We provide a range of independent specialist services for
However, you need to realise that we are a small, niche orientated company and that we cannot take on major projects. We are able to manage major projects for you, but we would then need to engage others to assist, if such assistance would be required.
So, we see our role to work with you at a smaller scale. We can be part of your organisation and fulfil a temporary environmental (or HSE, or HSE and Sustainable Development, or HSE and Social Performance) management function. This can be a full-time or a part-time position, depending on the actual requirements.
Alternatively, there will be opportunities to provide focussed environmental management and consultancy services. These can range widely. Below we propose a number of potential roles under various subject headings.
General environmental management
We can help you design or review your environmental management policy and strategy. We shall use the international ISO 14000 environmental management standards family as the basis for this, because that standards family is seen to be robust. As part of this design we shall look at your exposure to biodiversity management, which we consider to be best addressed as part of your environmental management structure and controls, rather than as a separate management issue.
It will be useful also to examine the interfaces with safety, (occupational and community and public) health and security management and with sustainable development and social and socio-economic performance management.
As indicated above, we are available to work part-time or full-time as your environmental (or HSE, or HSE and Sustainable Development, or HSE and Social Performance) manager. Typical applications would be in a project development organisation or as a temporary position in your corporate HSE department. Such work may include an analysis of your management structure and controls or of your HSE management organisation.
Naturally, we can be contracted to perform an independent review of your environmental (or HSE) department and provide advice on the effectiveness of that organisation. While our experience has been in industry, we feel that this experience is also relevant and useful for government departments and non-governmental organisations.
In addition, we see a role as a coach of your environmental team to help your team become more effective and efficient.
Based on our recent experience, we are well placed to develop your impact assessment process and procedure, which would be based on World Bank Group standards and your national regulatory impact assessment requirements. Naturally, we would use the OGP e-SHRIMP tool, as this provides an extremely useful toolbox to assist in the impact assessment process.
We also have compiled an overview of publicly available impact assessment resources.
With regard to actual impact assesments, our strength is in review and appraisal. While working for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), we were the regulatory authority, de facto responsible for the approval of HSE impact assessments of projects developed by ADNOC operating companies. And, when with Shell Development Iran, we critically reviewed a number of impact assessment reports for development projects in the upstream, downstream and petrochemicals sectors.
More recently, we reviewed and conducted workshops to improve impact assessment reports prepared for investment proposals for Shell's exploration and production and gas and power businesses.
We are also available to lead or be part of your impact assessment team for a specific project. In particular, we would be interested to oversee impact assessment work carried out for your company or organisation by third-party impact assessment consultants.
We strongly believe that biodiversity (or nature conservation) management needs to be an integral part of environmental management. We recognise that there is a movement to deal with biodiversity as a distinct, separate line of management. This, we feel is likely to be counter-productive and a waste of resources.
Biodiversity management is a difficult subject, in part because the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity is so vague.
Nevertheless, there is already legislation in place in a number of countries, notably the United States of America (e.g. the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammals Protection Act) and in the European Union (the Birds and Habitats Directives) that impose strict requirements with regard to biodiversity conservation.
Our approach to biodiversity management is pragmatic and down to earth: Biodiversity Action Plans (as part of Environmental Management Plans) need to comprise commitments that are realistic and confine themselves to areas where your company or organisation has effective control.
Environmental (and HSE) audit
We are available to lead environmental audits of your organisation or be the environmental lead within an HSE audit team. Audits are carried out to test how well your organisation complies with your environmental or HSE management system (or your business management system, if your organisation uses a general business management system to manage environment or HSE).
If your company or organisation does not use a management system for environmental or HSE management, we can still perform an audit to establish what gaps exist that would need to be closed in order to be able to adopt a management system, such as the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard.
Value assurance review of investment projects
Capital investment projects typically move along a chain of development stages that starts with the evaluation of the business case. This is followed by the identification and appraisal of the business or commercial opportunity. The project then moves to a phase, in which a commercial plan or engineering design is selected that is most likely to realise the business or commercial opportunity profitably and successfully. Following this, there will be a design phase to define the plan or engineering design. This will then be executed to establish an organisation and/or construct a facility that will operate the project. Finally, at the end of the activity, the organisation or facility will need to be retired.
Obviously, such projects need to pass a number of decision gates in order to move to the next project development phase. And usually, more resources are required as the project moves along the chain of development stages.
Value assurance reviews assess if projects are ready to proceed to the next development stage. As their name indicates, the review assesses the investment value of the project at the moment of review. Therefore, the commercial evaluation is central to the value assurance review.
At the same time, a project needs to meet a number of boundary conditions in order to be able to move successfully to the next development stage. These include environmental (or HSE) and social and socio-economic aspects and impacts.
We are able to provide the resources to help your company or organisation to evaluate the environmental, social and socio-economic readiness of projects to move to the next development stage.
Clearly, such work has parallels with impact assessment and with auditing. In fact, value assurance reviews tend to take the form of a "light" audit, in which the burden of proof or demonstration is relaxed. With regard to impact assessment, the environmental and social and social-economic part of value assurance reviews focusses on the achievements and preparedness of the project to deal with these aspects and impacts.
Environmental data management and reporting
Environmental performance reporting is part of the requirements of the ISO 14001 environmental management system standard. We can help you define the parameters that you want to measure and report and map the data acquisition pathways.
We think that it is important to realise that your company or organisation may want to have its environmental performance data verified by external parties, which can be environmental data auditors but also stakeholder representatives.
More generally, once your company or organisation has decided to collect environmental performance data, it makes sense to determine with which stakeholders you want to share this information. We recommend that you try to make optimal use of the information that you collect. Under the heading "Environmental communication" below, we show our services.
On environmental data management and reporting, we offer a comprehensive package of assistance to define your data management and reporting programme and set it up.
Environmental learning and development
We offer a comprehensive learning and development programme on the environment and on impact assessment at the awareness level. This programme covers a day-and-a-half. The environmental awareness programme is highly interactive and covers environmental processes, biodiversity and natural resources, environmental quality and emission limits and environmental permitting and performance reporting. We also recommend a number of free courses offered by the UK Open University.
The impact assessment session is based on action learning and includes a number of impact assessment exercises. It is based on the Corrib gas terminal case of Shell in the Irish Republic.
We also run a four-day knowledge course on impact assessment and a four to eight-hour awareness workshop on impact assessment. These learning events are based on the Shell exploration and production business' global process and procedure on impact assessment, which reflect World Bank Group requirements. We also use e-SHRIMP (environmental, social and health impact management process), a tool developed for the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers.
Here is a useful list of impact assessment resources.
It is important to realise that these impact assessment learning events were developed, because they were not available in the commercial training market. Impact assessment education is available as an M.Sc. course at a large number of universities or colleges of higher education. We do not pretend that our training provides the equivalent competence, but we aim to teach your staff a thorough understanding of the impact assessment process and their potential role in it.
Our learning events move impact asssessment beyond addressing environmental impacts to include (public and community) health and social and socio-economic impacts. This, we feel is a natural extension of the environmental impact assessment process: many public and community health aspects have also environmental aspects; many social aspects are environmental aspects as well.
While regulatory requirements are generally still limited to environmental impact assessment, we strongly believe that a more comprehensive approach delivers better business value.
In addition to formal training events, we are well placed to offer mentoring and coaching of your environmental, sustainable development and social and socio-economic performance management teams. These are not easy subjects to work successfully in your company or organisation and it is vital that your staff recognise and optimise the delivery of their contributions to your business performance.
In particular, environmental, sustainable development and social and socio-economic performance is usually seen as a cost to your organisation. The business case for addressing this is often cast in negative terms: avoiding delays in project approvals, etc.
There are salutary examples of environmental management improvements that quickly deliver business value. These include initiatives such as Dow Chemicals' Waste Reduction Always Pays (WRAP) programme and others, such as 3M's Pollution Prevention Pays (PPP or 3P) initiative.
At the same time, environmental, sustainable development and social and socio-economic performance initiatives may provide value in the longer term and therefore need to be appraised against the proper business development time horizon. This requires a realistic present value evaluation but it does not mean that such activities will be automatically cast by the wayside.
It is imperative to develop a strong business case. Too often, the business cases presented for environmental, sustainable development and social and socio-economic performance initiatives are very similar, which is not likely to convince management. We can help you to work business cases for such activities that are specific and convincing.
Capacity building for environmental and
social development practitioners
Through YoungProfsNet (www.youngprofsnet.org) we
offer services for capacity building for young environmental
and social development practitioners on a pro-bono basis.
Young environmental and social development
professionals have varied experiences at the start of their
careers. Many of them work with engineering and
consulting companies that focus on productivity in a
competitive market. As a result, they have limited
opportunities for learning and development in their fields of
expertise and work. At the same time, there is a vast
body of publicly available experience and documentation on all
aspects of environmental and social development. If
young professionals would work together to mine relevant
sources of information and combine their own knowledge and
experience, they will be able to manage their own personal and
professional development better for their own and for other
young professionals’ benefit. Experienced environmental
and social development experts and managers may be drawn in to
act as coaches for and referees of the project work undertaken
by network members.
Environmental research may help your environmental management programme. Typical examples are baseline studies to underpin assessment work or environmental monitoring to establish that environmental mitigation measures are effective. Often, such study programmes are a regulatory requirement or a permitting condition while they may also be commitments made as part of the impact assessment of projects.
In some jurisdictions (e.g. for the Norwegian offshore industry) environmental monitoring requirements are precisely defined, but often there exists considerable freedom to shape environmental research programmes. There are therefore exciting opportunities to develop environmental monitoring programmes that extend the existing environmental database in time or in space by latching on to on-going programmes that are already being carried out by environmental research institutes or organisations or by competitor companies.
We can help define and optimise environmental research programmes that you need to or may want to carry out. Essentially, we follow a risk-based approach but we also look for synergies with existing research programmes.
Quite often, the requirement for environmental studies has a strong "make work" motivation. The challenge is then to devise a programme that delivers value to your organisation or company as well as to host country institutions. We have often seen challenging opportunities for environmental research programmes that combine local and investor country research strengths.
Above we focussed on environmental research in direct support of your business operations. Naturally, there is also more strategically orientated environmental research that may be of value to you in the longer term. Quite often it makes sense to carry out such work in conjunction with other parties, as there is rarely a real competitive advantage to be gained to go it alone, unless of course your business is in environmental conservation and management.
We see a role as an advisor to your organisation or company to help you identify and define the potential (business) value of strategic research and development work and to identify potential partners. Also, we can provide critical review of research and development programmes and proposals.
A good communication programme will enhance the environmental activities of your organisation. This applies to internal as well as to external stakeholders. Communication will also help you to maximise that value of your work on environmental management.
For any impact assessment good communication with stakeholders is paramount to the success of the project. Therefore, early stakeholder identification and analysis and the early development of a communication programme are both of great value.
We can help you with the development and execution of your environmental and impact assessment communication programmes. This includes making sure that your own communication department is closely involved but also to help you to get the right message across to your stakeholders.
Organisation and business development consultancy
We also offer organisation and business development consultancy services to environmental consulting companies and green NGOs. These include the development of vision and mission statements as well as providing advice and guidance on the implementation of standard management systems for environmental management -ISO 14001- or quality management -ISO 9001- (and related management standards for risk management, occupational health and safety management, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development management and human rights management).
Environmental Management and Consultancy
PO Box 96992
2509 JJ Den Haag
phone: +31 70 326 8365
mobile: +31 6 2207 3021
Last updated on 23 June 2015