Why It Matters to Us
We view our local landowners as valued partners and our ability to operate is dependent upon 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 their concerns.
What We Are Doing
We take a proactive approach to cultivating and maintaining landowner relations with a focus on ensuring all landowners clearly understand how our plans and operations may affect them. In 2021, we were unable to host in-person meetings or town hall events with our landowners due to the ongoing concerns of COVID-19, but we are anticipating the return of in-person events in 2022. We have, however, continued to leverage virtual meetings and provide mass communications to keep landowners engaged throughout the year. In early 2021, we integrated our call center into our digital work environment allowing us to work more efficiently while improving our reporting capabilities.
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 and we are looking forward to resuming in person events in 2022. During 2021, we maintained our commitment to open communication channels by increasing the frequency of our mass outreach and ensuring our landowner hotline was available.
We send correspondence to landowners to ensure these critical stakeholders understand what to expect throughout the lifecycle of our operations in their area and we send targeted correspondence to select landowners to provide updates on relevant projects.
tracking and responding to concerns
Landowners can contact EQT through several avenues. We maintain a hotline number and a dedicated webpage to provide landowners with an opportunity to easily voice concerns and ask questions. We promote the use of the hotline during in-person and virtual meetings, through email correspondence, on company business cards, and on our corporate website.
Our Owner Relations team manages all landowner requests and questions received via our online portal, telephone, or written mail by creating 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 in our digital work environment. The most frequent inquiry types we see include general royalty payment inquiries, account address changes, ownership changes, and direct deposit setup. 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 in our digital work environment to enable our Owner Relations agents to proactively follow up on concerns. We have also refined the data we collect for these cases to ensure internal accountability and that cases are routed appropriately.
Our 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 and how quickly we respond to the landowner and close each matter. In 2021, we also implemented a formalized call center that will allow us to report more specific response time data.
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 that handle incoming information and are designed to 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
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. We manage all landowner communications internally to promote more direct relationships. We measure our performance in managing landowner concerns based on how frequently we cycle cases compared to our acceptable open case count. We strive to resolve any issues identified by a landowner within seven business days of the notification date and cycle approximately 900 cases every 10 calendar days. In 2021, our Owner Relations team received approximately 27,400 inquiries and fully resolved 97% of such inquiries in the same calendar year.