Why It Matters to Us
At EQT, we view the local landowners we work with as valued partners, and our ability to operate hinges on maintaining positive, proactive relationships with these individuals. During every step of the process, our goal is to create mutual trust through transparency, proactive engagement and appropriate responsiveness to concerns.
What We Are Doing
We value our relationships with landowners and understand they are critical to our mission to realize the full potential of EQT and become the operator of choice for all stakeholders. A fundamental component of our company-wide reorganization in 2019 was our renewed commitment to our landowners. Driven by our Chief Executive Officer, we made significant changes in how we interact with our landowners. We now take a more proactive approach to cultivating and maintaining landowner relations with a focus on ensuring all landowners clearly understand how our plans and operations will affect them. We directly engage with our landowner partners on a regular basis through email, town halls and in-person meetings. In 2019, we also improved our processes for carefully tracking and responding to landowner concerns and questions.
Please read about our wider community engagement activities in Community Impacts and Safety.
We believe face-to-face interactions with landowners build trust and open channels for future dialogue. Our Landowner Town Halls, restarted in 2019, allow us to create a personal connection with landowners and provide a platform for landowners to ask questions. Led by our Chief Executive Officer, our Landowner Town Halls foster dialogue around difficult topics and establish mutual respect in the community.
We send targeted correspondence to select landowners to provide updates on relevant projects. We continue to send updates and correspondence to ensure these critical stakeholders understand what to expect throughout the life cycle of our operations in their area.
“There is a positive story behind this photo, but most importantly was what was said by Mr. Rice at the conclusion of our day. His words were ‘Heart, Trust, Teamwork and Evolution’. I have seen those words working with those I have encountered with my EQT connections.”
– Albie Rinehart, Greene County, Pennsylvania landowner
tracking and responding to concerns
We offer several avenues for landowners to contact us. We manage a hotline number and maintain a dedicated webpage to provide landowners with an opportunity to easily voice concerns and ask questions. We promote the use of the hotline number by communicating relevant information during in-person meetings, on company business cards and on the EQT website.
To more accurately and expediently address landowner concerns, in 2019, we began using our digital work environment to log all landowner communications. Our Owner Relations team manages all landowner requests and questions that we receive via our online portal, telephone or written mail, by adding trackable cases in our digital work environment. For entries made through our website, landowners are provided a list of potential issues to choose from to automatically generate a corresponding tagged case. For landowners who choose to contact us by phone, if all Owner Relations team members are on calls, the caller can leave a voicemail that is automatically transcribed into a case. Our updated process results in stronger relationships with members of the local communities where we operate and better tracking of landowner feedback. Through this system, we can track thousands of questions and comments each year, as well as how quickly we respond to the landowner and close each matter. We strive to resolve any issue identified by a landowner within seven business days of the notification date.
Landowner matters are communicated to our Vice President, Land, who reports directly to our Chief Executive Officer. Relevant topics on landowner relations are communicated to the Board of Directors on a regular basis. Our management team also reviews aggregate information on the types and volumes of calls we receive from landowners on a weekly basis.
We must request certain personal information from landowners for legal and tax purposes, and we work to protect their privacy by maintaining systems to handle incoming information and prevent breaches. We strategically limit the number of employees who manage landowner data, and employees who do handle sensitive information are required to complete relevant training.
How We Are Doing
In 2019, we strengthened our focus on landowner relations to ensure effective management of this topic. We are continually working to better understand the types of feedback we receive from landowners and proactively address any significant issues identified through this process. In 2019, we started managing all landowner communications internally to promote more direct relationships. We look forward to including more robust data in next year’s report.
In 2019, we had 10,482 calls and emails from landowners. We are in the process of determining key indicators to measure our performance managing landowner relations.