Sasol is committed to complying with all applicable laws and obligations arising from our environmental authorisations. On-going compliance is managed by dedicated environmental managers with the support of subject matter experts for water, waste, air quality, climate change and land and biodiversity management. It is enabled by our Group Compliance Policy and associated Compliance Programmes.
Improving air quality at our operations
We remain committed to compliance and to promoting sustainable ambient air quality improvement at all our operations. We continue to entrench leading environmental indicators at all our operations, in line with our proactive incident prevention philosophy. We investigate emission incidents to ensure the Group-wide sharing of lessons learnt and associated optimisation of applicable control regimes.
Improving air quality in our communities
Sasol’s air emission offset intervention is based on a diverse set of activities, which are informed by a detailed baseline assessment conducted in 2017. These activities are contained in area specific programmes aligned with the offset implementation plan. The aim of the programme is to gain experience and understanding in conducting offset programmes while continuously improving the quality of life, including air quality improvements for the communities benefiting from the interventions. The programme is inherently intended to grow and adapt over time as experience, successes, shortcomings and learnings are obtained. Sasol strives for a collaborative, constructive relationship where all parties play a meaningful role toward the successful execution of the offset implementation plan. For this reason, much emphasis is placed on ongoing stakeholder engagement and community participation as part of this plan. Based on the result of pilot studies, better insulation of reconstruction and development programme (RDP) houses coupled with improved cooking and heating methods reduces households’ need to use solids fuels like coal and wood for energy, thereby reducing air emissions, specifically particulate matter.
Currently non-attainment to the ambient air quality standard for particulate matter smaller than 10 microns in diameter (PM10) exists in the Zamdela airshed. Moreover, the baseline study highlighted the noticeable contribution of waste burning and veldfires to the particulate matter load in the Zamdela airshed. The baseline findings were echoed through stakeholder engagement with the communities residing in Zamdela, Amelia and Iraq. This ultimately informed the inclusion of appropriate interventions focusing on waste and veldfires in the offset implementation plan. These interventions included the improvement in waste collection through the introduction of more than 70 waste skips in the affected communities. To date in excess of 10 000 tons have been successfully removed from these areas. In order to limit emissions from uncontrolled veldfires, Sasol has deployed a rapid intervention firefighting vehicle to assist local authorities with veldfires in the Sasolburg region. Furthermore, Sasol has facilitated the development of proactive measures such as grass cutting in order to reduce the severity of pollution emanating from these veldfires. The Mpumalanga Department of Education has approved the rollout of a pollution-focused training and awareness programme in up to 27 primary schools.