Hatch’s Environmental Services (ES) Group provides a focused delivery platform for a range of environmental, social, and sustainability solutions. It won various environmental consulting and project management proposals last year, while project work for 2017 is already picking up significantly.
Hatch applies focused environmental services at each phase of a project, ensuring that opportunities to incorporate social and environmental aspects into the engineering design are flagged, thus boosting the overall sustainability, explains ES Group Regional Director – Africa, Middle East and Europe Jannette Horn.
“At Hatch we focus on integrating the social, community, and environmental aspects of a project with the engineering and overall project management functions,” Horn explains. “Hatch’s ES Group has expertise within many different fields, ranging from big engineering projects to collaborating with our health and safety experts to provide Safety, Health and Environmental (SHE) advice to our clients.”
Within big and small projects managed by Hatch’s engineers, Hatch’s ES Group ensures that all project activities are licensed properly, and that the environment and biodiversity at the site location are considered and protected before the project commences.
While the ES Group used to be involved mostly with engineering projects, the team has been expanding its environmental service offering to external clients, where Hatch is not the primary engineering consultant.
Hatch has been part of many projects that either prevented the destruction of biodiversity, mitigated the impact where this could not be prevented, and in some cases which have even increased the biodiversity footprint within project sites.
One such example was the Darvill Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal. The facility was unable to accommodate the sporadic high storm-flow volumes, which had a negative impact on the surrounding environment.
To mitigate the environmental impacts associated with these stormwater-flow events Hatch, in conjunction with Umgeni Water, recommended the use of a wetland habitat to partially treat the overflows from the storm-flow storage dam.
The contribution of wetland habitat towards improving the quality of water flowing through a wetland system has been well documented. The wetland provides additional attenuation capacity for the effluent originating from the storage dam during high-flow events, potentially enhancing the provision of wetland ecosystem services within a substantially transformed landscape.
A second example was where Hatch undertook the concept, prefeasibility, and feasibilities studies, and managed the environmental authorisation process, for Kangra Coal’s Savmore Colliery expansion project in Mpumalanga. This was aimed at including the Kusipongo coal resource to the west of the existing operations.
Unfortunately, this project was very close to significant and ecologically-valuable wetlands, supporting numerous fauna and flora species of conservation importance. Hatch’s environmental consulting team played an important role in the protection and conservation of the wetland. The team was able to advise the engineers in repositioning the mine infrastructure in such a way that the wetland could be avoided and left undisturbed, without having an impact on the overall project cost and schedule.
Horn has expanded Hatch’s ES Group service offering to Cape Town, Durban, and Abu Dhabi in the Middle East. “We will also expand it to the Eastern Cape region in early 2017,” she reveals. Horn has a BSc in Geography, a BSc Honours in Environmental Management, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Integrated Reporting and Sustainability. “I love nature, and also pride myself on being good at planning and organising. Managing an environmental team allows me to do both,” she concludes.
Hatch supplies process and business consulting, information technology, engineering, procurement and project and construction management and operational services to the mining, metallurgical, energy and infrastructure industries.