Protecting the environment is a key component of Gran Tierra’s development plans and operations. The Company attaches great importance to minimizing its impact on the environment and voluntarily supports environmental education, conservation and prevention programs.
South America is a beautiful, biodiverse region with a natural heritage that must be protected. Gran Tierra understands that it is a guest in Colombia and Ecuador and that to be a responsible guest, it must meet or exceed both national and international standards in a way that is transparent. Protecting the environment is a key component of Gran Tierra’s development plans and operations.
Prior to entering any new areas, and in accordance with Colombian and Ecuadorian environmental regulations, Gran Tierra performs rigorous environmental impact assessments of its proposed projects. These assessments enable project planners to understand the environmental conditions of the area; determine the interactions between a project and the ecosystem; identify potential impacts; and propose appropriate environmental strategies and any needed mitigation, correction or compensation measures. In addition, during the environmental impact assessment process, GTE takes into account the participation of the local communities and authorities.
GTE’s environmental goals are two-fold: leveraging the Company’s resources to meaningfully address some of the most pressing environmental challenges facing South America, while minimizing the environmental impacts of its own operations.
In addition to meeting regulatory requirements, Gran Tierra will:
- Develop and implement an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) that addresses all aspects of environmental protection and sets out specific plans and measures to avoid or limit harmful impacts.
- Ensure that wastes are minimized and disposed of properly.
- Implement an effective spill prevention program and quickly and thoroughly clean up any spills that do occur.
- Track greenhouse gas emissions and take steps to reduce them where economically feasible.
- Ensure consistent and capable environmental expertise and oversight to educate and train employees and contractors to properly implement the EMP.
- Voluntarily support projects and events focused on the protection of environmental resources such as water sources, native wildlife, forests and waste management.
Gran Tierra Energy’s Conservation Footprint
Gran Tierra Energy’s Environmental Management Plan (EMP) states that GTE will minimize the footprint of project activities throughout the operations and that full remediation and reclamation will follow the cessation of operations. The plan also mandates that the company respect land use by local communities and that the company’s daily work activities shall minimize impacts on local land uses.
Up until the end of 2022 Gran Tierra’s conservation footprint, including land reforested, conserved and preserved totaled 3,875 hectares compared to our operations footprint of only 145 hectares. Read the following stories to learn more about Gran Tierra’s Environmental Management Plan and Waste Management Plan.
GTE’s Environmental Management Plan
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GTE’s Environmental Management Plan
Gran Tierra Energy’s company-wide Environmental Management Plan (EMP) addresses how it handles environmental issues arising from its exploration and development projects and other operations.
The Plan is based on the environmental performance standards of the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation and reflects best industry practices. It will be amended and updated periodically. In any instances where local laws or regulations differ from the standards contained in Gran Tierra’s EMP, the Company will adhere to the more stringent requirement.
The EMP addresses issues like:
- Defining a code of conduct for all workers
- Conserving biodiversity
- Minimizing construction impacts, flaring and water use
- Controlling erosion
- Optimizing road and pipeline routing and construction
- Managing solid and liquid waste including hazardous substances
- Protecting and preserving cultural and archaeological resources
Gran Tierra’s Waste Management Plan (WMP) recognizes the Company’s responsibility to manage wastes properly. Waste is handled independently, according to the type (contaminated, organic, unusable or recyclable), through a process of separation at source.
One of the goals of internal management is always to reduce at the source the different waste generated by the operation and ensure as far as possible that the greatest amount of waste generated be reusable. Two examples of the reuse of waste are:
- In all GTE oil fields organic waste is composted. The compost is then used to fertilize gardens and to stabilize slope areas occupied by a project team.
- Plastic generated by operations is sent to a plastic recycling plant through a cooperative agreement that allows for more than 80% of the plastic to be transformed into products such as plastic wood posts, plastic wood planks, hoses and dustpans.
For waste that cannot be reused or recycled, the Company’s overall approach is to utilize capable third-party facilities, while minimizing volumes sent to sanitary landfills. It is taking steps to lower the volume of wastes to the extent possible and to recycle or reuse waste in cooperation with local communities when possible.
GTE has established a procedure for selecting waste management companies with the best environmental performance records in the region. This process requires a legal review of the company, internal and external audits and a review of their relationships with the environmental authorities and with the neighbors of their facilities.