Natural Gas STAR Program
The Natural Gas STAR Program provides a framework for Partner companies with U.S. oil and gas operations to implement methane reducing technologies and practices and document their voluntary emission reduction activities. By joining the Program, Partners commit to: 1) evaluate their methane emission reduction opportunities, 2) implement methane reduction projects where feasible, and 3) annually report methane emission reduction actions to the EPA.
By working together to reduce methane emissions, EPA and Natural Gas STAR Partners are successfully improving performance, increasing natural gas supply, saving money, and protecting the environment. Participation in the Natural Gas STAR Program has numerous benefits, including:
- Information Sharing and Technology Transfer – EPA facilitates Technology Transfer and Implementation Workshops to help Partners learn about new and innovative technologies and practices.
- Peer Networking – Partners can participate in Technology Transfer Workshops, Implementation Workshops, and Web-based communications to build strong networks with industry peers and keep up on industry trends, initiatives, and the latest technologies.
- Voluntary Record of Reductions – Through Program participation and reporting, companies create a permanent record of their voluntary accomplishments in reducing methane emissions. In addition, annual reporting allows EPA to provide feedback to Partners through individual, detailed summary reports.
- Public Recognition – EPA provides recognition to highlight Partner achievements in articles, industry journals, technical studies and fact sheets. EPA also helps Partners communicate Program achievements to shareholders, customers, and the public.
Partners can derive the most benefit from the Natural Gas STAR Program 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. This section provides a brief description of concepts and ideas used by Partners to generate this corporate momentum.
- Form a Cross-Functional Team
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.
In addition to considering technologies and practices for implementation, the cross-functional team can identify key stakeholders, consider how the team is going to communicate, and identify and resolve barriers. Benefits of a functional team include:
- Increasing collaboration with staff that are involved with 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 more than 80 innovative, cost-effective methane emission reduction opportunities. Resources include Lessons Learned Studies and Partner Reported Opportunities (PRO) Fact Sheets. 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.
- Natural Gas STAR Partner Update —These newsletters provide information about the Natural Gas STAR Program, cutting edge emissions reduction practices and technologies, Partner accomplishments, workshops/events and other sector related news.
- 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.
- Announcing Your Partnership — 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 — 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.
Natural Gas STAR Logo: 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. The Natural Gas STAR logo can be used:
- On promotional items.
- On corporate letterhead for environmental communications.
- In trade show exhibition booths.
- As a link from a company's corporate website to the Natural Gas STAR Program home page.