Benguet Corporation’s nickel and gold operations -- the BenguetCorp Nickel Mines Inc. (BNMI) and the Benguet Gold Operations (BGO) respectively -- have been awarded the ISO 14001:2015 certification on Environment Management, the first mining company in the Philippines whose operations are now certified under the 2015 version.
The recognition reiterates the company’s commitment to monitor and mitigate the risks of its operations on the environment.
The ISO 14001:2015 is an internationally agreed standard that specifies the requirements for an environmental management system that an organization can use to enhance its environmental performance. ISO states that this standard is used by the organization seeking to manage its environmental responsibilities in a systematic manner that contributes to the environmental pillar of sustainability.
“The whole organization is euphoric with this certification. For us, it is a testament of our promise to imbibe environmental protection and care in our day-to-day operations. BC will always strive to be a responsible custodian of the environment and its riches. This means making sure all our employees and business partners are involved in keeping the environment intact, mitigating the negative impact of our mining operations on our environment,” said Philip G. Romualdez, president and CEO of BC.
The TÜVRheinland®, headquartered in Cologne, Germany is a leader in international certification in the Philippines and works as an independent body in evaluating management systems, granted the EMS certification to BNMI and BGO using internationally recognized standards.
TÜVRheinland® worked closely with Benguet Corporation’s ISO certification overall project head and VP for Human Resources, Administration and Corporate Governance Compliance Officer Chuchi Cole-del Prado in fostering a culture of excellence among BNMI’s and BGO’s key ISO implementers.
“This is the result of the dedication of the nickel and gold teams led by ISO site leader/HR manager Kirsten Decrepito and VP and resident manager Glenn Duka for BNMI; AVP and OIC resident manager Tony L. Buenavista with ISO site leaders/HR manager Eloisa Segarra and Godfrey Atienza, Mine Geologist for BGO, together with their ISO core team members who worked tirelessly to ensure success in attaining this ISO certification,” Prado said.
With this certification, both BNMI and BGO are now compliant with the latest administrative order of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR DAO 2015-07) mandating all existing mining firms to secure the ISO Certification on environmental management systems on or before May 2016.
“BC has always upheld the belief that taking proper and timely care of the environment is a basic obligation of responsible mining. This latest distinction serves as a guarantee that BNMI and BGO adhere to the strict statutory and regulatory environmental requirements. There is a system in place that ensures it will be compliant to any and all future regulatory conditions. The BC organization is able to identify, manage, and monitor environmental issues relevant to its operation to enhance the performance of our Environmental Protection and Management Program (EPEP). We are very proud of this milestone,” said Maria Mignon de Leon, BC’s VP and Compliance Officer for Environment and Community relations.