During project development, listening to stakeholders and obtaining input is important. For pipeline projects, right-of-way teams work diligently with landowners to establish easement agreements, which grant permission for the pipeline to be constructed, operated and maintained on their property. We also work with applicable local, state and federal agencies to obtain all necessary permits related to our projects.
We often conduct public meetings as part of our project outreach to connect with various stakeholders. In 2018, we held 15 public meetings/open houses across the Elk Creek, Arbuckle II and West Texas pipeline projects. In conjunction with open houses and landowner meetings, our government relations teams did extensive outreach with legislators and elected officials providing information on various projects.
These stakeholder conversations include topics such as general information about ONEOK and the project, safety and environmental considerations, the construction process, operations and rights of way.
ONEOK works with our suppliers to communicate and help them understand our commitment to sustainability, safety and ethical behaviors. We communicate our values and commitments to operate safely and in an environmentally responsible manner with our suppliers and contractors through our supplier letters and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics.
We seek to evaluate supplier and contractor sustainability performance, workforce policies and commitments to human rights to promote alignment with our own commitments to these operating principles.
ONEOK has implemented a robust risk-management program for evaluating environmental standards and ethical practices internally and actively seeks to improve evaluation of our suppliers. Sustainable supply chain management is a priority for the organization with the goal of continuous improvement and risk mitigation.
ONEOK values supporting American jobs and domestic manufacturing. We have long-standing procurement practices that prioritize buying American-made products. Our domestic purchasing expectations are communicated to suppliers in our sourcing requests, seeking to prioritize American manufactured products versus other options.
This purchasing practice applies to a broad range of products and materials, including, but not limited to, pipe, valves, process unit equipment and safety equipment. Although factors such as cost, availability, quality and schedule impacts are considered in the sourcing decisions we make, approximately 98% of our procurement spend in 2017-18 was on U.S.-manufactured materials and products.