Imperial Logistics

Spotlight on environmental management

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Reflecting its commitment to the protection and preservation of the environment, Imperial Logistics has developed a set of Environmental Management Standards that are now ready for implementation at all Imperial Logistics Africa group companies.

“This initiative forms part of our quest to fulfil the ‘duty of care’ for the environment that is set out in the National Environmental Management Act,” states Imperial Logistics sustainability executive Dr Andre Venter. He reveals that these performance standards, which have been approved by Imperial’s Exco members, cover five key environmental sustainability management focus areas – namely waste management, energy management, water and wastewater management, greenhouse gas management and the prevention of soil and groundwater contamination. “They should be read in conjunction with the Imperial Logistics Environmental Management Framework and Policy, published in 2015,” he notes.

Venter says that although the documents are not prescriptive to the extent that the current decentralised Imperial Logistics operating model cannot effectively implement these uniform standards, they nevertheless promote a common approach to sustainable development. “In other words, they provide for legal compliance, best practise not exceeding excessive cost, and continuous improvement in environmental management and sustainability reporting.”

He says that it is now the responsibility of each operating company to develop custom standard operating procedures (SOPs) to implement the standards at site or operating company level. “We are also now able to set performance targets for key environmental sustainability focus areas.”

Venter warns that a reactive, rather than proactive, approach to environmental management is likely to increase Imperial’s annual operating costs and may elicit adverse environmental and reputational risks. “It is expected that the new standards will pave the way for our proactive approach to environmental management and sustainability in Imperial Logistics.”

To ensure the effective implementation and understanding of the Environmental Management Standards, Dr Venter will visit operating companies to explain and give context to the documents. To promote compliance with the standards, the internal audit team will be requested to include elements of these standards in their standard audit protocols.

For further information or enquiries regarding environmental sustainability at Imperial Logistics and these Environmental Management Standards, please contact Dr Venter at: andrev@imperial.co.za.

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