- Corporate Responsibility
- Royalty Owners
As one of the largest independent natural gas producers in the United States, Southwestern Energy Company is committed to achieving sustainable returns for our shareholders by delivering superior operational results in a manner guided by our Formula, which is being the Right People doing the Right Things. For us, this means pursuing responsible energy development while maintaining relentless focus on human health and safety, practicing good environmental stewardship and being a good neighbor and member of the communities where we work and live. This ethos also drives our public disclosure philosophy: We believe in transparency and demonstrate this through a robust disclosure program for environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG). We hope that as you review our 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report you can feel and understand our commitment to sustainable financial, operational and ESG performance.
At SWN, our success is achieved through our passionate, resilient and fully engaged people. We know that developing our human capital and growing and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace is just as vital to our success as developing our asset base. This is true regardless of the larger economic environment, but particularly in challenging times. In 2019, we focused our leadership development programs on inspiring our leaders across the organization to be “boundaryless” in thinking and action, shaking free from perceived constraints to deliver on new ideas. We focused our actions to ensure our people were engaged and have the necessary tools and skills to be highly successful. Last year, we checked on our progress through our bi-annual employee survey (92% response rate), which placed us in the top benchmarking for employee engagement and employee enablement in the industry and outside the industry. We also delivered high-level technical and business skills training, as well as various targeted programs on communication, handling critical conversations, leadership and influence management. And, these are simply a few examples of our passion for and focus on people.
SWN is a recognized leader in environmental stewardship and is particularly focused on emissions performance and returning fresh water to water systems in our operating basins in equivalent amounts to what we consume. In both a national and global sense, SWN is playing a vital role in providing clean-burning, low-carbon natural gas, which is replacing dirtier fuels and driving reduced local and global greenhouse gas emissions. SWN was one of the very first companies in our industry to commit to a science-based methane leak/loss rate target, and we have consistently outperformed that goal. Our leak/loss rate for 2019 was only 0.055%, further validating our position as a leader in emissions performance.
We are also grateful to have received recognition for a wide-range of efforts in the areas of environmental stewardship and community engagement.
- We have received numerous accolades for environmental performance, including honors from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, as well as receiving the highest score among North America’s 30 largest publicly traded oil and gas producers in “Disclosing the Facts 2019” for water and chemical disclosure and management.
- SWN is committed to the responsible use of water. In 2019, we reached an important milestone, having returned over 11 billion gallons of fresh water to the environment through our comprehensive approach to water usage optimization, water recycling and innovative water conservation projects that result in an effective return of fresh water to the environment. This enabled us to meet our commitment to being Fresh Water Neutral for the fourth year in a row, meaning we restored at least as much fresh water to local watersheds via conservation projects as we used in our operations. To our knowledge, no other oil and gas operator has made – or
achieved – a similar commitment.
- As part of our commitment to being Fresh Water Neutral, we worked with the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection on the successful completion of the Cheat River’s Muddy Creek watershed restoration project. This was a project that constructed a water treatment plant to clean up water quality in a tributary to the Cheat River that had been polluted for years by acid mine drainage from coal mining activities.
- In 2019, we conducted Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) surveys on 100% of our operating facilities, and our methane intensity remains a fraction of the national average.
- Our focus on safety as a core value for SWN has reduced our Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) 52% since 2014 to 0.56, and we strive to continue to improve, being committed to ensuring that anyone who works in service of our company goes home safely at the end of each day.
The achievements described above demonstrate SWN’s commitment to corporate responsibility issues and to being the Right People doing the Right Things. Throughout this report, you will see that we have a lot to be proud of with respect to our performance in 2019.
As proud as I am of these accomplishments, nothing has illustrated the importance of SWN’s core values like the 2020 challenge of responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic. As COVID-19 has swept the globe, ripping through communities and altering the very way we live and work, I have seen SWN employees demonstrate our values – protecting human health and safety, looking out for one another, being a good neighbor – again and again, in ways both big and small. In the coming months, we will issue a formal report describing all the actions we have taken in response to the pandemic that have enabled our communities and our company to weather this storm; look for it on our Corporate Responsibility page before the end of 2020.
Now more than ever, I could not be more proud to be part of the SWN team. I am thankful for all the individuals and teams that helped make 2019 a success. I know that SWN’s core values and commitment to responsibly develop clean, low carbon energy and being a socially responsible operator will endure, leaving us well positioned for success in any environment.
President and Chief Executive Officer