Corporate Responsibility

Philosophy

Chairman and CEO Tracy Krohn’s comments on Corporate Responsibility:

"At W&T, we focus on delivering long-term profitable growth for our shareholders. At the same time, we fully acknowledge our responsibility to our employees and the communities where we operate, and the importance of the ongoing protection of the environment.  For the past 36 years, we have developed a good reputation based on ensuring the safety and health of our employees, serving as a community partner in our areas of operation, and protecting the environment in a sustainable manner that goes beyond compliance with federal and state regulations. We have also adopted best-practice governance standards.  We are proud of our multi-year track record in each of these key areas as demonstrated by the measurable results described below.  We remain committed to implementing additional measures in the future to further address these obligations as a good corporate citizen."

Health, Safety and Environmental (HS&E) Programs

At W&T, we are committed to the health and safety of all our employees and contractors while developing and producing our oil and natural gas resources in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.  Our HS&E programs extend beyond compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements as we strive for “zero” harm to people and the environment.

We and our subsidiaries are committed to developing and producing oil and gas resources in a safe and environmentally responsible manner and in compliance with all regulatory requirements. In doing this, we strive for “zero” harm to people and to the environment.  

All W&T employees are responsible for the Company’s health, safety, environmental and regulatory (HSE&R) behavior, actions, practices, and performance. Our HSE&R behaviors, actions, practices, and performance are instrumental in the success of our Company. We are committed to a “culture of compliance.”  The observance of all health, safety, and environmental plans, programs, permits, reports, policies, and procedures is mandatory. Failure to observe these practices may result in disciplinary actions up to and including termination. 

Our management  provides the programs, processes and systems so that key aspects of our business are appropriately and effectively implemented and maintained (including HSE&R communication, emergency response, disaster planning, management of change, hazard analysis and communication, safe-work practices, operating procedures, incident investigations, dealing with unsafe conditions/acts, training, and learning, etc.)

Our management allocates resources and tools necessary to meet expectations and performance objectives and strives to create a working environment that encourages open communication about HSE&R issues and concerns.

Company leaders (including managers, supervisors, foreman, and persons-in-charge) are each responsible for establishing positive HSE&R behavior through their individual work actions and through the leadership of employees and contractors.  Our Company leaders are expected to communicate and engage employees and contractors on HSE&R programs, issues, and expectations.

At W&T, we recognize that our employees and contractors are very important to our business success.  We conduct our business activities in a manner that provides for a safe and healthy workplace, protection of the environment, minimization and/or prevention of pollution as well as compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

In doing this, at W&T we strive to: 

  • Identify, quantify and appropriately manage HSE&R risk.
  • Provide HSE&R awareness (including job safety awareness and hazard recognition) to our employees and contractors through a comprehensive program of education, training and lessons learned.
  • Embrace the reality that HSE&R actions and behaviors are the individual and collective responsibility of management, employees, and contractors.
  • Share HSE&R responsibility and accountability with W&T’s employees and contractors.
  • Fully expect W&T personnel (particularly managers, supervisors, foreman, and persons-in-charge) to lead HSE&R program efforts and behavior in a manner that supports this policy statement.
  • Implement procedures and processes throughout the organization with an emphasis on planning, doing, checking and adjusting (when appropriate).
  • Provide W&T’s employees and contractors with delegated Stop-Work Authority. Personnel is expected to use sound judgment in exercising this authority.
  • Ensure “zero” harm to people and to the environment.
  • Maintain the established procedure (and anonymous mechanisms including a telephone hotline), that enables any employee or contractor or any other person to register (without fear of retaliation) complaints or concerns about the Company’s conduct or activities or that of any employee or contractor of the Company as well as any suspected unreported or unlogged environmental violations.
  • Continue to improve our HSE&R program through lesson learned situations as well as through performance evaluations and benchmark analysis.
  • Monitor and reward HSE&R performance (through leading and lagging indicator metrics).
  • Recognize and embrace the fact that HSE&R values are important to our Company’s success.

Our core values guide how we do business while providing the foundation upon which trust is established and maintained with our employees and contractors.  At W&T, we recognize these core values:

  • People are our most valuable asset.
  • HSE&R issues and requirements are treated with the utmost importance and respect.
  • Integrity, honesty, and transparency are important to the success of our business affairs and in communications with all employees and contractors.
  • Developing and maintaining strong relationships with our employees and contractors is important to achieving expected performance results.
  • Open communication (while embracing feedback from employees and/or contractors) enhances our chance for success.
  • Embrace change, where it makes good sense to do so.
  • Trust, respect, innovation, raising concerns and learning are important aspects of our business success.

Our Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) program is a performance-focused system for integrating tasks and managing operational activities. Among other things, our SEMS is designed to satisfy the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s (BSEE’s) SEMS requirements for offshore operators. 

Our SEMS program incorporates a framework of continuous improvement mechanisms through 17 elements that allow for planning, performing, measuring and acting phases to be executed through operational activities. In addition, our SEMS program facilitates the identification, addressing, and managing of potential safety hazards and environmental impacts (during the design, construction, start-up, operation, inspection, and maintenance phases) of new and existing projects and/or facility operations. SEMS also enables addressing various phases of business activities including drilling, production, construction, well work-over, well completion, well servicing, and pipeline activities.

In following the 17 elements of our SEMS, our Company is able to:

  • Recognize, evaluate, and responsibly manage HSE&R risks;
  • Standardize practices, objectives, data collection processes, reporting systems, audit systems, key performance indicator monitoring systems, and goal achievement processes;
  • Perform every aspect of our business in compliance with laws and regulations;
  • Consider HSE&R issues in the design, construction, maintenance, operation, and decommissioning of our equipment and facilities;
  • Work in a collaborative partnership with stakeholders including regulators, suppliers, customers, contractors, consultants, and agents to continually improve our business and how HSE&R matters are addressed;
  • Promote and demonstrate our commitment to pollution prevention with special focus on minimizing waste generation and waste recycling, and appropriately dealing with environmental issues;
  • Work diligently to educate, inform, and prevent safety incidents and environmental accidents by engaging employees and educating them about their role and responsibilities; and,
  • Integrate HSE&R considerations into all relevant aspects of our business considerations and decisions.

At W&T, we emphasize training to support our culture of “beyond compliance” and continuous improvement. We believe that training aids in minimizing HSE&R risk and exposure, improves learning, increases knowledge, advances skills, and facilitates continuous improvement in performance. Our training program applies a variety of learning techniques and training methods such as classroom training, site-specific training, mock incident simulations, desk-top drills, field safety orientations, lessons-learned training, computer-based training, and train-the-trainer sessions. Within our lessons learned system, we leverage useful information through peer companies, trade industry associations, and regulators to assist with training and education.

The Company has established procedures for any employee, contractor, consultant or any other person to register complaints or concerns about the Company’s conduct or activities or that of any employee of the Company. These reporting procedures can be found in the Corporate Governance subsection of the “Investor Relations” section within this website.

In addition to the foregoing and to further support our corporate policies, the Company has adopted a procedure for employees, contractors or consultants to notify our corporate environmental compliance manager of any suspected unreported or unlogged environmental violations.

The management of the Company encourages its employees, contractors or consultants to utilize the foregoing procedures where you have good faith complaints or concerns about the Company’s conduct or activities or that of any employee of the Company.

Community Focus

W&T actively supports charitable organizations in the communities where it operates to improve the quality of life for those living in the area.  The Company tries to focus on helping children and families most in need while aiding in the protection of the environment.  W&T also supports its employees who volunteer their time with these organizations.  

Helping Others is a management-supported group of W&T employees whose purpose is to give back to the communities in which we live and work. The Helping Others program allows our employees throughout the Company, across many different disciplines, to work together to help those less fortunate have a better life. In addition to providing financial resources, W&T offers its employees the opportunity to donate volunteer time during business hours. 

Houston Tour de Cure

Funds raised through the Houston Tour de Cure support the American Diabetes Association camp, research, education and advocacy for people living with type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes.

SEARCH's House of Tiny Treasures

The House of Tiny Treasures provides a high-quality early childhood education for children, ages two to five years of age, who are either homeless or living in deep poverty.

Houston Food Bank

The Houston Food Bank distributes 104 million nutritious meals through its network of 1,500 community partners in southeast Texas, feeding 800,000 individuals each year.

Star of Hope

Star of Hope meets the needs of homeless men, women and their children. Positive life changes are encouraged through structured programs that focus on spiritual growth, education, employment, life management, and recovery from substance abuse.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity helps people in need to build or improve a place they can call home.

Wings Over Houston

Wings Over Houston showcases vintage World War II aircraft, along with the thrills of modern aviation, and has supported a variety of local and national charities during its 36-year history.

Ronald McDonald House Houston

For more than 30 years, Ronald McDonald House Houston has been helping families with seriously ill children stay close together during difficult times.

Trees for Houston

Trees for Houston has planted 590,000 trees to benefit the Houston community.

Wreaths Across America

Wreaths Across America has a mission to Remember, Honor and Teach by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at more than 1,600 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea and abroad.

United Way

United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.

CASA for Children

CASA for Children advocates for children who have experienced abuse or neglect.

KSBJ Giving Tree

The KSBJ Giving Tree makes the holidays special for children and families in poverty.

Candlelighters

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance provides emotional, educational and practical support to families of children with cancer.

SEARCH Homeless Services

Search Homeless Services works to engage, stabilize, educate, employ, and house individuals and families who are homeless in the Houston area.

Governance – Board of Directors

W&T is committed to having the highest ethical standards in conducting its business operations. Four of the five members of our diverse Board are independent, which is beyond the requirements for a simple majority under NYSE regulations.  The stability and experience of the Board has given W&T the ability to weather numerous economic cycles within the industry. The Board oversees an enterprise-wide approach to risk management, designed to support the achievement of organizational objectives, including strategic objectives, to improve long-term organizational performance and enhance shareholder value.

Governance – Compensation

The primary objectives of W&T’s compensation programs are to attract and retain the best possible talent, to reward performance that supports our corporate objectives and business strategy, and to align the incentives of every employee with those of W&T’s shareholders.

We are proud that W&T’s Board and Management Team owns a 34% stake in the Company’s equity.

Our latest proxy statement provides additional information on the structure and key performance goals of the Company’s short-term and long-term incentive compensation programs.