Sustainability: “A business approach that integrates environmental, SOCIAL and economic stewardship into our business to create value for our communities and for our shareholders.”
As responsible stewards of the communities we serve, we invest significant time, effort and money into supporting the initiatives and programs that promote health, wellness and opportunity. These programs are important to our customers and our employees.
The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation focuses on three specific areas:
1: Environmental Stewardship & Energy Sustainability
2: Community Enrichment
- K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education
- Workforce development
- Health and human services
3: Energy Assistance Programs
- Share the Warmth
In addition to the Foundation, Piedmont’s leadership council members (officers and director-level employees) serve on boards and committees for more than 51 organizations throughout the Company’s three-state service area. This network of relationships offers us a valuable window through which we identify and respond to community needs that are revealed throughout our service territory.
Share the Warmth Round Up
When customers enroll in the Share the Warmth Round Up program, Piedmont rounds up their monthly Piedmont Natural Gas bills to the nearest dollar and donates the difference to approved Share the Warmth agencies in their communities. Share the Warmth funds can be used to pay energy bills regardless of the energy source used in the home - including natural gas, propane, oil and electricity. The approved partner agencies distribute the funds.
Share the Warmth Partner Agencies
- Crisis Assistance Ministry
- North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
- South Carolina Governor's Office
- Metro Action Commission
- Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency
- Highland Rim Economic Corporation
Piedmont Natural Gas operates 22,300 miles of distribution pipeline and 2,910 miles of transmission pipeline. As the provider of natural gas to more than 1 million homes and businesses, it is important to educate our customers, our communities and our employees about safety.
Our Call Before You Dig communications encourage our customers and our communities to call 811 before they dig anywhere on their property so we can identify the locations of our natural gas lines. Damages to our pipelines caused by people who did not call 811 before they began to dig are called no-call damages.
The employees and management of Piedmont are committed to conducting operations with a focus on the safety and integrity of our natural gas pipelines. We have implemented distribution and transmission integrity management plans to improve our pipeline safety efforts. We are continually:
- gaining a better knowledge of our system
- identifying threats
- evaluating and ranking risks
- identifying and implementing measures to mitigate risks
- measuring our performance
- monitoring results
- evaluating the effectiveness of our actions
- performing periodic evaluations
In 2013, we established a goal of reducing third-party no-call damages. Our goal was to reduce these specific no-call damages from 35.5 percent of all damages to 33 percent by 2017. Our results in 2014 confirm a consistent and desirable decrease.
Pipeline Integrity Measures
- Leak-detection surveys
- Pipeline patrols
- Maintenance of pipeline right-of-ways
- Above-ground pipeline marker installation and maintenance
- Periodic valve maintenance
- Material selection
- Periodic corrosion inspections
- Cathodic protection
- Hydrostatic pressure testing
- Compressed air pressure testing
- Inspection of pipeline welds, materials, construction
- Routine pressure limiting/control device testing and inspection
- Atmospheric corrosion inspection
With our constant focus on the safety of our employees and our communities comes the responsibility to constantly invest time and money into the maintenance of our pipeline systems. These system integrity programs and investments help us identify repairs and enhancements for our transmission and distribution pipelines.
Employees of Piedmont Natural Gas operate within a culture of safety all day, every day. In 2012, we introduced a proprietary, internal program called SHIELD (Safe Habits Increase Efficiency, Leadership and Development) modeled after OSHA’s voluntary protection programs, STAR and SHARP. Our program recognizes and documents specific safety milestones for each of our facilities. There are four stages, with stage four being the highest achievement level. As of December 2014, seven of our 29 locations have achieved stage-four status, and all but one location have achieved stage one or greater. Our goal is to have all 29 locations stage four-certified by 2018.
The Company’s Wellness program offers employees numerous opportunities and challenges promoting a healthy lifestyle. From weight-loss activities and fitness-facility reimbursement, to yoga classes and group competitions, Piedmont continuously offers opportunities to get engaged and be healthy.