Page 75 - AGL Sustainability Report 2011

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Sustainability Performance Report 2011 73
Environmental risk
Introduction to environmental risk
The understanding and management of risk is crucial to
the ongoing success of any business. The management
of environmental risk is particularly important to AGL’s
businesses that regularly construct new plant and
operations on greenfeld sites, hold long-term leases
on land used by third parties for other purposes, and
operate in sensitive environments such as National Parks.
AGL’s approach to the identification of environmental risks is
consistent with the approach taken in the ISO 14001 Environmental
Management Systems standard. More broadly, AGL’s approach
to risk management, as outlined in the AGL Risk Management
and Assessment Framework, is modelled on the ISO 31000 Risk
Management standard. Risks identified via the ISO 14001 ‘aspects
and impacts’ approach are assessed from the perspectives of
‘inherent risks’, and ‘treated risks’ (which take into consideration
existing control measures). This approach enables AGL to identify
critical controls. It also helps identify where the highest residual
risks remain so resources can be targeted appropriately, or informed
decisions can be made about accepting certain risks.
AGL’s health, safety and environmental management system, Life
Guard, contains standards relating to Environmental Aspects and
Impacts and Risk Management. These standards provide high-level
guidance on the process for identification of environmental risks.
Vision for environmental risk:
AGL’s long-term vision is to
maintain an environmental risk profile that is ‘as low as reasonably
practicable’ (ALARP). This requires continual improvement that is
driven by an understanding of risks, and a commitment and targeted
work program to reduce the highest risk items where practicable.
Specific consideration of issues associated with the use and
management of water resources is given on
pages 80 to 84.
The key
environmental issues of atmospheric emissions, noise, biodiversity,
land management and cultural heritage and waste are discussed
pages 75 to 79
Climate change risks are addressed with the
Climate change chapter
of this report.
AGL’s key environmental risks have been identified systematically via
workshops run in the Upstream Gas and Merchant Energy business
units. The workshops involved a diverse range of operations
personnel and environmental specialists.
AGL operates within some areas of high environmental value that
are protected by legislation. For example, the Torrens Island Power
Station is surrounded by a protected dolphin sanctuary, and part of
the Kiewa Hydro scheme is located within the Alpine National Park.
In these cases, the high sensitivity of the receiving environment can
result in significant risk even when AGL has made every effort to
reduce the risk as far as reasonably practicable.
AGL’s significant environmental risks relate to:
>> surface water – particularly associated with AGL’s Torrens Island
Power Station which is surrounded by sensitive and protected
water bodies, and AGL’s hydro assets which interact with and rely
upon water bodies, some of which are located within protected
>> groundwater – specifcally the potential for impacts associated
with drilling and the extraction of groundwater undertaken as part
of Upstream Gas exploration and development projects, as well as
the potential for historic soil and groundwater contamination on
older assets now owned by AGL
>> biodiversity – refective of the fact that some of AGL’s assets
and project locations are in close proximity to, and in some cases
within, protected fora and/or fauna habitat areas.
Activities completed in FY2011 to reduce environmental risk
towards ALARP include:
>> the development of a Produced Water Management Strategy for
Upstream Gas projects
>> the review and/or establishment of environmental risk registers
for all coal seam gas projects and large power generation facilities
(over 150 MW), identifying actions to reduce environmental risk.
In FY2012 AGL will focus on minimising environmental risk by:
>> implementing the Produced Water Management Strategy, and
developing strategies for drill water and coal seam fracturing/
fowback water
>> developing environmental risk registers for Upstream Gas assets
acquired from Mosaic Oil NL in October 2010
>> continuing to review and refne key control measures to ensure
>> developing a corporate biodiversity register to provide a
company-wide view of biodiversity risks, enabling a strategic
approach to biodiversity risk management.