Case Study

Persistent Organic Pollutants - Mediterranean

Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are a diverse group of very long-lived chemicals that have wide ranging toxic effects on humans and wildlife; the fact that they remain intact for exceptionally long periods once released to the environment means that many are now widely distributed globally - including in areas where they have never been used.

Earth Active has supported a DFI on two projects concerned with the identification and elimination of a specific class of POP, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), as part of a wider programme, jointly funded by UNEP, focussed on the elimination and reduction of POPs in eight Mediterranean countries.

The global treaty, the Stockholm Convention, aims to eliminate or reduce the releases of POPs into the environment. PCBs were widely manufactured over several decades of the twentieth century, and extensively used as coolants in electrical equipment. Their production is now banned and the Stockholm Convention requires that they are removed from use by 2025. However, considerable challenges remain in terms of identifying the quantities still in use.

Working in partnership with our local experts, we undertook a series of audits, supplemented by laboratory analyses, to identify equipment potentially containing PCBs, assess the magnitude of any contamination identified and produce a costed action plan for elimination of PCBs. We also undertook a governance review and gap analysis of the process and systems in place in the organisations with respect to management of hazardous substances and produced a series of recommendations for improvements including the development of training programmes.

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Risk assessment and management

Corporate Governance, Policy and Strategy

Capacity building, learning, and training

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