ENVIRONMENT

Respecting the environment in practice and recognising corporate responsibility for maintaining a balance in nature have been an established tradition at METE SA for decades.  Utilising technological advances, in conjunction with the development of environmental protection techniques and the adoption of strict measures and internal operating rules, has led to exemplary environmental management, which the company constantly develops and upgrades. The company’s environmental policy is based on the following:

– Constant effort to mitigate the adverse impact of the company’s activities on the environment.

– Full compliance with applicable Greek and Community legislation and other requirements.

– Checks on production equipment and procedures, to ensure the effectiveness of environmental protection measures.

– Taking due account, when designing and operating facilities, of the need to minimise the environmental impact and use energy efficiently to save natural resources.

– Adapting the production process to new scientific and technological standards, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact.

– Ensuring that the company’s staff are continually educated, trained and motivated, to enhance their environmental awareness and sense of responsibility.

– Annual assessment of the state of affairs and of the progress made, and setting of new targets each time, to ensure continuous improvement of environmental performance.

– Sharing of information about the environment with the local communities (at the areas the company operates) in spirit of honest dialogue and mutual respect.

– Efforts made to have the company’s environmental policy promoted among and adopted by its contractors, suppliers and partners.

– Promoting and encouraging the sharing of the company’s environmental knowledge and experience with the state, local authorities, etc., to ensure the best possible results for society.

– Engagement of the company in environmental protection efforts made by public organisations, local and regional authorities and social and scientific bodies.

– Engagement of the company in the setting of sectoral targets and the establishment of national and European standards for the sector.

It took years of effort to establish ecological awareness and consistency throughout the staff hierarchy, to make caring for the environment a priority and a deciding factor in each and every one of the company’s major business decisions and activities.Obviously, drafting and adopting an environmental policy are not enough to ensure its effectiveness. It takes long-term coordinated efforts, with consistency and continuity, to achieve specific and significant improvement. These efforts start with the design and development of new investments, aimed at — in addition to ensuring savings in energy and natural resources and compliance with the law — preventing the creation of waste and, if that is not possible, ensuring that waste is disposed of safely and responsibly. At the lignite mines operated by the company, there is integrated, systematic and well-planned landscape restoration, not only after the mine is depleted, but also during its operation, in accordance with the rules of mining, statutory requirements, the environmental impact assessments and the relevant operating permits, and in full harmony with the local ecosystem in each area.Special reference should be made to the company’s planting of trees and restoration of the landscape at lignite mines.For example, the company has taken the following steps in the last fifteen years to demonstrate its environmental awareness in practice:

– it has invested more than EUR 1.5 million in restoration and environmental protection measures at its lignite mines;

– it has planted more than 170,000 saplings.

In its effort to keep improving in the field of environmental protection, the company has also set up a dedicated team to:

– monitor environmental issues;

– communicate with local communities in the areas in which operates.