As a result of the wealth of experience it has acquired over many years, Saipem has developed an awareness of the environmental impacts it can potentially generate and is scrupulous in managing its activities in order to mitigate these. Precisely in order to fulfil these needs and to formalise long-standing methodologies and experiences, Saipem has for many years had an Environmental Management System (EMS) certified as per ISO 14001 international standard.
Assessment of environmental aspects has highlighted how energy consumption and the potential for spills are significant features of the operating activities of the various business lines of the Saipem Group. Over the past few years the Company has therefore focused strongly on tackling these issues both at Corporate level (with targeted campaigns and initiatives) and on operating projects. The drive for ongoing improvement can be recognised in each implementation phase of the Environmental Management System through a process that unfolds along all phases of a project, from engineering up to completion, with the aim of minimising environmental impact by means of analysis, studies and the following actions:
- identification of environmental aspects inherent to Saipem’s activities;
- identification of significant environmental aspects through the application of a tried and tested method;
- assessment of the environmental impacts of an activity;
- identification of suitable mitigation measures to minimise environmental impacts and
- identification of operational controls to manage and control residual impacts.
This specific process is particularly incisive and is also vital for the successful outcome of all those actions planned during engineering phase and implemented during construction with a view to protecting the environment.
Environmental Management System at Project level
At project level, an EMS based on Saipem’s HSE Management System is tailored to the scope of work and duly implemented. The EMS and related project documents are prepared in accordance with:
- applicable national and local legislation;
- the Client’s HSE management system;
- HSE contractual requirements and
- the ISO 14001 standard.
In EPC (or EPIC) contracts, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) study is generally carried out by the Client and provided to Saipem at the beginning of the project for reference. The study especially assesses the environmental impacts generated during plant operation. Once the EIA is approved by the local authorities, it is not updated any further during the project. When the Client supplies a preliminary EIA, it can ask the contractor to update it or to provide the support necessary to complete it. The latter is normally done during engineering phase
During project engineering phase, additional environmental analyses and studies are carried out in order to identify the key environmental issues associated with plant (or pipeline, or infrastructure, etc.) interaction with the environment during operation. This helps the project team when making design choices and when implementing design solutions that are compatible with environmental safeguarding requirements. When the project proceeds to more detailed configurations, the environmental aspects are updated and finalised, taking into account the full project details and any instructions or restrictions received from the authorities.
An Environmental Impact Identification (ENVIID) is carried out at project level, focusing on both engineering and construction phases. The ENVIID constitutes the key input for the development of the project Environmental Management Plan (EMP) for construction and commissioning phases. An EMP is usually carried out through a workshop involving different project functions and includes identification and assessment of the environmental aspects connected to activities performed directly by Saipem and its subcontractors working on site.
The first version of the document is normally issued during project engineering phase, starting from the EIA (and any restrictions contained therein) and information deriving from the ENVIID. It is then implemented during construction, installation, pre-commissioning and commissioning phases and describes the overall Environmental Management System on site. It is subsequently updated when important changes occur.
In addition to the EMP, detailed specific plans and procedures are issued and implemented in relation to the most significant environmental aspects in order to provide more effective guidelines and to pinpoint any mitigation measures and monitoring activities that need to be undertaken to ensure correct management in relation to such things as waste, spill prevention and response.
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