We recognise the need to measure and optimise our impact. Strong ESG principles and practices lie at the heart of all decision-making and inform the design of every aspect of our business to ensure sustainability.
We recognise the direct link between a solid performance in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), the social dimension and sound financial performance. Tobene Power’s sustainability policy prioritises environmental EHS and the well-being of our employees and surrounding local communities.We are committed to complying with all applicable national legal requirements for E&S as well as International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards. As such, E&S considerations are an integral part of our planning, development, operation and decision-making process. We also work with our primary subcontractors to integrate good EHS practices in order to continuously improve EHS performance across our value chain.
We see our presence as part of the local communities through our employees, many of whom are directly from these communities. We have ongoing engagement with community members and stakeholders. Our aim is to contribute strategically and positively to the social, environmental and economic development of local communities.Tobene ESG Policy
Tobene Power’s sustainability policy prioritises environmental health and safety (EHS) and the well-being of our employees and surrounding local communities.
We recognise the direct link between a solid performance in Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), the environmental and social (E&S) dimension and sound financial performance. We are committed to complying with all applicable national legal requirements for E&S as well as International Finance Corporation (IFC) Performance Standards. As such, E&S considerations are an integral part of our planning, development, operation and decision-making process. We also work with our primary subcontractors to integrate good EHS practices in order to continuously improve EHS performance across our value chain.
We see our presence as part of the local communities through our employees, many of whom are directly from these communities. We have ongoing engagement with community members and stakeholders. Our aim is to contribute strategically and positively to the social, environmental and economic development of local communities.
In 2020, we joined Women Empowerment Principles in order to take part in the global collective impact of business and align our operations and strategy to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Our top priority is to ensure Tobene Power employees return home unharmed every day.
Our environmental and social management system is aligned with the requirements of national law and IFC Performance Standards. It has management programs to control potential risks and impacts which have been identified through our Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) process and our risk identification process.
Our Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) is fluid and adapts to the changing environment and risks; the management of the impact of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic is one example of the change in our ESMS. We continuously monitor and frequently report on our EHS and social performance.
All our employees take precautionary measures and follow strict protocols to ensure their own safety and the safety of their colleagues.Tobene Power also has an on-site infirmary with a full-time nurse and a part-time doctor, who conduct annual check-ups for all staff members.
We have no lost time injury incidents, fatalities, serious accidents or environmental incidents. Our Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) is zero and our Total Recordable Incident Frequency Rate is 2.13 which is above our target 1.6. This was due to two medical treatment cases – we use OSHA methodology which is more conservative to calculate our KPIs. We continue to consistently adapt and improve safety measures to ensure that our staff and surrounding communities remain safe.
We nurture a culture of health and safety with a focus on protecting each other, collaborating to work safety, continual improvement through feedback and giving back to the communities around us. We hold each other accountable and promote living Tobene Power’s values.
We swiftly and proactively responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by developing a COVID-19 management plan to protect our employees and communities.
Our staff were amongst the first in Senegal to be wearing masks. Our protocols include temperature measurements, distancing within the company bus, canteen, regular disinfection of our plant, and presence of an isolation room etc. We have successfully dealt with COVID 19 cases without any business interruption which is a testament to our management system and strong commitment from staff. Please see more details in the Impact section.
We are easily accessible to our stakeholders as we are simply part of the communities.
In the early days of Tobene Power, although stakeholder engagement was not formalized, townhall meeting where anyone could attend proved to be effective in hindsight. This was replaced by the community communication cell, which was less effective in term of reach.
Once Azura purchased Tobene Power, we saw an opportunity to improve communication, transparency and strengthen our relationship with the communities. As such, we have developed a stakeholder engagement plan in collaboration with local communities in particular those in our area of influence as well as the local authorities.
We have a grievance mechanism in place with suggestion boxes at the entrance of our facility as well as at the local mayor’s office but we must say that the most popular mechanism has been phone calls, WhatsApp messages, face to face meeting and letters. We are easily accessible to our stakeholders as we are simply part of the communities.
Azura Power ESG Committee has oversight over TP’s ESG performance.
The EHS Manager of Tobene Power also reports to the Azura Power ESG Head, who is part of the Azura Executive committee. On a quarterly basis, the ESG Head reports on TP ESG performance to the ESG Committee of Azura Power which comprises of key shareholders. Our ESG commitments are the responsibility of every member of the organisation and led by the Environmental, Health and Safety team on the ground.
In transitioning from HFO to Natural Gas, we will be assessing the potential impacts on employees, communities and other stakeholders to ensure a just transition where their social rights are fully respected.
The “Just Transition” framework embodies a range of interventions necessary to secure workers social rights and livelihoods as economies are transitioning towards more sustainable production. This applies to the power sector, as the way energy is being generated, traded and consumed is evolving and decarbonising at an unprecedented pace.
A secure supply of energy is required to meet Africa’s increasing demand and, due to supply intermittency, cannot be footed by renewable energy sources alone.
The discovery of significant Offshore gas resources in Senegal provides the opportunity to convert Tobene Power’s existing energy production from imported heavy fuel oil (HFO) to natural gas, which is a cleaner and more sustainable source of energy for the country. Tobene Power future gas power generation will play a critical role in Senegal’s energy transition acting as a bridging fuel to the country’s low carbon future. In this context, we will be assessing the potential impacts of this low carbon transition on employees, communities and various stakeholders involved in our value chain and we are committed to engage with them to ensure a just transition where their social rights are fully respected.
Azura Power acquired Tobene Power with the commitment to switch to gas as soon as it became available in Senegal. Our future shift from HFO to gas will reduce our CO2 footprint by about 30% (source: German Federal Environment Authority).
Natural gas is considered by many as the cleanest burning fossil fuel. It does not emit soot, dust or fumes and emits very limited sulphur dioxide. The switch to natural will go beyond reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint and contribute to the improvement of air quality.
From a development and diversified energy mix perspective, gas offers a pathway to rapid industrialisation and the emergence of a sustainable energy mix. It currently represents only 5% of Africa’s energy generation sources but the International Energy Agency estimates this could grow to around 25%. Azura Power specialises in medium-size gas to power projects designed to accelerate access to reliable power and enable industrialisation.
We are playing a catalytic role in supporting countries to transition to a sustainable energy mix by stabilising the grid and enabling the growth of renewables. Gas is not an alternative to renewables, it is a pathway to clean energy without compromising urgently needed development in the short term. We also believe the development of gas infrastructure in Senegal will create opportunities for third parties beyond power.
Watch this space!
Our latest ESG Report will be published in July 2021 and downloadable here.