The assessment of the implementation of the requirements as prescribed in the Record of Decision – Authorisation into Sasol Solvents, Environmental Management System
Sasol Solvent, a division of Sasol Chemical Industries, is a global manufacturer and supplier of a diverse range of solvents, co-monomers and associated products. This division consist of twelve production facilities, of which eight are situated in Secunda and the remaining four in Sasolburg. These sites produce ketones, methanol, ethanol, C3 and C4 alcohols, esters, acids, blends and hydro carbons, aldehydes, glycol ethers acrylates and co monomers (including Hexene, Octene, pentene and Safol 45). The products are supplied to customers in over 110 countries for use in several industries namely printing, packaging, plastics, pharmaceutical, fragrance, aerosol paint and adhesive sectors, as well as polish, cosmetics, agriculture and mining chemicals. In 1992 Solvents Secunda implemented the ISO 9002 Quality Management System, which is now known as ISO 9001. In 1996 ISO 14001 Environmental Management System was implemented due to market pressure to export to Europe. Due to market pressure to obtain international certification for Health and Safety as well, Solvents replaced their existing Health and Safety System with OHSAS 18001 in 2001. A decision was made to integrate the Environmental Management System and Health and Safety Systems with Quality management System. Third part certification for an integrated SHEQ Management System was achieved in 2004 for the Secunda site and in 2005 for the Sasolburg site. Since 1997, a number of EIA’s were performed for various projects / new plants, such as Sasol Solvents. RoD’s authorisations for these projects / new plants were obtained from the relevant authorities. The RoD’s contained several conditions which had to be complied with. In all Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA), if an activity has the potential to cause significant environmental damage, then all such impacts must be assessed to determine the degree of damage this action could cause and how this action can be modified to reduce the damage to within reasonable acceptable limits (South Africa, 1998). The primary objective of this study is to assess all RoD’s that were issued for new plants or operations of Sasol Solvents since 1997 and to determine whether the requirements, as specified in the RoD’s, have successfully been implemented in the operational ISO14001 (2004) EMS. In the evaluation all conditions specified in the RoD’s issued for every new plant / operation which needed to be implemented and/or integrated into the Environmental Management System were evaluated. This was done to verify compliance or non-compliance to the conditions specified in the RoD’s. The evaluation also considered consequences to potential legal none-compliances. The literature review conducted indicated that objectives were reached in this study and it can be concluded that ISO 14001 EMS is ideally suited to be used as a management tool to ensure that the ROD requirements are implemented and complied with.