Message from our CEO
Since our establishment as a standalone midstream company in early 2020, strengthening our ESG performance has been central to our organization – from the board room to our daily operations.
As one expression of this commitment, we released our inaugural ESG report only 10 months into our first year. In this second report, we’re pleased to detail how we are advancing energy through our ESG management systems and outcomes.
We recognize that climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our times, and helping address it is central to our ESG efforts. As a midstream service provider, we help deliver essential energy and inputs that improve the quality of life across the globe. We believe that hydrocarbons, particularly natural gas, have a role to play in the vital transition to a clean energy future. As a company and a society, we must continue to drive down emissions across the energy value chain while identifying and implementing innovative new technologies and business models to further reduce emissions and advance the energy transition.
At WES, we are doing just that. To provide superior midstream service, we focus on ensuring the reliability and performance of our systems, creating sustainable cost efficiencies, enhancing our safety culture, and protecting the environment. By thoughtfully designing, constructing, and operating our assets, and collaborating with regulatory agencies, environmental groups, and industry partners, we are reducing our own emissions and helping to find the best solutions to climate-related challenges. For example, our direct-from-wellhead pipeline infrastructure and other operational innovations minimize emissions for our company and our customers. In 2020, we joined ONE Future – a group of oil and gas companies committed to reducing methane intensity across our value chain to 1% or less – and surpassed the group’s methane intensity goals for our sector. To further advance our emissions efforts, in 2020 we appointed a VP of Operations Services and Sustainability to help identify commercial opportunities to minimize and offset our carbon footprint.
Throughout 2020, we maintained our commitment to safety. For the second year in a row, we received the GPA Midstream Association’s first-place award for safety performance in our size class and outperformed the industry safety average. We accomplished this while keeping our employees safe during the pandemic by implementing a COVID-19 Mitigation Plan, including social distancing and masks, elevated cleaning protocols, health screenings and testing, and remote work for as many employees as possible. While we’re proud to be a leader in our peer group, we continue to challenge ourselves to continuously improve and cultivate a culture of safety.
I am also proud of our efforts to build a diverse and inclusive team, which we believe is essential to our success as a company. Currently, women and racial and ethnic minorities comprise 56% of our senior leadership team, and, in 2021, we established a senior leadership position to guide our diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
To drive ongoing progress on all ESG issues, we are continuing to strengthen our governance and accountability systems. For example, in 2021, we established a Board ESG Committee to oversee our ESG efforts and strategy. We expanded our employee compensation incentive program to include safety, environmental, and community engagement metrics. We also hired a dedicated Director of ESG to coordinate efforts across our technical teams and continue to advance our disclosures.
I am incredibly proud of how much the WES team has achieved in our first two years as a standalone company. Through unprecedented challenges including a global pandemic, significant oil and gas price shocks, and extreme weather events, it was clearer than ever that our ESG focus is key to our strength, resilience, and ability to innovate and succeed.
President, Chief Executive Officer and Acting Chief Financial Officer