Beyond the Basics - Achieving and Maintaining Excellence
Partners can derive the most benefit from Natural Gas STAR by incorporating its principles into day-to-day operations. Raising awareness about the Program and motivating employees to proactively seek out—and communicate about—new opportunities promotes strong participation and success without requiring significant additional resources. In this way, Natural Gas STAR approaches are incorporated into daily operations, and are not something “extra” that employees have to do. This section provides a brief description of concepts and ideas used by partners to generate this corporate momentum. These ideas and concepts are flexible and can be applied to companies large and small:
- Form a Cross-Functional Team
- Evaluate Methane Emission Reduction Opportunities
- Engage Natural Gas STAR for Technical Assistance
- Communicate Success
At EnCana, our efforts started in the environmental group, but we quickly learned that these efforts affect multiple stakeholders within and outside EnCana. It is crucial to communicate and coordinate your efforts with Operations, Senior Management, Community Relations and Government Affairs. EnCana is working towards a formalized Cross Functional Team because we see this as a critical step to ensuring success of the EPA Natural Gas STAR Program within EnCana.
Form a Cross-Functional Team (CFT): Partners have found that establishing cross-functional Natural Gas STAR teams can facilitate comprehensive execution of the Program. By engaging representatives from management, EH&S, operations and maintenance, engineering, supply chain and project planning, Natural Gas STAR principles and messages can reach a wider audience. By educating these representatives on Natural Gas STAR, each can contribute ideas for how the Program can be implemented within their function. Quarterly or monthly meetings of the team can facilitate outward communication to others in the company as well as inward communication regarding new ideas, achievements or successes. In addition to considering technologies and practices for implementation, the CFT can identify key stakeholders, consider how the team is going to communicate its program, and identify and resolve barriers. Benefits of a functional team include:
- Increasing collaboration with staff that are involved with the day-to-day operations.
- Receiving input and support from staff who will be responsible for implementing or managing the methane emission reduction technologies and activities.
- Improving communications with management to ensure continued support and buy-in.
- Providing a platform for vetting program ideas and priorities.
Evaluate Methane Emission Reduction Opportunities: The Natural Gas STAR Program has developed a broad range of tools and technical resources to help evaluate and implement proven methane emission reduction activities. Periodic reviews of the following resources can ensure that a company is aware of the latest technologies and practices that are relevant for their industry sector.
- Technical Documents — Natural Gas STAR provides information on over 80 innovative, cost-effective methane emission reduction opportunities. Resources include Lessons Learned Studies, Partner Reported Opportunities (PRO) Fact Sheets, technical presentations, and technical articles. The Recommended Technologies and Practices section of the Natural Gas STAR website provides a comprehensive list of these opportunities, including implementation costs and anticipated payback. (Note: Some technical documents are also available in Arabic, Chinese, Russian, and Spanish.)
- Natural Gas STAR Partner Update —These quarterly newsletters provide information on the Natural Gas STAR Program, cutting edge emissions reduction practices and technologies, partner accomplishments, workshops/events, emerging regulations and other sector related news.
- International Partner Challenge Service — Please note that the Partner Challenge Service has changed. The service is now available to international partners only. For details, please see the Natural Gas STAR International Page.
- Technical Guidance — Natural Gas STAR offers a full range of Program support and technical guidance to partners. Through the Partner Update (the Program newsletter), case study analyses, technical workshops, and administrative Program support, EPA provides guidance that helps partners reap the full economic and environmental benefits of reducing methane emissions.
Communicate Success: Natural Gas STAR partner companies work hard to advance emission reduction technologies and practices. Effectively communicating success helps a company to maintain momentum, further engage employees, and share achievements with other stakeholders. Sharing accomplishments and innovations with the Natural Gas STAR Program can also facilitate technology transfer to other partner companies. The Natural Gas STAR Program has various templates that were specifically designed to communicate success stories. As part of any communications effort, consider involving internal media representatives or public relations and corporate communications staff who can help effectively communicate your success.
- Communication Templates — These templates were developed to assist partners in advertising significant events in their partnership with Natural Gas STAR. Partners are encouraged to use this text, in whole or in part, in press releases, company newsletters, stockholder reports, websites, etc. If you need additional outreach materials or sample text, please contact your Natural Gas STAR EPA Program Manager or STAR Service Representative.
- Announcing Your Partnership (2 pp, 67K, About MS Word) — Companies new to the partnership are encouraged to announce that they have joined Natural Gas STAR in their company newsletter, website, or in a press release to advertise to individuals within the company, as well as outside entities, the company's commitment to the environment.
- Publicizing Your Natural Gas STAR Accomplishments (2 pp, 71K, About MS Word) — After your company has begun implementing technologies and practices as part of your commitment to reducing methane emissions, you are encouraged to publicize your methane emissions reductions in your company newsletter, website, or shareholder report to illustrate the company's dedication to participating in the Program and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Announcing Your Natural Gas STAR Award (2 pp, 336K, About MS Word) — Partner companies that receive a Natural Gas STAR award from EPA are encouraged to announce this achievement to recognize instrumental individuals and departments who contributed to their company’s success, as well as publicize this achievement to others in the industry.
- Natural Gas STAR Logo (PDF) (1 pg, 13K, About PDF) — As a partner in EPA's Natural Gas STAR Program, you are encouraged to use the Program's logo as part of your company's corporate communications program. You can use the Natural Gas STAR logo:
- On promotional items (such as golf shirts and coffee mugs) for employees who participate in your company's Natural Gas STAR efforts.
- On corporate letterhead for environmental communications.
- In trade show exhibition booths.
- As a link from your corporate website to the Natural Gas STAR Program home page.
The Natural Gas STAR logo should not be altered, but can be re-sized, and should not be used in a manner that would imply EPA endorsements of the company, its products, or its services. The logo is also available as camera-ready art upon request. The Natural Gas STAR logo can only be used by Natural Gas STAR Partners, not service providers or vendors.
- Natural Gas STAR Industry Sector Presentations — These presentations provide general information about Natural Gas STAR Program goals, benefits and accomplishments, partner case studies, and recommended methane emission reduction technologies and practices: