Corporate Responsibility Report 2017-2018
- Health and Safety
SWN’s corporate responsibility (CR) strategy follows our Formula. It focuses on doing the Right Things, creating value for shareholders and stakeholders through our efforts, and reporting on what we believe is important to our shareholders, customers and communities. Our company identifies and implements innovative solutions to unconventional hydrocarbon development to minimize the environmental and community impacts of our activities. We work extensively with governmental, nongovernmental and industry stakeholders to develop responsible and cost-effective programs.
SWN’s Environmental Goals
The following two goals address the key environmental impacts of our operations and have formed the cornerstone of our CR strategy:
- Maintain “freshwater neutral” status through our Energy Conserving Water initiative, or ECH2O®. We first achieved this goal in 2016 in all of our operating regions and seek to maintain it going forward.
- Keep our methane leak/loss rate below 0.36 percent of production, consistent with our position as a cofounder and member of the ONE Future coalition.1 In 2017, we achieved a rate of 0.221 percent.
Protecting the health and safety of our employees, contractors and communities is another foundational aspect of our CR strategy. In 2018 we put particular emphasis on building a ONE Team culture with our contractors – working together closely to ensure we are aligned on safety behaviors so we all go home safe every day.
In our communities, we cultivate ongoing dialogue with local officials, community members, businesses, nonprofit organizations, emergency responders and land/mineral owners. These dialogues help to address the needs of communities and provide stakeholders with a better understanding of our operations.
SWN’s Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) team develops policies, programs and training related to employee and contractor health and safety, industrial hygiene and environmental compliance. The Vice President of HSE reports to our COO and presents regularly to the Health, Safety, Environment and Corporate Responsibility Committee of SWN’s Board of Directors. HSE employees are embedded within each of our operating divisions – Fayetteville, Northeast Appalachia, Southwest Appalachia, Exploration, Midstream, and Drilling and Completion Operations – so that HSE issues are managed at the site level.
SWN’s General Counsel, who is also the Chief Compliance Officer, oversees issues relating to ethics and nonoperational compliance. The Chief Financial Officer oversees internal audit services.
Our enterprise risk management team – made up of representatives from across SWN operating divisions and functions – identifies, assesses and determines risks and mitigation efforts. The team’s results are presented to the executive leadership team, which further refines risk assessment and mitigation and in turn communicates to the Board on an ongoing basis.
To ensure that our employees and Board members conduct their work in an ethical manner and in line with applicable laws and regulations, we have a detailed set of business conduct guidelines and train employees on them at least annually. The guidelines cover topics such as conflicts of interest, bribery and corruption, antitrust matters and insider trading.
A SWN ethics hotline enables the anonymous submittal of issues or concerns.
All complaints received are forwarded to both Internal Audit and an investigations lead in the relevant department. The Board reviews all final findings and recommendations regarding each complaint.
We have a web-based ethics training course that tests employees on their knowledge of our ethics requirements and provides additional content on any questions that are missed, to ensure employees are proficient on the key topics. All new employees are required to undergo this training, and existing employees must retake it annually.
SWN’s senior executives manage the company’s engagement in the legislative and regulatory process. In several cases we have worked proactively with policymakers and other stakeholders to craft recommendations for laws and regulations that will be effective and workable in practice. For example, the methane reduction approach developed by the ONE Future coalition, which we cofounded, was endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is now a component of their new Natural Gas STAR Methane Challenge.
See the Political Activities page for more information on the company’s political activities.