Nam Ngiep 1 Power acknowledges the environmental impacts a hydropower project can have and is committed to minimising these impacts. The company has set up an Environmental Management Office to ensure project activities follow the Lao law in terms of environmental performance and that all environmental risks are properly identified, assessed, managed and mitigated. NNP1 is committed to achieving the environmental management standards required for ISO 14001 (http://www.iso.org/iso/iso14000) and is also bound by ADB Safeguards (http://www.adb.org/documents/safeguard-policy-statement).
Company strategy is to tackle each environmental risk through the following order of approaches:
- Avoiding risk at source
- Abating the risk on site
- Abating the risk where it is manifested
- Repairing any damage caused
- Compensating the residual impacts
Therefore if, for example, disturbance to biodiversity occurs despite all efforts to avoid it, the company will invest in actions to enhance biodiversity and its protection in other areas as an off-set measure.
Nam Ngiep 1 Power undertakes to maintain a transparent process of information disclosure and consultation on environmental matters and also to continually improve its performance in this vital field of project development.
The Environmental Management Office currently works in three main fields:
- Survey of project area
- Biodiversity offsets
- Construction monitoring
The Company’s Environmental Policy as below will be adhered to by all staff including top management:
- Continually determine environmental risks and opportunities, and design and implement effective measures to protect the environment through appropriate risk mitigation and exploration of opportunities;
- Ensure compliance with the GOL’s environmental law and regulations, International and National Guidelines and Standards, as specified under Annex C of the Concession Agreement;
- Design, prepare and implement all the environmental management and mitigation measures according to a mitigation hierarchy, whereby avoiding at source is given highest preference, followed by abatement on site, abatement at receptor, repair/remedy, and as a last resort compensating or offsetting the environmental impacts caused by the Project;
- Continually conduct a self-monitoring and inspection of its performance and implementation of all the environmental and social management and mitigation measures, and the associated environmental quality;
- Maintain transparent process of information disclosure and consultation with relevant stakeholders on environmental management and monitoring;
- Ensure sufficient budget allocation and disbursement for the implementation and monitoring of every environmental and social management and mitigation measures;
- Promote continual improvement of environmental performance;
- Clearly communicate and regularly train its staff and external providers to raise their awareness on sound environmental management practices.