AN UNIQUE initiative to encourage environmental awareness in the North Sea’s Oil and Gas industry is being launched in Aberdeen.
A forum for the industry’s growing number of new, green champions is being held in the city in the Autumn.
Environmental Representatives, or E- Reps as they are known, are voluntary workplace positions helping to raise awareness and drive environmental improvements within the sector.
They were first introduced in the industry a few years ago but interest in the role has dramatically increased following the Gulf of Mexico disaster.
By the end of this year, over 500 E-Reps will have completed environmental skills training in order to maintain the highest standards of performance recognised in the North Sea and to minimise the risk of something similar happening here .
The new industry wide forum aims to provide a focal point and develop the role of E-Reps. It’s the idea of local oil and gas training expert, Jill Rennie, who is passionate about improving environmental awareness in oil and gas.
“I have been working with e-reps since the training course was launched two years ago. After every session, the feedback is always the same-the most enjoyable part of the course is the interaction with reps from other companies, sharing stories and new ideas. Very quickly I realised that an industry wide forum is the only way to continue this interaction and build on the momentum the course had generated.”
The idea has already been enthusiastically welcomed by the industry.
Roger Ward-Dutton, environmental manager at Nexen Petroleum UK, said: “This new forum is a key step in sharing best practise and developing a common understanding of what is available now and what future developments might be necessary.”
He explained: “Environmental performance is a key parameter used to measure business performance in our industry. Protecting people and the environment in which we carry out our business is simply the right thing to do and the enthusiasm of the E-Reps shows how deeply this is embedded in our workforce.
“Protection of the environment is a pro-active endeavour. We can’t wait for a major environmental event to learn what measures should have been in place. Just like any other aspect of our business, environmental protection is everybody’s responsibility and E Reps are a vital force in maintaining this awareness.
“Although the prevention of a major incident is paramount, protection of the environment also means preventing pollution in all its forms and at all levels. To be successful in achieving that we need to engage the whole workforce.”
According to Alastair Maclean, environmental lead at Taqa Bratani, the forum will play a key role in promoting environmental good practise within the industry.
“The forum is an essential event because it will enable E-Reps to interface with like-minded individuals working throughout the North Sea, helping them to understand how to manage environmental issues. This collective sharing of good practice will undoubtedly promote awareness and provides a vehicle to improved environmental performance,” he explained.
The E-Reps Forum will be held at the Copthorne Hotel, Aberdeen, on October 21 and is open to anyone in the industry who has an interest in the role reps can play.
For further details and to find out how you can support the event, visit www.e-reps.co.