♦ Environmental Compliance
As a “large emitter” under Australian National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting (NGER), IPL is required to report annually on energy and GHG emissions associated with more than 50 sites across Australia. Direct and indirect emissions from our Australian operations are reported to the Government under this national initiative, which began in 2009. Assurance was obtained over our Australian GHG emissions, energy consumption and production figures for the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. The third party issued an unqualified opinion over our reported emissions, energy production and energy consumption.
We supply data regarding our Australian energy consumption and the emissions to air associated with the manufacture of fertiliser to Fertilizer Australia each year, which is published as part of their annual consolidated Public Environment Report. Details of emissions are also supplied to the International Fertilizer Association for consolidated public reporting.
We report environmental release and discharge data to the National Pollutants Inventory in Australia, the Toxic Release Inventory in the United States, the National Pollutant Release Inventory in Canada and the Register of Pollutant Release and Transfer in Mexico. As required in in New South Wales (NSW), Australia under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997, holders of Environment Protection Licences who undertake pollution monitoring as a result of a licence condition must publish monitoring data on their corporate website. Of the five Environment Protection Licences which we hold for our NSW sites, there was one which required us to undertake pollution monitoring during 2015 (Kooragang Island) and we continued to publish this data on our website.
We are subject to environmental regulation under the jurisdiction of the countries in which we operate including, Australia, United States of America, Mexico, Canada, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Turkey. These environmental laws and regulations generally address the potential aspects and impacts of our activities in relation to, among other things, air and noise quality, soil, water, biodiversity and wildlife. We operate under a Global Health, Safety and Environment Management System which sets out guidelines on the Group’s approach to environmental management, including a requirement for sites to undertake Environmental Site Assessments. In certain jurisdictions, the Group holds licences for some of our operations and activities from the relevant environmental regulator. We measure our compliance with such licences and report statutory non-compliances as required. Our EIFR for 2015 was 0.75.
Continuous improvement in environmental compliance during 2015 included a further review and simplification of IPL’s Global Environmental Standards. BEx methodologies were applied to further refine the standards and associated management tools that are used daily by sites to further mitigate potential environmental risks.
In addition, reporting of incidents across the Australian businesses was changed to a risk-based focus in 2015, which facilitates the collection of ‘potential impact’ incidents.
Although this has increased the total number of environmental incidents reported, it provides a more complete and granular data set, proactively addresses environmental risks before they manifest, informs the Group’s strategies to prevent future incidents, and further engages IPL’s employees in recognising and managing a broader range of potential environmental impacts: collecting ‘near-miss’ reports helps create a culture that seeks to identify and control hazards before they result in an incident with the potential to impact on the environment.
For the 2015 financial year, IPL recieved two fines for environmental incidents: a fine of A$5,692 in relation to a loss of containment in Australia, and a fine of US$42,614 for failure to file certain reports regarding a site in the US.