Doing the right thing is a point of pride for us at Williams. It’s been rooted in the company’s culture for more than 100 years and continues to grow stronger thanks to our dedicated employees.
Our recently published Sustainability Report details the great work our teams do each day to ensure the safe delivery of clean, reliable and affordable energy. It provides transparency on environmental, social and governance matters in 2020, while also outlining the role of natural gas in a viable and sustainable low-carbon future.
We made tremendous headway on ESG efforts last year, even on top of executing pandemic-response plans to ensure the reliable operations of Williams critical energy infrastructure. Notably, we became the first North American midstream company to set a near-term climate commitment. The goal includes a 56% absolute reduction from 2005 levels in company greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – putting us on a path to be net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Our team selected the 2030 goal because we want to be accountable for affecting real change with a focus on what we can do right here, right now to reduce emissions and build a clean energy future. We have already come a long way by reducing our reported methane emissions from natural gas processing plants and transmission compressor stations more than 58% since 2012, all while increasing throughput volumes 27% over the same period.
At Williams we are also looking to the future as our nationwide infrastructure footprint is well-suited and adaptable to renewable energy sources like clean hydrogen and RNG blending. We are cultivating talent and building teams to pursue emerging opportunities.
Natural gas and natural gas infrastructure have set the stage for enabling the next generation of clean energy solutions. Beyond our core business of making clean energy happen, we have made meaningful progress toward diversifying our workforce and leadership team. We continue to increase our female leadership representation, along with our long-standing practice of ensuring gender diversity on our board by adding two more female directors in 2020 alone.
From a community perspective, our employees volunteered 18,263 hours in 2020 with charitable organizations, representing more than $520,000 in value. We also contributed nearly $11 million to initiatives that make communities stronger, including an extra $1 million in COVID-19 relief funds to support nonprofits struggling to meet basic needs, schools pivoting to remote learning, and first responders serving on the frontlines of the pandemic.
Our Sustainability Report documents annual metrics and actions around our ESG efforts, but it also reflects something much deeper – the many human stories that shape the heart and conscience of our company. I consider that another proud chapter in the century-long legacy of Williams employees committed to doing the right thing.