory.
To further enhance Equitrans’ safety performance culture, the Human Capital and Compensation Committee utilized the Safety Proactivity Rate, which is based on the previously utilized Incidents with Serious Potential Rate and takes into account observations with serious potential. The Safety Proactivity Rate has a target that resets each quarter, which the Human Capital and Compensation Committee believes rewards sustained performance and promotes continued focus on safe operations throughout the entire year. For 2023, our short-term incentive plan metrics include the Safety Proactivity Rate, the completion of Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) scenarios and preparation of a publishable report regarding the scenarios, and an environmental proactive regulatory transparency metric.
At the Annual Meeting of Shareholders of Equitrans held on April 25, 2023, Equitrans’ shareholders considered a proposal to approve, on an advisory basis, the compensation of Equitrans’ named executive officers (NEOs) for 2022, with approximately 98% of votes cast in favor of such proposal.
Details on the compensation of our NEOs is publicly available starting on page 30 of our 2023 Proxy Statement.
Equitrans’ Board of Directors values input from our stakeholders. Our commitment to communicating openly and directly at all levels of our business starts with our Board. Communication between our Board and stakeholders bolsters Equitrans’ commitment to acting with integrity, accountability, and transparency.
Stakeholders can direct their communications to Equitrans’ Lead Independent Director, Robert F. Vagt. Communications may be submitted anonymously or confidentially. Interested parties may communicate directly with the Lead Independent Director (and with independent directors, individually or as a group, through the Lead Independent Director) by sending an email to ETRNPresidingDirector@equitransmidstream.com. Parties may also write to the Lead Independent Director, the entire Board, a specific Board committee, or any individual director by addressing such communication to the applicable director or directors, care of our Corporate Secretary, at:
Equitrans Midstream Corporation 2200 Energy Drive Canonsburg, PA 15317
Equitrans’ Corporate Secretary will open and promptly distribute the communication to the Lead Independent Director, the entire Board, or the relevant committee or director. Our Corporate Secretary does not forward junk mail or mass mailings.
Other Board communication methods include:
Equitrans’ Corporate Secretary
Equitrans’ Investor Relations contact
Equitrans’ management team
The Equitrans Compliance Hotline
Traditional written correspondence
Equitrans is committed to actively engaging with our shareholders and provides ample opportunity to do so. Our Investor Relations team meets regularly with our investors and potential investors to discuss our operations, strategy, and other relevant business topics. If stakeholders wish to discuss specific topics, they may schedule phone calls or meetings with Equitrans’ Investor Relations personnel.
Renewable Electricity and Scope 2 Emissions
With the publication of the Company’s Climate Policy in 2021, Equitrans established targets that include a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 methane emissions by 2030 and a 50% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2040. Since this time, Equitrans has aggressively focused on reducing its direct Scope 1 emissions, which included the replacement of pneumatic devices and the installation of vent gas recovery units during 2022. These activities are expected to directly contribute to a reduction in methane emissions from operations. Additional information and details on the Company’s reduction efforts can be found in the GHG Emissions and Climate Change section of this report.
Equitrans is also working to reduce its indirect Scope 2 emissions, which are emissions related to purchased utilities, such as electric generation and heat. One method of aiding in the overall reduction of indirect Scope 2 emissions is through the purchase of certified renewable energy credits or RECs. Each REC is a certificate that corresponds to the environmental attributes of electricity that is generated from a zero-emissions renewable source and delivered to the electricity grid.
For the year-ended 2022, Equitrans purchased and retired 35,000 Green-e Energy certified RECs for its operations. These purchased RECs represent 35,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of generated renewable energy, which in this case was from wind energy generated in Oklahoma and delivered to the corresponding regional electric grid. By purchasing and retiring these RECs, Equitrans is taking credit for the renewable energy generated and ensuring that it is not accounted for elsewhere in the country. By purchasing these certified RECs, Equitrans was able to account for 100% of its purchased electricity through the supply of zero-carbon renewable energy, as related to its indirect Scope 2 GHG emissions.
Employee Generosity — Giving Back To Our Communities
Equitrans Midstream is committed to making a difference in our communities, and theUnitedWayis just onewaywe can join together to support those in need. For our 2022 campaign, we selected theUnitedWayof Washington Countyas our primary United Way affiliate, which aligns with our Company headquarters’ location. Employees also had the opportunity to donate to theUnitedWayof their choice by selecting from otherUnitedWayaffiliates located in our primary operating states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia.
To jump start our 2022 United Way campaign, we held a basket raffle during our all-employee meeting and holiday celebration in Morgantown, WV. Employee teams donated 27 individual baskets, with raffle ticket sales raising more than $11,000 in donations. This was matched dollar-for-dollar by our Corporate Local Giving Program,jump-starting our 2022 campaign with a contribution of more than $22,000 to the United Way.
Through our official United Way campaign, which is conducted annually via individual, online donations, Equitrans employees pledged roughly $57,000 in individual contributions, which was matched dollar-for-dollar through the Equitrans Midstream Foundation for a total of approximately $114,000. Additional donations were made outside of our formal campaign, and, based on totals provided by the United Way of Washington County — Equitrans’ contributions totaled more than $169,000 in 2022 — making us the top contributor in their Chairman’s Award for Top 5 Workplace Giving Campaign Partners program.
Equitrans also received the agency’s Campaign Excellence Award, which is presented to a workplace giving campaign partner that puts forth extra effort in running their annual workplace giving campaign. In addition to our traditional campaign, this award was due in part to the hosting of our special to basket raffle event, which engaged all employees and included matching funds by the Equitrans Midstream Foundation and the Company’s Corporate Local Giving Program.
The United Way of Washington County’s mission is to unite people, resources, and organization to improve lives in Washington County. Through Equitrans’ support, the various programs at United Way will be funded to serve the most pressing needs in vulnerable populations within our local operating areas. Our donation is a powerful force for change, and we thank our employees for their generosity and support!
Our Bees Are All The Buzzzzz
At Equitrans, there is a clear tone that begins at the top — sustainability is critically important to the world we live in and is also essential to the future growth of our Company. In 2023, E-Train celebrated Earth Day with the kickoff of a two-year sustainability partnership with Alvéole. Alvéole focuses on bee-friendly communities for greener cities by installing honey bee hives at business locations across the world to foster environmental awareness and educate communities on the importance of creating sustainable bee populations. In fact, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, honey bees help to produce one-third of our food supply by pollinating $15 billion worth of crops in the U.S. each year, including more than 130 types of fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Through our new partnership with Alvéole, E-Train is hosting and supporting two honey bee hives at each of our Canonsburg, St. Clairsville, and Waynesburg offices. The hives were installed in late spring, and the bees have begun to collect nectar and pollinate thousands of flowers and plants. With the help of our assigned Alvéole beekeeper, the hives will become established, and the bees will re-emerge every spring to pollinate flora to grow food and produce E-Train’s own locally sourced honey.
Equitrans and Alvéole also established “MyHive” microsites for each of E-Train’s office locations. The MyHive sites are located on Equitrans’ intranet, and employees can access the sites at any time to find educational honey bee information and receive updates on our hives. As an added benefit, Alvéole beekeepers will conduct various on-site informational events for employees, such as beeswax candle making and honey extraction sessions.
As we continue to safely and responsibly operate our network of natural gas pipelines, water lines, and compressor stations, it’s important to remember that the decisions we make today have a lasting and positive impact on future generations. On Earth Day and every day, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard by embracing our responsibility to operate in a manner that minimizes impacts on our natural resources and — above all else — we must keep safety our top priority, always.
Productivity … Redesigned
As the world continues to adapt and evolve, companies are re-evaluating their management approach and taking into consideration the individual needs and circumstances of their employees to create work-life harmonization. With the implementation of person-centric leadership practices, Equitrans took the opportunity to redesign how we operate, improving performance and engagement and increasing our ability to compete for talent.
In early 2020, Equitrans began to recognize the benefits of a flexible workplace model. We initiated a deeper dive into the concept by soliciting survey feedback from office-based employees regarding their preferred ‘workplace persona’ preferences (anchor, flex, and remote). Today, we have fully embraced a ‘person-centric’ work environment, which takes into account the physical, cognitive, and emotional needs of employees and encourages them to find the best integration between their work and personal lives. With this approach, work is no longer about where an employee is located, but about the actual work an employee does. Importantly, employees are evaluated on work produced, without consideration to where or how they worked.
Rather than conforming to legacy practices or location constraints, Equitrans’ person-centric work model is defined by flexible work experiences, intentional collaboration, and empathy-based management. For our field-based employees, who are primarily required to work onsite, we rolled out flexible work guidelines to demonstrate our commitment to our person-centric work approach. Upon implementation of this new work model, roughly 44% of employees are working remotely, 25% split their time between working remotely and at an Equitrans location, 31% work from an Equitrans location full-time, and less than 1% work part-time.
We expect our person-centric model will continue to improve employees’ satisfaction and retention, as well as help to expand our talent pool. Since implementing our workplace personas, the number of employees working in other U.S. locations has increased, and we have been able to improve gender diversity. As part of our new work model, we periodically conduct employee surveys and focus groups to obtain feedback, using the results to adjust our workplace practices, as needed.
Office-Centric vs Person-Centric Work Design
Provide consistent work experiences to deliver equality of experience
Provide flexible work experiences to deliver equality of opportunity
Enable serendipitous collaboration to deliver innovation by chance
Enable intentional collaboration to deliver innovation by design
Drive visibility-based management to deliver performance by inputs
Drive empathy-based management to deliver performance by outcome
Inspiring the World to Reuse
As we broaden our sustainability investments, we are especially proud of our partnership with Fill It Forward, an organization whose mission is “to inspire the world to reuse” by focusing on the elimination of single-use waste, such as plastic bottles and bags. In 2021, Equitrans partnered with Fill it Forward as a means of engaging and educating employees, while at the same time elevating our many ESG (environmental, social, and governance) initiatives.
In late 2021, we launched our Fill It Forward campaign with a custom holiday gift box for employees that included reusable tote bags and bottles with individual ‘scan tags’ that acted as a re-use tracker. When the tags were scanned, the data was automatically uploaded to Equitrans’ custom group on the Fill It Forward app and was used for tracking our collective impact, such as waste diverted, emissions saved, and how much ocean pollution was prevented.
Along with helping to eliminate waste, there was a charitable component to our Fill It Forward campaign. Each employee scan unlocked a $1 donation for every reuse, which contributed funds to our chosen charitable organization — DigDeep’s Appalachia Water Project. The funds collected were used to provide clean drinking water through the installation of meter-to-home water lines for families in southern West Virginia who currently have unsafe, limited, or no water at all. Our goal was to generate 10,000 scans and raise $10,000 for the Appalachia Water Project, and we were thrilled to have reached our goal roughly six months into the campaign. In addition, as part of Equitrans’ annual holiday giving initiatives, we made a separate donation of $20,000 to the Appalachia Water Project.
Thanks to the efforts of our employees — Equitrans was the proud recipient of Fill It Forward’s Changemaker Award for 2022. This unique ESG-focused campaign was a means of engaging and educating employees, while also elevating our sustainability efforts. Together with Fill It Forward, we believe that the simple act of reusing is the first step towards creating a sustainable mindset for all generations — and as an added benefit — being able to connect families with access to safe water will ensure the health and success of communities for years to come.
Equitrans Midstream’s Impact
lbs of emissions saved
lbs of waste diverted from landfill
kwH of power saved
lbs of ocean pollution prevented
20,586 total reuses
Source: Statistics calculated by Fill It Forward, as of year-end 2022
Enhancing Methane Monitoring
In January 2023, Equitrans announced its status as a founding member of the newly formed Appalachian Methane Initiative (AMI), a coalition of regional natural gas operators committed to further enhancing methane monitoring throughout the Appalachia Basin and facilitating additional methane emissions reduction in the region. The AMI coalition was formed ‘for the purpose of establishing and effectuating a methane monitoring, reporting, and mitigation network throughout the geographic area known as the Appalachian Basin.’
AMI’s efforts are intended to promote greater efficiency in the identification and remedy of potential fugitive methane emissions from operations in the Appalachian Basin through coordinated satellite and aerial surveys on a geographic-basis as opposed to an operator-specific basis and taking into account advanced methane monitoring and reporting frameworks. Additionally, the coalition will seek to coordinate and share best practices in mitigating methane emissions from natural gas operations, including production and midstream, and collaborate on activities and monitor results through transparent, publicly available reporting.
For much of 2023, AMI is focusing on developing and implementing a pilot monitoring program to cover select areas of interest within the Basin’s major operating footprints, with the goal of working to develop and implement a full-Basin monitoring plan in 2024.
As part of AMI’s official launch,a news release was issued by the coalition’s founding members. We believe our membership in AMI will support our ongoing methane reduction efforts and complement our many ESG initiatives, and we look forward to working with other coalition members on advancing AMI’s initiatives.
Managing and Protecting Pipeline Integrity
Identification and management of landslide risk is a vital aspect of Equitrans’ daily work activities; however, the risk of a landslide is not limited to the midstream industry. Landslides can occur in any type of terrain, including both hills and valleys, and can be associated with any type of ongoing construction or pre-existing land disturbance. Natural factors such as rainfall and surface runoff water can amplify their frequency or severity; and left unmanaged, landslides have the potential to impact our environment. For Equitrans, this impact may include creating unnecessary strain on our underground pipelines, which are typically located in a variety of terrains as compared to our non-linear assets. To avoid unsafe situations and protect the integrity of our pipeline network, our engineering team uses a multi-faceted approach to aggressively identify and manage areas at risk for potential landslides.
To identify potential land movement near our assets, Equitrans’ engineers utilize aerial patrols, drones with photogrammetry change detection, and routine on-site inspections — or, if required, a combination of these methods may be used. In each case, we monitor our pipeline rights-of-way looking for any indication of unstable soil, such as discoloration, downed trees, or other data that could indicate a change in topography. Following a thorough evaluation of each asset location or suspected slide area by our engineering and compliance teams, we assign a priority ranking to indicate the potential for further movement and any risk to the environment or to the integrity of the pipeline.
As a final step, Equitrans pairs the geographic location data of known and suspected landslides with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) information. This analysis is done on a daily basis and allows Equitrans to identify rainfall events that could affect the stability of existing slide-prone areas and to rapidly respond and investigate when conditions change on the ground. In accordance with a defined framework that accounts for slide priority and rain severity, personnel may be deployed to conduct visual, on-site inspections. Beyond rainfall data, we also monitor temperature data to understand freeze thaw cycles and similarly deploy personnel to evaluate sites under changing conditions. Through continued use of these evaluation tools — aerial inspections, drone imaging, and manual site inspections — Equitrans remains committed to environmental and operational safety through its robust process to identify and manage potential landslides.
In addition, Equitrans launched a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) pilot program in 2020 to aid in the enhanced detection of potential landslides along our pipeline rights-of-way. Today, we conduct semi-annual LiDAR flights across thousands of miles of pipeline. The adoption of LiDAR technology and utilization of our enhanced construction standards are collectively designed to improve Equitrans’ ability to mitigate landslide risk for the safety of our employees and communities, and for the benefit of our customers, investors, and the environment.
Proactive Project Outreach
Equitrans Midstream relies on proactive community engagement and feedback to foster a culture of trust, inclusivity, and transparency, and we view our projects and operations through a lens of responsibility and accountability. In keeping with this belief, environmental justice is an important component of our stakeholder outreach activities. Our Environmental Justice Policy lays the foundation of our commitment to provide for the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people in any public process involving our operations, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income.
It is often said that actions speak louder than words, which was the case for the outreach team working on our Ohio Valley Connector Expansion (OVCX) project. As a critical component of the project’s pre-planning phase, our team contracted the services of an outside vendor that specialized in the identification of environmental justice communities located near the project. After consulting with the FERC, the EPA, and our contracted environmental justice specialists, Equitrans extended the OVCX project’s landowner contact radius an additional 0.5 mile to maximize the outreach efforts and ensure all stakeholders were personally aware of and involved with the project details.
In addition to our land team contacting property owners and community members within the expanded radius, the OVCX outreach team conducted multiple pop-up educational meetings and community open houses; solicited pre-paid comment and suggestion cards; distributed various informational mailings; and remained engaged with the community every step of the way by responding to questions and feedback. To better understand the needs and challenges faced by those living near the proposed project, we also met with local organizations and elected officials, as well as other key decision makers. These additional, proactive measures taken by our OVCX outreach team went above and beyond regulatory requirements to ensure consistent communication and transparency throughout the project’s lifecycle.