Health, safety, security, and protection of the environment (HSSE) are core values that constitute an integral part of our commitment to conducting our business in a responsible way.
The essence of prioritizing HSSE is expressed in OMV’s HSSE Vision of “ZERO harm – NO losses.” The Vision establishes the dependence of OMV’s long-term business success on our ability to continually improve the quality of our business activities while protecting people, the environment, assets, and our reputation. The integrity of OMV operating facilities, loss prevention, and proactive risk management are essential for achieving OMV’s HSSE Vision.
The well-being and physical and mental health of our employees are the foundations for a successful company, since they affect the performance levels of our Company’s core asset – human capital. We have established a Group-wide health care standard to ensure a high level of care for our employees’ health across the Company. The standard includes preventive initiatives such as targeted health promotion campaigns, a systematic assessment of health risk mitigation, and curative care.
OMV aims to adhere to the highest standards to provide its employees and contractors a safe workplace. Our Safety Management System is based on the OMV Group’s HSSE Policy, the HSSE Directive, and corporate regulations such as HSSE Risk Management, Contractor HSSE Management, Management of Hazardous Substances, Personnel Transportation, and Reporting, Investigation, and Classification of Incidents, which provide the framework for safety management.
The role of OMV’s Security function is to protect the OMV Group’s personnel, assets, information, operations, value, and reputation against any intentional and malicious threats. A still-unstable geopolitical environment in 2019, combined with enduring regional conflicts resulted in an ongoing emphasis by the Security experts on OMV’s assets located in the Middle East and North Africa.. Notwithstanding the challenges of operating securely in Yemen, Tunisia, and Libya, the threat and reality of terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere increased significantly. In addition to this emerging phenomenon, political extremism, criminality, and cyber threats have required the Security & Resilience department to adapt a robust, but flexible security strategy to enable OMV to continue operating in such dynamic environments.
In striving to minimize the impact of our operations, we particularly emphasize issues of material importance to both OMV and our stakeholders: spills, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water and waste management. All topics of material importance related to our environmental impact are managed through a single management approach, governed by general and topic-specific Group regulations, and reported to management accordingly. Specifics regarding the definition of the scope and management of each environmental topic are provided in the corresponding sections: Energy efficiency, Spills management, Water management.
Download the HSSE Policy
According to the OMV Group Environmental Management Standard and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Procedure, all OMV activities must be conducted in such a way as to cause minimal disturbance to protected areas and local flora and fauna. Observed or predicted direct and indirect impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services (BES) are described and analyzed in the environmental impact assessment. BES screenings are carried out at all relevant sites to identify as far as reasonably possible the potential for the presence of nationally or globally threatened species, legally protected threatened or fragile ecosystems, and internationally recognized areas with sensitive biodiversity. In case of significant observed or predicted impact, action planning gives priority to avoidance and minimization over restoration and offsetting of the impact.
Further information can be found in the OMV Sustainability Report.
OMV is liable for the impact that our activities have on the environment. Breaching environmental regulations on a national and international level results in both monetary losses and harm to our reputation. Our license to operate depends on compliance with regulations relating to environmental protection, which is also of particular importance to governmental authorities, shareholders, and stakeholders such as the public and environmental NGOs and NPOs.
The OMV Group Environmental Management Standard requires compliance with all applicable environmental laws and regulations, identification of legal and other requirements, development and maintenance of appropriate legal compliance databases, and alignment with internationally accepted best practices as part of our EMS. According to the Standard, we must also establish programs to prevent non-compliance to avoid monetary losses. The OMV Group Environmental Management Standard stipulates an assessment of environmental impacts and risks, and adherence to environmental performance requirements in terms of energy use, emissions into the atmosphere, water use and discharge, the use of raw materials, waste management, hazardous substance handling, and biodiversity and ecosystem protection.
Environmental risks and opportunities include regulatory, operational, reputational, and financial drivers and specifically relate to issues such as climate change, availability and quality of water used for operations, and the impact of energy, climate, and water policies. The management of environment-related risks is part of OMV’s Enterprise-Wide Risk Management (EWRM).
Digital technologies are used in monitoring and managing environmental risks through a special risk management IT tool – the Active Risk Manager System (ARMS). This tool allows us to better integrate environmental risk scenarios with other HSSE and business risks. Identified and assessed risks are controlled and mitigated at all organizational levels thanks to clearly defined risk policies and responsibilities. Strategic risks and opportunities (e.g., related to climate change or water stress) are assessed in a top-down process, while a bottom- up process with a standardized methodology is used to assess environmental aspects, impacts, and risks, including legal compliance risks, in our operations.
Before undertaking new operational activities or entering new countries, we perform environmental risk assessments, including evaluations of local legislation, the potential impact of our activities on sensitive and protected areas, and the effects on endangered species. Each subsequent phase of project implementation is accompanied by a detailed assessment of environmental risks.
OMV Upstream and Downstream operations both affect water resources. OMV uses significant amounts of water for its operations in Upstream as well as in Downstream activities. Freshwater is used, for example, for drilling, steam generation, and cooling, among other processes. Smaller amounts of water are also used for non-industrial purposes. Some water used in operations is recycled back for reinjection to pressurize hydrocarbon reservoirs in order to optimize the extraction rate.
Desalinated water is used in some offshore operations. Refineries and various other operating facilities also use brackish and/or recycled water for various operational purposes.
OMV Water Strategy
The Company’s commitment to water management is based on OMV’s Water Ambition Statement. OMV’s Group-wide Water Strategy was implemented in 2014 and is based on five strategic pillars:
- Risks and Opportunities
- Water Efficiency and Treatment
- Training and Awareness
- Stakeholder Engagement
In line with the high importance of the water management material topic, we keep our plan to establish targets related to the enhancement of water consumption efficiency.
OMV Water Management
Effective water management helps reduce costs and risks. The key targets of our water management activities are to reduce water consumption, to utilize water resources efficiently, and to treat waste-water appropriately.
Oil spills are a critical environmental issue for our industry. Spills management is defined as the prevention of spills in operations and other spills (e.g., caused by sabotage or natural hazards), and the management and remediation of spills resulting from an incident.
Oil Spill Prevention
Spill prevention and control measures include the hazard identification and risk management, preventive measures and maintenance to avoid leaks, emergency response and contingency plans including materials and equipment for spill intervention as well as cleanup and remediation procedures.
Oil Spill Remediation
Hydrocarbon spills are assessed and cleaned up immediately after their occurrence in accordance with internal procedures governing spill remediation. Leaks are repaired immediately or within defined time frames in accordance with the site’s maintenance processes and based on the risk assessment outcome and other factors, such as feasibility of repair during operation.
In order to strengthen our response to and reduce the environmental impact of oil spills, we continued to perform emergency drills, including pollution scenarios.
Our activities generate solid and liquid waste, including hazardous waste such as oily sludge, waste chemicals, catalysts, and construction debris. Examples of non hazardous waste include concrete not containing dangerous substances, welding waste, drilling wastes, mud without oil content, other dangerous substances as well as mixed municipal waste, paper, and metal.