Resource-based environmental management plan:
Any construction project may have negative implications for the natural environment and for residents in the area where it is being undertaken. For this reason, it is essential that an environmental management plan (EMP) be formulated for every project that we undertake. Since each project and site is unique, every EMP is unique too. However, we can broadly describe an EMP as follows:
An EMP covers four important steps
- Construction site set-up
- Construction Phase
- Post-construction pahse
- Site-specific aspects (e.g. natural and social environment)
Before we can begin, we have to determine what legislation and standards must be taken into account. These may relate to water use and disposal of waste water, protection of vegetation and health and safety legislations and standards.
We also need to determine whether any natural or cultural heritage sites may be affected by construction and think about such issues as access roads, entrances, places where large vehicles can turn, and exits. Our aim is to minimise the effects of such activities on the natural environment and neighbouring communities as far as possible.
We also have to plan waste water drainage, erosion prevention strategies and develop a site plan for the construction camp itself. For example a project may require a site office, ablution facilities for workers, garbage disposal facilities and provision for collecting recyclable materials, storage areas, parking areas and security measures such as fencing.
This may sound simple, but many factors have to be taken into account. Apart from our impact on local communities, we also have to consider the protection of any bodies of water and even prevailing winds which may carry dust. We also have to look at safety considerations in siting storage facilities for hazardous materials as well as fire prevention and control strategies as well as pollution prevention and control strategies. And of course, we have to ensure that all staff are trained in materials handling safety for any hazardous material employed.
In addition, Al Mashrik confirms that any natural materials (such as stone) have been sourced from approved sites in a sustainable manner. It is also important to make contact with neighbouring communities and other interested and affected parties in advance to discuss and address any issues and questions that they may have. Noise, visual and cultural impact must be limited to the greatest degree possible. We even have to consider our lighting carefully so that it does not cause a nuisance to our site-neighbours but still provides on-site safety and security and be particularly careful about the storage and dispensing of fuels.
In short, we strive to:
- Understand the potential environmental impacts of any project
- Minimize these impacts in any way possible
- Be aware of the surrounding natural and human environment and respond with sensitivity by minimising impacts
- Plan in advance for any spills or emergencies
- Provide employee training
- Minimise noise pollution
- Have a clean site
- Limit dust pollution
- Limit water pollution and erosion
- Make provision for employees’ waste disposal, ablutions and cooking facilities
- Limit pollution risks with bund walls, windbreaks and other interventions
- Limit disturbance to and negative impacts on neighbouring communities
- Minimize disruption of natural habitats
- Manage waste in an environmentally sensitive way and encourage recycling
Once we get started
Regular inspections are carried out to ensure that all activities are being carried out within the carefully prescribed guidelines and that no unforeseen hazards remain unaccounted for. We strive to ensure that no materials are unnecessarily wasted, that recycling is practiced and that energy, water and other resources are used in the most effective way possible. In this way, we limit environmental damage, maximise worker safety and take care of the needs of surrounding communities. Inspectors focus on:
- Storm water drainage
- Soil erosion
- Air and water pollution
- Waste management
- Materials management
- Water quality
- Maintenance of the construction camp
- Staff conduct
- Protection of the natural environment
- Social impacts including cultural impacts, noise, light and visual impact
Once the construction has been completed
No task is complete until the final clean-up is done. We pride ourselves in leaving every site in as good (or better) condition than we found it. This includes:
- Complete removal of the construction camp so that no trace is left behind
- Land rehabilitation is completed as specified including revegetation and landscaping
- Removal for re-use of any unused materials
- Clearance of all refuse and rubble with an emphasis on recycling.