Ethics: Our actions are founded on trust, honesty and integrity through open communications and adherence to the highest standards of personal, professional and business ethics.
Quality: Our commitment to quality drives us to make continuous improvements in our quest for excellence.
Diversity: We value diversity, as well as the dignity and worth of each employee, and believe that a diverse and inclusive workforce is critical to our continued success.
Value: We are committed to creating value for all stakeholders – employees, customers, investors and our communities – through the optimum development and utilization of our resources.
Service: We provide responsive, flexible service to customers, and commit to preserving the environment, providing a safe workplace and improving the quality of life for employees where they live and work.
Corporate Governance - Board of Directors
Our board of directors and management are committed to maintaining strong corporate governance practices that promote and protect the long-term interests of our investors. Our corporate governance practices are designed not just to satisfy regulatory and stock exchange requirements but also to provide for effective oversight and management of our company, and include:
- A 10-member, balanced board with deep experience and diverse expertise relevant to our strategy, business and industry, including two members added since 2015.
- Annual election of directors.
- Majority voting for directors.
- Long-standing shareholder engagement program.
- Regular review of our strategic plan.
- Board leadership provided by a nonexecutive chairman of the board, a lead independent director and independent committee chairs.
- Robust director nominee selection process.
- Bylaws that provide for proxy access by eligible shareholders.
- Regular board and committee performance evaluation.
- Long-standing commitment to corporate responsibility and sustainability, including safety and health, environmental performance, community leadership and investment and oversight of public policy engagement.
- Mandatory director retirement age of 73.
- A commitment to regular board refreshment.
- Independent Audit, Executive Compensation and Corporate Governance Committees.
- Regular executive sessions of nonmanagement directors and independent directors.
- Risk oversight by full board and committees complemented by a comprehensive annual enterprise risk-management process.
As of March 2018, the ONEOK board had 10 members, eight of whom are independent.
All directors of ONEOK have proven leadership, sound judgment, integrity and a commitment to our success. For a full listing of ONEOK board members, see Leadership.
Our board is actively involved in overseeing, reviewing and guiding our corporate strategies. The board regularly reviews our company’s business strategies, including an in-depth evaluation of the risks and opportunities facing our company and its businesses, at an annual strategic-planning session.
In addition, long-range strategic issues, including the performance, strategic fit and operational safety of our businesses, are discussed as a matter of course at regular board meetings. Members regularly discuss corporate strategy throughout the year with management. The board views risk management and oversight as an integral part of our strategic-planning process, including mapping key risks to our corporate strategy and seeking to manage and mitigate risk.
We engage annually in a comprehensive enterprise risk-management (ERM) process to identify and manage risk. Our ERM assessment is designed to enable a mutual understanding between our board and management of the effectiveness of our risk-management practices and capabilities, our risk exposure and guidance on when to elevate certain key risks for discussion at the board level.
The program, overseen by our chief financial officer, is a key part of our annual strategic-planning process and is designed to identify, assess, monitor and manage risks that could affect our ability to fulfill our business objectives or execute our corporate strategy.
Our process involves the identification and assessment of a broad range of risks and the development of plans to mitigate these risks. These risks generally relate to the strategic, operational, environmental, financial, regulatory compliance and human resources aspects of our business. The board gets periodic updates on specific key risks throughout the year.
Our board believes accountability to investors is an indicator of good corporate governance and that regular investor engagement is important to our company’s success. Our company frequently engages with investors on a variety of topics, with particular focus on matters relating to our company’s publicly disclosed strategy and financial performance. Our company also engages with investors to discuss matters relating to governance, compensation, safety, environmental and other current and emerging issues that the board and our management understand are important.
Corporate Compliance and Ethics
For more than a century, we have built a reputation as a company with integrity that takes pride in doing the right thing.
The ONEOK Corporate Compliance and Ethics program is designed to help ensure our actions and business practices are in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and are based on trust, honesty and integrity through open communications and adherence to the highest standards of personal, professional and business ethics.
We require all directors, officers and employees to adhere to our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics in addressing the legal and ethical issues encountered while conducting work for our company. Our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics requires our directors, officers and employees to avoid conflicts of interest, comply with all applicable laws and other legal requirements, and conduct business in an honest and ethical manner and otherwise act with integrity and in our company’s best interest. All directors, officers and employees are required to report any conduct that they believe to be an actual or apparent violation of our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
We offer many available internal and external methods for the reporting of ethical concerns and provide information and guidance on how these methods may be used. Our reporting program includes:
- Compliance and Ethics Code and policies that tell individuals how to get help and seek advice.
- The Whistleblower Hotline is prominently displayed on ONEOK Online, our intranet, as well as on posters displayed throughout the company.
- ONEOK.com, our external website, includes a Governance section that features the Whistleblower Hotline page and provides a submission platform for complaints or concerns under the Whistleblower Policy.
As a result of these efforts and others, ONEOK has experienced measurable success in maintaining ethical standards in a variety of areas, including leadership, company culture, employee comfort in reporting concerns and raising potential conflicts of interest, corporate social responsibility and trustworthy customer relations.
These successes allow us to return greater value to our stakeholders.