To Our Stakeholders,
During the past several years, stakeholder expectations have continued to increase for ONEOK to operate in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. We take these expectations and challenges seriously, and I’m proud of our progress in these areas, which compares favorably to our peer midstream energy companies by being in the top quartile of ESG performance as reported in a recent Sustainalytics report.
In this report, we share information on our successes as well as some areas that need improvement, and offer insight into some of our other 2018 initiatives.
A few highlights:
- Building natural gas gathering and processing infrastructure in the Williston Basin over the past four years has resulted in decreased flaring of natural gas in the region to 10.5 percent in December 2017 from 35 percent in February 2014, significantly lower than state established gas flaring regulations.
Williston Basin Flaring Analysis
- For 2017, we reported an Agency Reportable Environmental Event Metric Rate (AREER) of 1.23, an improvement of more than 5 percent, compared with 2016 (see Environment). This internal metric promotes a continued reduction of releases and emissions events that are reportable to a state or federal agency.
- In 2017, we restored the habitats of more than 2,500 acres of land affected during large capital construction projects.
- We created an independent environment, safety and health (ESH) organization to address the shifting stakeholder and industry focus toward environmental sustainability and provide specific responsibilities for guiding our leadership efforts.
- We ranked in the top 20 percent of companies in the U.S. and Canada energy sector Carbon Disclosure Project rankings.
As we execute our capital investment strategy, currently totaling more than $4 billion through 2020, our commitment to environmental stewardship and corporate citizenship becomes an even more important part of our operations.
Our efforts have not gone unnoticed, and they continue to garner national recognition. 2017’s Green Rankings by Newsweek magazine ranked ONEOK third in the midstream energy sector. In addition, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment recognized ONEOK with its Pollution Prevention Award, and the Environmental Federation of Oklahoma presented the company with its Environmental Excellence Award.
We continue to seek new and innovative ways to increase our conservation efforts. Last year, our NGL storage facility in Conway, Kansas, reduced its total water usage by 59 percent and emitted 75 fewer tons of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), compared with 2016. Additionally, the Overland Pass Pipeline delivery station reduced its Greenhouse Gas emissions by 95 percent, compared with 2016, following the installation of specialized equipment.
Other conservation efforts include:
- Creating an internal energy management program to better understand our energy consumption, evaluate potential energy efficiencies and implement new processes.
- Planting more than one-third of the 50,000 trees through North Dakota’s Planting for the Future project.
- Implementing 10,000 measurement facilities powered by solar energy in the last 15 years.
More in-depth information on these initiatives and many more are available in this report.
The largest contributor in making ONEOK a responsible and sustainable company comes from our talented, diverse and experienced employees. I encourage our employees to embrace ONEOK’s core values of ethics, quality, diversity, value and service and work every day to ensure these values are apparent in all that we do. I’m proud of our diversity and inclusion efforts and how we’ve incorporated them into our business and culture.
The Human Rights Campaign recently awarded ONEOK with a Corporate Equality Index score of 95 out of 100, making ONEOK the highest-ranked Oklahoma-based company included in its rankings; and the Tulsa Regional Chamber again in 2017 named ONEOK a Top Inclusive Workplace. You can read more about these recognitions on page 27. While recognition is appreciated, we are not focused on receiving awards. ONEOK’s commitment to diversity also extends to the board level, where women comprise 20 percent of membership and hold prominent positions, including the board’s lead independent director, Julie H. Edwards; and the chair of the compensation committee, Pattye L. Moore. The more we are able to maximize the positive impacts of a diverse and inclusive workplace, the stronger our culture becomes.
While we remain committed to being a good corporate citizen, we continue to explore different opportunities that could have a greater influence in the communities where we operate and where our employees live and work.
I hope this report helps you assess for yourself how well ONEOK is doing in these important areas, and we welcome your feedback on these efforts and this report. On behalf of everyone at ONEOK, thank you for taking the time to learn more about our company.