Waste, contaminated land and biodiversity
The changing legal and policy landscape, particularly in South Africa, requires us to find alternative solutions to some of the existing waste management and disposal practices at many of our operations, as well as to ensure continued responsible management of land and biodiversity.
2017 AT A GLANCE
- Our approach to waste management is informed by the general principles of the waste management hierarchy set in legislation. We are working in partnership with selected universities and third party waste managers to explore innovative opportunities for waste minimisation and reduction, including the composting of some of our industrial waste sludges.
- We are phasing out or improving many on-site waste disposal practices: this includes closing and rehabilitating redundant waste sites in both Sasolburg and Secunda.
- We recognise that waste, air, contaminated land and water legislation are integrally linked, specifically in the regulation of waste incineration and waste derived fuel (air) as well as landfilling (disposal restrictions and water specifications), requiring an integrated management approach.
- We continue to have constructive engagements with regulators through the Industry Waste Management Forum established between business and Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA).
- Our operations in South Africa have made progress in undertaking site assessments to advance land risk management for the areas where notifications have been received in terms of Part 8 of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act.
- Our approach to biodiversity varies across our operations and activities, and is tailored to respond to the specific situation. Biodiversity assessments are conducted on all significant new developments as part of environmental impact assessments. We do not currently have operations in areas that have been declared ‘biodiversity hotspots’ – areas identified as being critical or endangered eco-regions. We do, however, have interests in areas of potential sensitivity, particularly linked to our upstream exploration and production activities.
OUR WASTE FOOTPRINT
- We generated 348 kt of hazardous waste, up from 323 kt in 2016. The increase is due mainly to on-site remedial activities at our mining operations.
- Stricter waste management requirements necessitated us to look at alternatives, including greater off-site handling and disposal of waste by third party service providers.
- Sasolburg Operations has completely phased out on-site hazardous waste disposal and initiated re-use of legacy ash.
- We generated 154 kt of non-hazardous waste, down from 175 kt in 2016.
- Total recycled waste increased to 151 kt from 70 kt. The increase in recycled waste was attributed to the recycling of metal at our various mining operations.