By Emeka Aginam
The National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has expressed satisfaction with the commitment of Notore Chemical Industries Plc in Onne, Rivers State to environmental standards and control. This is as the company also unveiled its certification, ISO 9001:2015, by the International Standards Organisation to be compliant.
Addressing journalists at the Notore plant in Onne at the celebration of World Environment Day and kick off of the company’s three-day Quality, Health, Safety and Environment (QHSE) awareness programme, the South-South Zonal Director of NESREA, Mr. Ralph Nnam, said his agency was satisfied that there was a conscious effort by Notore to protect the environment in all their operations.
He said, “ Notore is doing well. The fact of observing this week also shows some consciousness about the protection of the environment. So far, in the course of our inspection of their facilities, we have found Notore compliant to all the advice that we gave. They take responsibility in protecting the environment in their operations. So, I will say their operations are commendable.”
Nnam, who also delivered a lecture titled, “Principles of Circular Economy in Managing a Sustainable Industrial Environment”, said Notore is one of the pacesetters in sustainable management of the environment in its operations. He noted that In terms of the facility premises, “…what they are doing is to ensure the safety of their workers; to ensure that their pollution levels are in check and not above permissive levels. They can also do forward integration; plant one or two trees as they have done today.”
The Director, Pollution Control Unit of Rivers State Ministry of Environment, Engr. Maurice Ekwulo, also commended Notore for keeping to standards in every aspect of its operations.
Ekwulo, who also witnessed the QHSE quiz among staff of the company as part of activities marking the World Environment Day and the company’s QHSE Week, said most international oil companies could not meet Notore’s impressive standards.
He said, “Right from when I started coming to Notore, and based on reports from communities around them, I notice that Notore is keeping to standards in every aspect of their operation. They are very environmentally compliant.
“In terms of this green economy we are talking about, they do not produce anything that brings out carbon. Most of their activities are recycled. Then today we had a lecture on circular economy; most of their activities are circular in nature. So, I think Notore is performing well. Most of the oil companies are not even meeting up to the standard of Notore. Some companies still do incineration and throw the ashes out. But Notore, from the beginning to the end, their wastes are recycled.”
Meanwhile, Notore’s Group Managing Director and CEO, Mr. Onajite Okoloko, expressed satisfaction with the certification of the company as ISO 9001:2015 compliant.
Represented at the event by Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO), Mr. Bode Agagu, Okoloko said, “It is gratifying to be admitted into the global league of about five percent of companies operating a Quality Management System (QMS) that meets the new ISO 9001:2015 standard. This is a testimony to our long commitment to quality products and services, total customer satisfaction and continuous performance improvement in our business operations.”
After unveiling the certification at the company’s Onne premises, Agagu said, “It means quite a lot to us, because contained in those standards are very germane processes and things to watch out for. We have seen that strictly adhering to that means we will be growing our business in a sustainable, profitable manner.”
“We are to watch out for risks in whatever we do. We are to ensure that management at the very top level gets involved in quality. This quality affects our products, our safety standards and everything we do. So we are highly committed to it and excited about this certification.”
He restated that the company was committed to the sustainable use of the environment and commended the workers for sticking to policy and procedures in all their undertakings.
“It is important to us because we are strongly committed to the sustainability of the environment, and we do our business and run our operations in such a way and fashion that enables the environment to be sustained.
“We want the environment to be here long even after we do our operations. We do not want to deplete the environment; we do not want to impact negatively on the environment. That is why we are gathered to remind ourselves of very key issues regarding the sustainability of the environment,” he said.
He also said the company recently celebrated 6 million man-hours of Lost Time Injury (LTI)-free operations, adding that it was a reflection of the seriousness with which the company and its workers take safety.
“We always treat safety standards that we adhere to strictly. We are running an integrated process plant, and to do that safely there has to be a high standard of safety, and that is what we are committed to. Our staff, contractors, and service providers are all keyed into this. We make it a policy that people coming in here are aware of what they need to do to remain safe and what they are not expected to do. That is what led us to achieve such a high level of operation without lost time.
“One thing that is key is that once an organisation is committed to safety, that is actually business. If there is no safety, there will be no sustainability, and if there is no sustainability, there is no work for the staff. Members of staff are quite excited about the level of safety; they have keyed into it; they have bought into it.”
The QHSE Week featured road safety demonstrations, lectures, drama and exhibitions, a parade and safety drills as well as tree planting to commemorate World Environment Day.