SK sustainable development digest

About environmental management systems

What is an Environmental Management System? An Environmental Management System (EMS) is a framework that helps an organisation to achieve its environmental goals through periodic and consistent review, evaluation, and improvement of established policies within the company. EMS is about enabling compliance with the current and forthcoming legislation. 

EMS benefits. EMS is considered as an instrument to regulate environmental pollution, when the responsibility and partnership of business and the state play an equal role in environmental protection. A well-run EMS provides a company with a number of benefits: 

  • a systematic approach to compliance with environmental requirements
  • better predictability and preparedness for future environmental and legislative change
  • better data management and optimisation in workflow
  • improved internal and external environmental reporting
  • an improved market image, basedon an environmental performance beyond compliance

Examples of EMS standards. Consistent implementation of EMS in operational activities is facilitated by international standards adopted to systematise and simplify the procedure. Compliance with such standards is accompanied by certification, which attracts investors interested in meeting the ESG criteria. The following standards are relevant for business within the context of simplifying access to international markets by securing competitive advantage through the implementation of the abovementioned EMSs:

  • ISO 14000. Developed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), ISO 14000 is a series of codes covering EMS, audits, communications, labelling, life cycle analysis and environmental risk management. ISO 14001 is the most significant standard within the ISO 14000 series. It follows the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” cycle for risk and environmental performance assessment. The standard is applicable to any organization and does not state specific environmental performance criteria. Claims of complete conformity with the standard are backed with a third-party certification procedure.
  • Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). Based on the Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the voluntary participation by organisations in a Community eco-management and audit scheme, EMAS is a voluntary environmental management instrument. Among key benefits of EMAS implementation for business are increased efficiency savings, strengthening of risk management, improved stakeholder relationships. Following three revisions, EMAS is no longer limited to the EU Member States, integrated requirements of ISO 14001 and incorporated strict reporting indicators for compliance.

Sectoral legislation

On 20 January 2022, the State Agency for Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving published the draft order of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine “On the National Action Plan for the Development of Renewable Energy for the Period up to 2030”. Among other things, the draft plan provides for:

  • national indicative target for RES in gross final energy consumption at 27 per cent by 2030
  • further development of renewable energy on a market basis. It is proposed to introduce the Feed-in-Premium system instead of Feed-in-Tariff, the system of issuing guarantees of origin of electricity from alternative energy sources, the development of corporate PPAs segment
  • use of offshore wind energy potential. Offshore wind production is projected to reach 1 TWh by 2030 in Ukraine
  • support for prosumers through the Net billing system. Such a system will allow to compensate for own consumption and sell surplus electricity to suppliers
  • introduction of new participants in the electricity markets in Ukraine – virtual aggregators (intermediaries between the small generation and the market)

On 20 January 2022, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine announced amendments to its order “On Approval of the Procedure for State Accounting for Water Use”. The amendments provide for:

  • addition of information on geographical coordinates of water intake sites and wastewater discharge sites in degrees, minutes, seconds to the report on water use. Relevant information will be displayed on the web portal of the state water cadastre
  • exchange of information between water and land cadastres
  • expanding the list of pollutants

On 12 January 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a resolution “On the Implementation of a Pilot Project to Provide an Electronic Conclusion on Whether the Wastes of the Green List of Waste, which are Subject to Export or Import, Fall under Paragraphs 6-33 of the Regulation On Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal”. The document provides for the possibility of obtaining an electronic conclusion through the website of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of Ukraine or the unified state web portal of electronic services “Portal Diia”. The term for processing of the application has been reduced to 10 calendar days from the date of submission of the application and the necessary documents.

On 12 January 2022, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved a resolution to repeal a number of its resolutions in accordance with the Law “On Energy Efficiency” № 1818-IX, dated 21 October 2021. Resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers contained outdated norms on state expertise on energy saving at the request of the invalid law “On energy saving” of 1994.

International experience

On 18 January 2022, Exxon Mobil pledged to become climate neutral by 2050. According to the company’s plans to reduce emissions by 2030, GHG emissions are expected to be reduced by about 30 per cent in exploration and production and by 20 per cent for the entire corporation. Flaring and methane emissions are expected to decrease by 60 per cent and 70 per cent, respectively.

On 21 January 2022, Germany presented its presidency programme in the Group of Seven (G7), focusing on climate protection. According to Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Germany seeks to develop the G7 into a “climate club”. Reaching agreements on uniform standards for emissions and CO2 pricing were mentioned as issues Germany intends to address.

On 20 January 2022, wind power production in the Nordic countries broke a new record of 21.3 GW. Wind speeds, which reached up to 40.8 metres per second in the southern Norwegian mountains, helped in beating previous record set a week earlier (20.8 GW).

Container shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2040, ten years earlier than previously announced. Maersk set a 2030 interim target for a 50 per cent reduction in emissions per transported container, and a 70 per cent reduction of GHG from fully controlled terminals.

In 2022, 12.6 GW of coal capacity is scheduled to retire in the United States, constituting 85 per cent of electric generating capacity retirements in 2022. The gradual retirement of the U.S. coal fleet is connected with its ageing (most of the plants were built in the 1970s and 1980s) and growing competition from natural gas and renewables.

Sustainable development in Ukraine

In 2021, about 15,000 households installed solar power stations in Ukraine, which is twice the previous year’s results.Currently, the total capacity of 45,000 households in Ukraine is 1.2 GW.

In 2022, Ukraine plans to launch a program to subsidise the interest rate on leasing electric cars. According to Deputy Head of the Office of the President Rostislav Shurma, the programme is scheduled to start in the first half of 2022. In Ukraine, privileges for the import and supply of vehicles with electric motors have been extended until 2026. The relevant law came into force on 1 January 2022.

Zhytomyr will replace up to 65 per cent of gas for heating with wood-fired thermal power plants, another 30 per cent of gas – with RDF-fuel. The first TPP with a capacity of 1.1 MW, funded by the Swiss government and the local budget, already provides the local utility with electricity.

Information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, does not constitute legal or any other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice adapted to the specific circumstances. 

Authors: Maryna Hritsyshyna, Nataliia Hutarevych, Sergiy Bovkunovych

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