Chairman and CEO Tracy Krohn’s comments on Corporate Responsibility:
“Environmental stewardship, sound corporate governance, and contributing positively to our employees and the communities where we work and operate have been cornerstones of our culture since we founded the Company nearly 40 years ago. Our success has been guided by these values which have provided the foundation for W&T to grow into a trusted operator in the Gulf of Mexico. We take our responsibility to our people, the environment, and the wider community very seriously. Since the day we founded W&T, our people have been our most valuable asset and utilizing their expertise to help develop and produce oil and gas resources in a safe and environmentally responsible manner has been paramount to our success. Corporate responsibility is part of our culture and that is how W&T has developed its strong reputation as a trusted operator, a generous partner in the communities where we operate, and a good steward to the environment.
We believe that ESG is the responsibility of all our employees – from front line operations professionals all the way up through management and to the Board. We all have a responsibility to ensure that we operate with the highest standards with regard to ESG, and we have empowered our management to allocate resources and tools necessary to create a working environment focused on accomplishing our ESG objectives.
Last year we took an important step by issuing our inaugural ESG report. It was a great foundation to build upon and we will continue to be transparent regarding our ESG efforts by regularly issuing reports about these activities and initiatives. We are constantly improving our capabilities to better allow us to report on an increasing number of SASB standards. We have a Vice President of HSE&R who oversees our programs, processes, and systems with the goal of making sure key aspects of our business are appropriately and effectively implemented and maintained. This includes ESG-related communication around safety and the environment, including Stop Work Authority, oil spill prevention, waste minimization, incident planning, contractor management, personnel training, and coordinating with regulatory agencies and industry groups to keep W&T abreast of upcoming HSE&R regulations, industry trends, and best practices. We are proud of our multi-year track record and are committed to implementing additional measures and improving on our capabilities to further address these opportunities as we look to a future of powering America safely and more sustainably.
Following our 2021 Annual Meeting, our Board undertook an effort to engage more directly with W&T’s larger shareholders on various ESG matters, including executive compensation and corporate governance. Accordingly, Mr. Stanley, who chairs our Audit Committee and Compensation Committee, and Ms. Boulet, who chairs our Nominating and Governance Committee, along with management representatives, invited representatives of W&T’s 25 largest shareholders to engage in direct conversations with the Company. The results of those conversations are discussed in more detail in the Governance section of this report.
During 2021, we made important progress to further enhance our ESG performance. (1) At the top of the list was the consolidation of our two onshore natural gas plants in Alabama into one location in January 2021, which reduced our GHG emissions by approximately 57,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (“CO2-e”) and reduced our water usage by 15%. This consolidation also lowered our operating costs for that facility, and we completed the consolidation without laying off any plant operators. (2) Over 90% of our employees participated in diversity training in 2021. Importantly, (3) we also tied a portion of our executive and employee incentive compensation to the accomplishment of annual key ESG goals to better align our employees with our goals.
I want to thank all of our employees for their support of our ESG initiatives, and I look forward to working closely with them as we continue to build on the Company’s long-term sustainability.”