In terms of environmental protection, the Group’s objectives are to preserve the areas that may be impacted by its activities and to raise awareness of environmental issues among employees, contractors and local residents.
The Group’s environmental policy aims to (i) prevent, measure, mitigate and repair local environmental impacts resulting from its activities, (ii) control its energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, (iii) manage water resources and (iv) safeguard biodiversity and ecosystem services.
The Group’s commitments are laid out in its Environment, Health, Safety and Security Charter, updated at the end of 2019 and sent to the Group’s partners, contractors, suppliers and subcontractors.
Group arrangements to address environmental issues and, where necessary, environmental assessment and certification initiatives
Environmental management is integral to the EHS-S departments of the Group’s subsidiaries. It is the subject of regular reporting to the highest echelons of the company, as well as to the regulatory authorities of the countries in which the Group operates: the Directorate-General for Hydrocarbons in Gabon, the Ufficio Regionale per Gli Idrocarburi e la Geotermia (U.R.I.G) in Italy, the Direction Régionale de l’Environnement, l’Aménagement et du Logement (DREAL) in France, and the Petroleum Upstream Regulatory Authority (PURA) in Tanzania.
Assessing and managing project environmental impacts
Every project is initially based on a preliminary risk study that leads to the definition of a social and environmental action plan approved by the competent authorities. Appropriate financial, human and technical resources are made available for its application. The implementation of these management plans is subject to regular internal and external audits by the competent authorities.
M&P Gabon contributes to the establishment of wildlife inventories in the Gamba Complex of Protected Areas, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the WWF, as part of the Prolab anti-poaching programme and in connection with an impact study conducted by the subsidiary. This work is exceptional in both its scope and the importance of protecting the large mammals present in this area to save the species.
Environmental impact assessments (EIAs) are carried out in accordance with local regulations before and during the project. In order to identify, assess and prevent risks, the Group relies on internal expertise and independent experts recommended by the local authorities.
Once these risk studies have been completed, the Group deploys the following action plans:
— upstream, to combat soil degradation, water table deterioration or sludge seeping into farmland and rivers, the Group asks civil engineering contractors and services to conduct earthwork
along roads and at site platforms. Weaker areas are stabilised by putting in plant cover (replanting by hydroseeding); and
— downstream, sites are preserved by rehabilitating deforested areas, sorting waste and controlling waste destruction
Protection of biodiversity and ecosystems
The potential impact of activities on biodiversity is assessed by conducting environmental impact studies on each of the Group’s permits. Species are surveyed, detailed forest inventories are
produced and environmental management plans are drawn up.
Preservation of the ecosystem requires training and raising the awareness of staff, subcontractors and local populations by emphasising the prohibition of clearing plant material, hunting and poaching.