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Sustainability is a business solutions company that prides itself on being able to provide innovative solutions to complex problems.

Recently a client, who uses hazardous chemicals near rural residents and conservation areas, requested assistance with their Environmental approvals. They were required to meet stringent conditions, but were concerned that the conditions were unnecessarily restrictive and had the potential to increase their cost of production and make them uncompetitive.

Communications between the government regulator and our client had become stagnant, with little progress being made and the client had also been subject to some adverse publicity in the local press regarding discharges from their site.

Our challenge was to negotiate conditions that reflected industry best practice, but were also operationally practicable. Our consultants were able to revive communication with the regulator and establish Sustainability as the point of contact between both parties. This proved to be a valuable approach as we were able to openly discuss the situation with each party in a non-confrontational setting, and get an understanding of both sides of the discussion to facilitate the best approach moving forward.

Additionally, the regulator was put at ease knowing a reputable HSE organisation had been engaged to assist with the process.

It was evident changes were required to the current environmental licence to align with best practice for the client’s industry, but opinions between the regulator and the client differed in what licence condition (i.e. management measures) to apply.

Our solution included a risk assessment of the site and processes to provide a basis for transparent, defendable, evidence-based outcomes that would clearly identify hazards and risks and what controls would have the most impact.

Outcomes of the risk assessment were confirmed with the client, an action plan was developed and, through our industry expertise and knowledge, we were able to suggest actions that were achievable, had the most impact and needed little or no change to current operations.

The result was a new licence being issued, with the implementation of Sustainability’s Action Plan being a condition of the new licence. The client’s opinion was considered at every stage of the process and the regulator was satisfied that action was being taken to reduce any potential impact to the environment.

We continue to assist the client in controlling their environmental testing and surveys and the relationship between the regulator and the client continues to grow, forging a strong relationship for the future.