Why It Matters to Us
Our ability to adopt innovative technologies enables us to cut costs, improve productivity, reduce environmental impacts, improve safety, attract and retain talent, adapt to the fluctuating price of natural gas and remain a market leader. We leverage new technologies to benefit our processes, communities, environment, employees and other stakeholders to ensure we are the operator of choice. Our continued focus on technological innovation and continuous improvement is critical for our future success as the largest natural gas producer in the United States.
What We Are Doing
Our strategic use of technology and process improvement plays a critical role in worker safety, community well-being, and our ability to create sustainable value. This is why, in 2019, we increased our focus on optimizing performance through innovation and technology. We believe innovative ideas can arise from any part of our business, so we maintain open channels for submitting ideas and clear steps for implementation.
DIGITAL WORK ENVIRONMENT
2019 was a pivotal year for change at EQT. A critical differentiator in the new management team’s vision for EQT was to promote a digitally-enabled workplace that would improve transparency, collaboration and accuracy of data. Recognizing that we had an opportunity to break down silos across EQT, we invested in building our digital work environment by investing in a cloud-based platform. The digital work environment serves as our primary platform for online communication and collaboration. It is the home for our critical work processes and allows our employees to connect in real-time, ensuring a shared and transparent view of operational data that drives decisions. Our digital work environment provides the structure that empowers our workforce to be agile, efficient and highly synchronized. The use of this technology has transformed our culture by:
- Enabling every employee across EQT to access a unified, accurate view of critical data;
- Promoting collaboration across business areas and with executives and senior management;
- Driving accountability for data collection and timely reporting;
- Encouraging employees to connect with one another, share ideas and provide feedback;
- Fostering innovation and capturing ideas that add value to the company;
- Providing insights on areas for improvement; and
- Reinforcing data quality to inform goal-setting, strategy and focus areas for EQT.
We have already seen positive changes in our culture and employee behavior since implementing our digital work environment, and believe it will continue to encourage innovative thinking and idea-sharing going forward.
At EQT, innovation is a company-wide process to enable every employee across our operations to generate proactive solutions and process improvements. We focus our innovation on satisfying goals and key performance indicators associated with material topics such as health and safety, environmental impacts and community impacts and safety.
We leverage our digital work environment to provide transparency and tracking of potential innovations or process improvements. When an idea is submitted, our Asset Performance team is automatically notified to review the idea and determine where in our business it could have impact. Our entire Executive and Senior Leadership teams are also notified of new ideas, and all employees have access to our innovation submissions. Our Asset Performance team then works with subject matter experts from the operational groups to determine the viability of the innovation. They also confirm alignment with our overall business objectives to improve environmental and safety performance, provide economic value and/or increase reserves.
Once thoroughly vetted, we test the innovation or associated technology at a pilot site. We disseminate the innovation only after we determine the benefits to our operational costs, productivity (i.e., impact on dollars spent per lateral foot) and other business objectives.
The future of technological innovation — such as artificial intelligence, automation and a digital work environment — requires extensive, efficient and accurate data collection. During 2019, we began implementing new technologies (sensors, systems and databases) that enable and position us to collect the right data for future innovation. At the same time, we focused on underpinning our workforce with a culture that supports efficient and accurate data collection. Our aim is to continually improve visibility into our processes through the use of technology and analytics.
We translate this data into dashboards that we update and monitor in real time to measure our performance against goals and key performance indicators. Our data is uploaded to our digital work environment to ensure all our employees have access to accurate metrics and data. We are focusing on data collection processes and measurements that set a baseline and position us for future technological innovation.
How We Are Doing
Technological innovation is about making sure we are the operator of choice, now and in the future. We are focused on implementing new technologies and developing innovative processes that create value for our communities, our employees and our business. We measure our innovation by the value it adds to our stakeholders — improved local air quality, cost reductions or improved safety metrics. As 2019 was such a pivotal year, we plan to establish baselines with our 2019 data for reporting on progress in next year’s ESG Report.