The protection of biodiversity is a key pillar of sustainable development and therefore is closely connected to MOL Group activities. MOL pays particular attention to operations carried out in specially protected areas of nature conservation, and seeks to act as a good corporate citizen.
Biodiversity – the variation of species within a given system – is a resource that is currently under threat of being depleted. As MOL Group operates facilities not only in highly industrialized areas but also in or close to national parks, areas with high biodiversity value and wetland and rivers we pay special attention to conserving species and protecting biodiversity.
Below is an overview of our operations which have an impact on natural protected areas in Hungary and we also present case studies of concrete projects aimed at preserving biodiversity.
Exploration and production
Our E&P operations often happen in or near to protected areas. Our environmental footprint includes land use, emissions and increased human activity which can disturb flora and fauna. To reduce the harmful effects of these activities, initial status surveys and audits are conducted by our staff. Drilling activities are scheduled carefully, taking into consideration the vegetation period. We work in close cooperation with National Parks to properly plan and control these activities. An example from October 2013, we carried out the drilling of Hajdúbagos-K-1 two weeks later than originally planned, because the „gortyna borelii” butterfly was swarming in the first half of October.
If we consider the total land area used for E&P activity (approx. 39 588 km2), we can see that 23.5% of the area is covered by some kind of nature protection/reserve status.
In 2013 we developed Natura datasheets for 7 areas that is effected by our activity. The goal of the datasheets was to introduce the Natura 2000 area and those parts of the Natura Development Plan of the relevant area that is effected by our activities.
Examples for cooperation with the National Parks:
Logistics and gas transmission
At MOL Group Logistics and Natural Gas Transmission the main activity which affects nature and the environment is pipeline construction works. In order to decrease negative impacts (disturbance of local species, soil pollution/compaction), we work together with nature protection authorities and NGOs to find optimal solutions:
Our refineries and petrochemical plants are located in industrial areas, but near surface waters. In Tiszaújváros, TVK Petrochemical Plant pays particular attention to preserving biological diversity in its territory. Artificial water habitats exist in the industrial area of TVK, and these habitats have direct contact with the Tisza River. The Sajó-channel, running through the industrial area, collects all rainwater and treated wastewaters, and industrial impacts on it are continuously monitored. An ecological risk assessment program was implemented (as an important element of our quantitative risk survey program) for the years 2007-2009. Within the framework we recorded the state of the water and the sediment of the Sajó-channel and its flora and fauna.
In place of the territory of the discharged and abandoned former post-cleaning lake system, after finishing a phyto-remediation process an ecologically balanced wetland with high diversity and a real bird habitat will be formed, with large populations of protected birds.
RefineriesTo realize our engagement to sustaining biodiversity, we aim to protect habitats and biomes potentially affected by our refineries. In 2010 we are conducting a biomonitoring survey on the surroundings of our Duna Refinery to assess the environment status of Natura 2000 protected lands. Following the ecological impact and assessments of discharged refinery wastewaters, we will extend whole effluent assessment in Bratislava Refinery.
The road aheadAmong the 2010 MOL Group SD&HSE Objectives & Targets, biodiversity is focused on through the ‘Setting up of a Group and Business Unit Biodiversity System’. This means that MOL Group is developing a systematic approach to integrating the assessment of biodiversity related risks into the HSE Management System and developing action plans for the critical operations.
These assessments will be part of the EIA documentation where required, or the environmental risk identification process (ENVID - or the risk matrix of Environmental Management Systems). With the help of these tools, MOL Group plans to carry out a review of company operations in order to identify areas with high risks to biodiversity.
For more information please see our biodiversity case studies below.