- KEY REPORTS
- CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
Our major production facilities - at Port Kembla in New South Wales, Western Port in Victoria and in New Zealand - are sited in some of the world steel industry's most visually and environmentally appealing locations. It is not surprising therefore, that we take our environmental responsibilities so seriously.
Consultation with our host communities through surveys, community consultative committees and public forums has confirmed that continuous improvement in our environmental performance is regarded as a key measure of our success. We are committed to continually reducing the impact of our activities on the environment and to the efficient use of resources.
Non-compliance with the conditions of our environmental operating licences reduced by 23 per cent. We acheived zero non-compliances at the majority of our sites. This year, we have implemented a number of major environmental initiatives and laid the foundations for ongoing significant improvement in our environmental performance.
ISO 14001 CERTIFICATION
Throughout the year we have focused on establishing rigorous environmental management systems, building on the strong legacy of our systems of the past.
By the end of June 2003, we had achieved ISO14001 environmental certification at all our steel operating sites throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Our Transport & Logistics operations are scheduled to achieve this certification by December 2003.
ISO 14001 is an internationally recognised standard that specifies the requirements of an environmental management system.
OTHER MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS
Our largest production facility, the Port Kembla Steelworks, has initiated a new five-year Environment Improvement Plan, in collaboration with the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) of New South Wales and following community consultation. This new plan continues the work of four previous pollution reduction programs over the last 20 years, which have involved expenditure of more than $300 million and delivered significant environmental improvements to the Illawarra region.
In support of the new five-year plan, Port Kembla Steelworks has announced a $1.5 million site improvement program, designed to further improve its visual amenity.
During the year, we commissioned new pollution control equipment at the Port Kembla Steelworks' sinter plant. This $94 million Sinter Machine Emission Reduction Project will significantly improve conditions in and around the Steelworks, largely eliminating dust emissions. In addition, an independent committee investigating naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMS) in the Illawarra region released a report in February 2003 which concluded there are no significant risks associated with NORMS from the Port Kembla Steelworks sinter plant operations.
Water management has been a focus at Port Kembla, as we strive to reduce overall water consumption and increase the amount of recycled water we use. Gas processing at the Steelworks' coke ovens achieved zero water discharge under dry weather conditions this year. An innovative partnership with Sydney Water, concluded this year, will result in the Port Kembla Steelworks taking 20 megalitres of recycled water per day from Sydney Water. This will reduce the Steelworks' freshwater consumption by 50 per cent.
Our Western Port operation at Hastings in Victoria has also concluded an agreement with the Victorian EPA for a new five-year Environment Improvement Plan. This plan resulted from two years of consultation with the EPA and the local community consultative committee. The plan includes reductions in water use, waste to landfill, and greenhouse and energy intensity, as well as investigating the balance between operational imperatives and local environmental values.
Western Port has also developed a partnership with the EPA on a pilot Process Integration Study, which aims to analyse the flow of materials, water and energy to improve efficient use of resources and reduce the quantities of hazardous material sent to landfill.
In June 2003, New Zealand Steel received replacement water discharge permits for its iron and steelmaking facility at Glenbrook, following wide consultation with the local community, local iwi (Maori tribes) and other stakeholders.
Each year, we contribute data to Australia's National Pollutant Inventory, which can be viewed at www.npi.ea.gov.au
Detailed environmental performance data for the Company will be available in an on-line Environment Report to be published in December 2003.
Going forward, we are focused on further reducing the environmental impacts of our operations and creating a net positive benefit to society, through the support we provide the communities in which we operate and the benefits of our steel products. Our future environmental strategies will particularly focus on: