Environmental management

In striving to minimize the impact of our operations, we particularly emphasize issues of material importance to both OMV and our stakeholders: spills, energy efficiency, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water and waste management.

All topics of material importance related to our environmental impact are managed through a single management approach, governed by general and topic-specific Group regulations, and reported to management accordingly. Specifics regarding the definition of the scope and management of each environmental topic are provided in the corresponding sections: Energy efficiency, Spills management, Water management. Reporting on the management of GHG emissions can be found in the Carbon Efficiency section, since this is a separate focus area of our Sustainability Strategy. As mentioned in the Reporting on materiality section, we also cover the topics of biodiversity and waste management, as these are also important to OMV.

OMV tracks environmental performance in all relevant areas through an annual campaign using suitable IT tools for collecting, validating, and analyzing environmental data. Based on the results of the reporting, OMV can evaluate where our operations have the greatest potential for improvement. Detailed information on the performance of selected environmental indicators is presented under Performance in Detail.

Minimizing environmental impacts by way of water and soil pollution prevention, reduction of emissions, efficient use of energy and natural resources, and avoiding biodiversity disruption is an integral part of the OMV HSSE Policy. In particular, our focus on climate change mitigation as part of our environmental policy led to the inclusion of three related targets in the Sustainability Strategy 2025. (For more information on targets related to reducing GHG emissions, see Carbon Efficiency.)

The principles and rules for environmental management are set out in the OMV Group’s HSSE Directive and the OMV Group Environmental Management Standard. The HSSE Directive defines the “environment” as “a natural and human surrounding in which an organization operates, including air, water, land, natural resources, flora, fauna, humans, and their interrelationships.”

The OMV Group Environmental Management Standard requires that all relevant OMV businesses and activities (including investment, acquisitions, and divestment) implement an Environmental Management System (EMS) consistent with ISO 14001 and adhere to the minimum requirements listed. All relevant OMV businesses are required to review and update the EMS at least once per year, while a full EMS audit must be carried out either by an external independent auditor or OMV corporate environmental experts every three years for sites not certified to ISO 14001. Internal EMS audits are performed at the local level at least once a year to identify improvement measures.

By 2020, OMV aims to achieve 100% compliance by all operational sites with the OMV Group Environmental Management Standard as well as the requirements of ISO 14001 and ISO 50001. Our intermediate target for 2019 was 70% compliance, which we achieved. In order to achieve this target, we developed and rolled out a self-assessment tool and have defined the units that will undergo the assessment to determine where there are gaps with respect to the system and standards. Following the analysis, the units undergoing the assessment will be required to implement compliance plans defining how they will close the identified gaps.

The Central Integrated Management System (C-IMS) of OMV’s Downstream business is certified according to ISO 14001, ISO 9001, ISO 50001, and OHSAS 18001. The OMV Refining and Petrochemicals business, including OMV Petrom power plants and the Petrobrazi refinery, are covered by the C-IMS.

EMS of other OMV business units are externally certified according to the following international EMS standards:

  • OMV Deutschland GmbH holds certification according to EMAS III (Eco Management and Audit Scheme).
  • Gas Connect Austria is certified according to ISO 14001, ISO 9001, ISO 50001, and OHSAS 18001.
  • OMV Tunisia is certified according to ISO 14001 and ISO 50001.
  • OMV Petrom Upstream Romania is certified according to ISO 14001, ISO 9001, and OHSAS 18001 for its Maintenance and Gas Pipeline Management System.
  • The OMV Petrom Group’s Energy Management System is certified according to ISO 50001, and the certification covers all Upstream and Downstream business activities.
  • OMV Petrom Marketing S.R.L.’s, OMV Bulgaria OOD’s, and OMV Srbija d.o.o.’s OMV branded filling stations; OMV Petrom S.A.’s supply, marketing, and trading activity; and OMV Petrom Gas S.R.L.’s gas supply activity are certified according to ISO 14001.
  • The OMV New Zealand Pohokura and Maui activities are certified according to ISO 14001.
  • OMV Tunisia’s operated assets are certified according to ISO 14001 and ISO 50001.
  • DUNATÀR is certified according to ISO 14001.

The Executive Board members are informed regularly, at least quarterly, about present and upcoming environmental, climate, and energy-related policies and regulations; related developments in the fuels and gas market; the financial implications of CO2 emissions trading obligations; the status of innovation project implementation; and progress on achieving sustainability-related targets. (For a more detailed description of sustainability governance, see Sustainability governance.)

Modernization of the Arad fuel terminal

The Arad fuel terminal is the largest in western Romania and the second largest in the country. We invested EUR 19 mn in the terminal with 32,000 m3 storage capacity, equipping it with state-of-the-art technologies that reduce environmental impact, enhance safety, and increase operational efficiency as follows:

  • Automated management and automated fuel deliveries
  • Best available fire protection systems
  • Vapor recovery system
  • Double-wall and double-bottom tanks with bunds and overfill protection system for fuel tanks
  • Watertight concrete platforms and wastewater treatment system

Emissions control projects at the Petrobrazi refinery

Three OMV employees on factory site (photo)

Emissions monitoring and control measures are in place at all refineries. These include emissions measurement and monitoring, minimization of diffuse sources through routine testing programs, and connection of particularly emissions-relevant storage tanks to vapor recovery systems. In 2019, we conducted a modernization project at the Petrobrazi refinery in Romania. The best available technology, a closed blowdown system, was implemented during the upgrade of the coker unit, thus eliminating any potential emissions of volatile organic compounds and reducing odor. In addition, two benzene tanks were modernized with an internal floating membrane, cutting benzene emissions by 99%. Six old tanks were put out of service. We also enhanced the air quality monitoring capacity by installing two stations outside the refinery perimeter that monitor sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), particulate matter (PM), and the volatile organic compounds (VOC) benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylene (BTEX). Monitoring results will be provided to authorities and local communities.