For ONEOK, sustainability is a continuous commitment—not a box to check.

As an energy midstream industry leader, we anticipate and manage opportunities and risks by focusing on safety, reliability, sustainability and quality.

We have made tremendous strides in the area of sustainability, environmental, social and governance (ESG), but work remains to be done to achieve long-term success. We view sustainability as those actions that create stakeholder value while maintaining safe and environmentally responsible operations for decades to come. In this report, we share our intentional efforts and provide examples of our commitment to sustainability.


A few highlights from this past year include:

  • An Agency Reportable Environmental Event Metric Rate (AREER) of 1.05, an improvement of nearly 15% compared with 2017 and a 66% improvement compared with 2014, the first year we started measuring AREER.
  • Improving our safety and health performance by meeting or exceeding our 2018 targets, which translated into fewer injuries and fewer vehicle incidents.
  • Inclusion in more than 10 ESG-related stock market indices because of our strong ESG-rated performance. ONEOK was recently added to Just Capital’s JUST ETF fund and the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index.
  • Updating policies and enhancing disclosures on the ESG topics that have been identified as material to our business, such as our new Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave Policy.
  • Creating a new ESG Council to provide vision, leadership, direction and oversight for ONEOK’s ESG programs and processes.
  • Being named in the CDP’s Top 25% of companies in the U.S. and Canada Energy Sector.


Our ESG efforts continue to gain recognition. Several of our facilities were recognized for operating 10 years without a lost-time incident. The GPA Midstream Association honored ONEOK with the 2018 Chairman’s Award for Safety Improvement, as well as its inaugural Award for Energy Conservation for an energy-use reduction program implemented by our energy management team.

Additionally, two of our board members, Julie H. Edwards and Pattye L. Moore, were named Most Influential Corporate Directors by Women Inc. Magazine, a listing of women executives, influencers and achievers contributing leadership to corporate boards. Read more by visiting our Awards and Recognition section.

Building the natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) infrastructure needed to meet our customers’ needs remains a priority. In the Williston Basin, we are nearing completion of several infrastructure projects that will help our customers significantly reduce natural gas flaring in the region, and meet or exceed state-established natural gas-capture targets. This includes the Demicks Lake I and II natural gas processing plants, and the 900-mile Elk Creek pipeline that will transport NGLs to our Mid-Continent facilities. Across the other basins where we operate, we’re placing similar projects in service to provide the critical midstream infrastructure necessary to safely and efficiently transport natural gas and NGLs to domestic and international demand markets.

Our commitment, however, goes beyond safe operations and environmental stewardship. We value diversity and inclusion, and are committed to nurturing an environment where all employees know that their unique skills, experiences and cultural backgrounds are valued. We also remain committed to investing time and resources in the communities where we work and live.

Our employees are the largest contributors to making ONEOK a responsible and sustainable company. We proactively look for opportunities to influence diversity, whether that’s exposing employees to new areas of the company through new roles; providing open forums for diverse ideas to be shared; or encouraging a culture where employees are empowered to speak up. Also, we created two new business resource groups in 2018—the Black/African American and Veterans resource groups—to expand opportunities for employees to come together to exchange ideas, develop leadership skills and build relationships. And earlier this year, we announced two more—the Indigenous/Native American and Latinx/Hispanic American resource groups.

In 2018, ONEOK invested more than $7 million in charitable organizations and causes. These contributions help meet community needs by providing valuable services and resources that align with our company’s values. While I’m proud of our efforts to be a good corporate citizen, we continue to explore new opportunities that would allow us to have an even greater impact, including an emphasis on environmental conservation.

We regularly evaluate our methods used to publicly report our ESG-related data to help ensure we are providing relevant information to our stakeholders in the most efficient way possible. We welcome your feedback and questions on this report and our efforts.

On behalf of everyone at ONEOK, thank you for your interest in our company.


Terry K. Spencer
President and Chief Executive Officer
September 16, 2019