National and local jurisdictions’ regulatory requirements are becoming ever more diverse, complex and stringent regarding environmental management. Of course, SABIC affiliates globally are required to meet applicable environmental regulatory requirements. Our environmental management system draws upon globally-accepted best practices from all regions, establishing an environmental protection baseline standard to which national and/or local regulation may add. The majority of our global sites are certified to ISO14001 alongside RC14001 certification for chemical manufacturing facilities.
Our water program includes assurance of waste water effluent streams, so they are properly characterized, permitted and are compliant with discharge requirements. Waste water management processes focus on upstream contaminant reduction in addition to effluent treatment. All our sites are expected to have storm water pollution programs in place. These plans outline measures, such as inspections, secondary containment, and spill prevention, to minimize the discharge of pollutants in storm water conditions. Training is provided to personnel through general awareness training modules in addition to site-specific training.
We recognize the importance of water resources and pursue water usage reduction efforts across our business. Corporate sustainability goals and dedicated resources help to ensure a reduction in water-usage intensity.
Our planet's resources are finite and we are obliged to use raw materials efficiently. Where waste is created, we seek re-use options and ensure we are effective management of any residual material. Elements of our waste management program include effective and compliant waste identification, segregation, packaging, labelling, storage and transportation. We routinely review our waste treatment and transportation partners to ensure downstream compliance and effectiveness. All of our sites are encouraged to prevent, reuse, recycle and/or recover/reclaim materials prior to identifying disposal as the appropriate waste path.
Most of our chemical production facilities around the world have national government specified limits for emissions to the air. Compliance with these limits requires specific expertise, infrastructure and focus on often complex regulations. Our air emissions compliance program is based on identification and location of emission sources and implementation of emissions reduction steps. Processes and emissions control system are monitored as part of an overall program to ensure that air emissions remain below permitted limits.
Soil and Groundwater
Whilst air, water and – to some extent – waste have received international attention over a long period of time, the potential for releases to soil and groundwater is also increasingly regulated, giving rise to a variety of regulations and standards worldwide. SABIC and its affiliates use impervious barriers to protect soil and groundwater where this is required. Even where not required by regulations, our SHEMS require facilities to assess the risks to soil and groundwater in order to identify the need for physical structures or barriers to protect soil and groundwater, whilst also prescribing monitoring of system integrity and consideration of systems for groundwater monitoring wells based upon risk. Hence our provisions can exceed local legislation.