Communities – DJ Basin
In the DJ Basin of northern Colorado, we have three decades of experience working side-by-side with local communities and groups to support environmental, educational and community health goals. In 2016, science education and other workforce development initiatives were in the forefront of our activities.
Over the past year, Noble Energy and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) have created an innovative curriculum that supports STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) education in 10 underserved schools across Colorado. The program was delivered to over 500 students in 2016 and is being expanded to ten additional schools.
“They were engaged the entire time … This very hands-on workshop not only helped my students learn and solidify new concepts but also gave me ideas for other ways to teach various concepts.”
– Denver Public Schools teacher
Also in 2016 we invested $100,000 in a Smithsonian pilot program to help teachers introduce more advanced science curriculum into classrooms in 16 schools across Colorado. The Smithsonian serves as a laboratory for creating innovative education methods that support formal education, and our grant will help support its efforts to transform the learning and teaching of science for students in Colorado and across the United States.
We continued our Denver Public Schools (DPS) education partnership with the Denver Broncos, presenting the DPS Foundation in 2016 with $32,000 raised from the Red Zone program – every time the Broncos reached the red zone during the 2015-2016 season, we donated $1,000 to the foundation. The program has cumulatively passed the $100,000 mark, with funds going toward science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. At our annual Noble Energy/Denver Broncos day of service in the schools, employees and contractors volunteered at McGlone Elementary School. They led field day activities, gardened, painted, and read to students. We also surprised the students by donating $3,000 for McGlone Elementary's summer programs.
“For years to come, this gift will not only enrich the education of our kids but their life experiences. Through their generosity, Noble Energy is part of the fabric of our community."
– Veronica Figoli, DPS Foundation President and CEO
Additionally, Noble Energy and the Denver Broncos have worked with DPS to recognize and encourage students who demonstrate excellence in STEM subjects, through the Noble Energy Kids Program. At every Broncos home game, six to 10 students from 20 local schools in lower-income neighborhoods are selected by DPS leadership to receive tickets and field passes and are recognized on the main video board. In 2016, we received 160 applications for Noble Energy Kids.
Our workforce development outreach efforts also support programs that build a diverse base of leaders in our communities:
- We have partnered with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Denver for three years by supporting its Leadership Development Program. In 2016, Noble was recognized for its efforts with the Chambers Corporate Advocate Award.
- In 2016, we sponsored Mi Casa’s Denver Resource Fair, a networking event to provide opportunities for businesses.
- We supported a 13-week program offered by the Women’s Business Center that helps aspiring entrepreneurs and emerging businesses achieve their goals.
Our science education efforts also involve our training center in Greeley. Not only does the center leverage science and technology to educate Noble Energy employees as they come on board, it also demonstrates science and safety principles to external visitors. The outdoor production simulator illustrates our field operations. All the equipment was donated by our vendors, with cutouts to show the inner workings. The indoor training lab shows how our employees are tested on equipment, company processes, and safety. In 2016 the training staff hosted 11 stakeholder tours with 242 participants, including legislators, students, and federal and state officials.
After exploring multiple alternative fuel options, the Douglas County, Colorado, school district chose to launch a compressed natural gas (CNG) pilot program. Through a partnership with Noble Energy and the Regional Air Quality Council, the school district was able to secure more than $250,000 in grants, enabling it to purchase new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses for less than the cost of used diesel buses.
Douglas County is one of nine counties benefitting from Noble Energy’s CNG bus program, which has helped school districts purchase 47 buses with contributions of nearly $4.19 million since 2013. Clean-burning natural gas is up to one-third less expensive than diesel fuel on an equivalent energy basis, saving school districts approximately $3,000 on fuel per CNG bus per year while reducing air pollutants compared to diesel-fueled vehicles. According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Transportation Technologies, natural gas engines dramatically reduce carbon monoxide by 70%; non-methane organic gas by 87%; and nitrogen oxides by 87%.
Noble Energy is a long-time supporter of the Denver-based Morgan Adams Foundation, which works with leading physicians and directly funds pediatric cancer research and therapies to improve survival rates and reduce treatment side effects. In 2016, our employees provided 159 volunteer hours to the Foundation.
Continuing another long-term community outreach program, a team of Noble Energy employees organized multiple fundraising events as part of the Weld Food Bank’s Annual Corporate Food Challenge. The event raised funds that provided more than 480,000 meals for seniors, children and families in need. In addition, employees volunteered a total of 247 hours in 2016 at the Weld Food Bank.
Noble Energy was named the Tennyson Center for Children’s Corporate Champion for 2016. Since 2008, we have funded a total of $800,000 to support the Tennyson Center, which provides residential and therapeutic services, as well as a K-12 school, for children who are survivors of severe abuse or neglect, or have significant mental health or developmental issues. In 2016 our employees donated backpacks through Tennyson’s annual backpack drive, played with the kids in the center’s annual golf tournament, spoke at their Northern Colorado dinner and worked with the Denver Center for Performing Arts to deliver a Dramatic Learning program to a group of 5th graders at Tennyson’s school.
Our employees also participated in events supporting several other health issues. In the American Heart Association Relay for Life, our team placed first in the large group category. Noble Energy employees participated in the annual Turkey Trot benefitting the Northern Colorado Medical Center Foundation to assist cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation patients. And in Denver, employees and their family members participated in the “Undy Run” for The Colon Cancer Alliance, whose goal is to knock colon cancer out of the top three cancer killers.
Beyond our strategic pillars of community support, we lend a hand to other efforts that make our communities better places to live.
In Weld County, Noble Energy employees volunteered at New Raymer Park as part of the first phase of revitalizing the town's main park. In addition to the New Raymer Park project, Noble Energy has been a multi-year contributor to the Weld County’s Northeast Drylander Fair, in particular underwriting the cost of the annual community barbecue.
Noble Energy’s support for the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center included multiple volunteer-driven activities during the year. The center fights for the best interests of children both in and out of the courtroom to help them achieve a higher quality of life. During the center’s annual Elf Bash holiday gift drive, more than 85 percent of our employees participated in collecting 241 gifts over the course of two weeks.