During the environmental (HSE) due diligence process, a formal assessment is made on whether the proposed property contains or is near sensitive areas that may be critical for biodiversity. The assessment includes an evaluation of the presence of threatened or endangered species and sensitive habitats such as wetlands, streams, lakes or coastal areas, and other sensitive areas or ecosystems. This is combined with an assessment of other factors critical to the local community, such as structures of historical significance, and the presence of sensitive receptors such as schools, day care facilities or senior centers. In some cases, an additional environmental impact assessment is conducted in accordance with specific country regulatory requirements. These extensive assessments have been completed for recent projects in Ontario, Canada, and new bases in Iraq, Angola, Ghana, Mozambique, and others.
Mitigation plans are developed whenever necessary to protect biodiversity, and these have been developed to protect wetland areas and other water features, as well as specific species of interest. Just a few examples include a monkey preserve in Villahermosa, Colombia and a protection plan for turtles, endangered lizards and plants in Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico. Proactive conservation projects have also been conducted to protect biodiversity in the surrounding areas, such as a tree planting project in Malaysia to mark Earth Day.
Employees participated in a large scale turtle conservation project in conjunction with local conservation agencies and the government in Isla de Aguada, near the Cuidad del Carmen area of Mexico. Efforts included collecting the eggs and moving them to a protected area, the release of the baby turtles to the sea, and educational outreach programs. The company has also provided significant funding for this project.
Sustainable Remediation Projects
Sustainable remediation efforts have been implemented to conserve and promote biodiversity at the company’s brownfield sites, where this is a significant environmental aspect. Examples of where we have applied a formal process of evaluating ecosystem services are as follows:
Walpole, Massachusetts. The 130-acre site in Walpole, MA lies where the Neponset river, a creek and Atlantic White Cedar provide valuable habitats. The company has committed to a “green outcome” for the site, prohibiting any future development in favor of conservation. The expansion of wetland areas and the removal of invasive species have been evaluated as a way to enhance ecosystem services at this site.
Force Road, Texas. Ecosystem services have also been assessed at the Force Rd remediation site in Brazoria County TX. Wetlands expansion, the planting of native hardwoods and removal of invasive species has supplemented early phytoremediation efforts which included the planting of eucalyptus trees as part of the groundwater remedy.
Claremore, Oklahoma. Phytoremediation has also occurred at the Claremore project in OK, and sustainable strategies are now evaluated routinely as part of our ongoing remediation efforts.
Baker Hughes applies sustainability concepts and ecosystem services enhancement to site restoration. More information