Corporate Responsibility Report 2018-2019
- Health and Safety
At SWN, Social Energy is our approach to improving our communities with the power of our people, by volunteering our time and making strategic charitable contributions. SWN employees are proactive in finding opportunities to make a difference for our neighbors using their knowledge of local needs and their local connections. Here are some of the ways our people made a difference in our communities in 2018.
In late January 2018, a team of SWN employees was driving back to our Tunkhannock Branch office after lunch in the nearby town of Nicholson, Pennsylvania, when they realized a disaster was happening in slow motion. An ice jam had formed on Martins Creek, a small tributary to Tunkhannock Creek, and that combined with a sudden increase in temperatures and heavy rainfall was causing a major threat to the town. Water and huge chunks of ice were beginning to creep toward neighborhoods and homes. Back at the office, the SWN team explained the situation to Dave Bowman, SWN’s production supervisor for the region. They all agreed they needed to stop nearby production and bring machinery and people into town to help out.
SWN employees worked with our contractors to get equipment on the scene, including a long arm excavator that could reach out into the river and remove the ice dam. SWN teams, along with volunteers from our contractor firms and several other oil and gas companies in the area, worked with government officials, first responders and local residents until midnight that night, clearing the ice dam, diverting water flows and pumping water from basements. Over the next three days, the team continued their work until the backed-up water had been released and rerouted downstream and the flood risk was over.
Wyoming County Commissioner Tom Henry recognized SWN and the other companies as critical to avoiding a major crisis. “Nicholson could have been devastated, and we would have come to work on Monday scrambling to figure out how we were going to pay for this,” he said. “They made what we do so much easier. They were amazing.” For Bowman, suspending some of SWN’s operations during a time of crisis was a natural course of action.
“These are our neighbors,” Bowman explained later. “We weren’t going to let them get flooded out.”
Eight months later, SWN crews were back out helping with recovery from a different flood, this time in the New Albany, Pennsylvania, area. SWN teams again brought people and equipment to help reroute flood waters away from people’s houses and rebuild damaged infrastructure. SWN employees spent 575 hours rebuilding roads, pumping out basements and doing other tasks to support local residents affected by flooding. SWN also donated use of equipment, including trucks, pumps and utility vehicles. New Albany Borough Council President Michelle Dunham noted the importance of SWN’s efforts. “It’s probably at least $100,000 or $150,000 of free work that we’re getting from SWN,” she said. “We’re overwhelmed, overjoyed! Without them, this work would have taken us four months, six months, it could be a year.”
In December 2018, we continued our support of Susquehanna County Interfaith, a local nonprofit. SWN donated $5,000, and SWN employees volunteered more than 58 hours to support the organization’s holiday outreach program and make the holidays a little better for disadvantaged families in our community.
In 2018 in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, SWN continued our eight-year partnership with the local United Way, hosting our sixth clay shoot and seventh golf tournament to raise funds for the local nonprofit. Since 2012, SWN and our contractors have contributed nearly $800,000 to the Wyoming County United Way, supporting their important work to help our neighbors and communities.
In 2018, SWN’s West Virginia employees organized their fourth annual charity golf competition to support better health care in the area by contributing proceeds to the West Virginia University Medicine Children’s. Over the past five years, SWN has raised more than $480,000 for the hospital through these golf events.
In 2018, SWN partnered with the West Virginia United Way to sponsor a charity clay shoot, raising $80,000 to support the Youth Services System’s Mental Health Program, which helps local school children with anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol use prevention and other issues. This donation allowed Youth Services to expand their already successful middle school program to elementary schools in Marshall, Ohio, Wetzel and Brooke Counties in West Virginia.
Many kids take for granted being able to ride a bike; but for kids with disabilities, riding a bike is a joy often out of reach. SWN’s West Virginia area employees contributed more than $13,000 to Variety! A Children’s Charity to provide five adaptive bikes, two strollers and a communication device to local children.
In 2018, Boys and Girls Country of Houston, which provides a home and ongoing support for children from families in crisis, recognized SWN as a “Friend of Children” for our ongoing support, which included a $60,000 donation, sponsorship of two of the organization’s largest annual fundraising events and over 140 hours of employee volunteer time. SWN also hosted a career day for high schoolers from Boys and Girls Country at SWN’s Spring, Texas, headquarters, which included the opportunity to meet with CEO Bill Way.
In 2018, SWN and our employees continued our support of the Northwest Assistance Ministries (NAM), a Houston organization that strives to help people meet their basic needs through neighbors helping neighbors. SWN employees volunteered nearly 100 hours to NAM and hosted a collection drive to donate needed items. At the same time, SWN continued our corporate sponsorship of the organization’s pediatric clinic, which provides low-cost, high-quality primary and acute pediatric care to local families, and NAM’s Training and Learning Center, which provides free and low-cost training to help adults gain the skills they need to obtain jobs, including courses in English, GED preparation, basic education and vocational training.