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Environmental Management

OMV’s transformation into a company with a clear focus on circular economy solutions and low-carbon energy is driven by the aim to protect people and nature and to respect the limits of planet Earth. As this transformation must go hand in hand with societies’ needs for secure and affordable energy and materials, we are at the same time striving to minimize the environmental impact of our existing operations through measures such as spill prevention, energy efficiency improvements, reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and water withdrawals, and waste management. OMV strives to optimize processes, to use natural resources as efficiently as possible, and to reduce emissions and discharges to levels no longer considered harmful.

In 2023, there were four major hydrocarbon spills (level 3 of four; 2022: 2 spills). The total volume of hydrocarbon spilled was lower compared to the previous year. OMV continues to work on its oil spill response preparedness and capabilities.

Key environmental measures and achievements in 2023:

  • Water management plans have been established at our main operational sites to reduce water-related risks and ensure efficient and sustainable water use. At OMV Tunisia, we implemented improvement projects to reduce freshwater use and increase the safe reuse of wastewater.
  • At the Schwechat refinery, we succeeded in significantly reducing water consumption and emissions to air. More than 5% of the average annual water consumption has been saved, most of it through a new control concept for cooling water in a heat exchanger group in the ethylene plant.
  • At our unit in the Schwechat refinery, the installation of an additional electrostatic precipitator module reduced dust emissions significantly.
  • At the Petrobrazi refinery, the tank modernization program continued in 2023 with the modernization of one volatile product tank and the commissioning of a new tank, according to best available technology, which will contribute to the reduction of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.
  • In 2023, OMV Petrom completed the surface abandonment of 656 wells and 46 facilities in the division. A total of 168,882  of contaminated soil was treated in our bioremediation plants, and 18,746 t of metal scrap was recycled by authorized companies.
  • An enhanced monitoring tool for spill prevention has been implemented at OMV Petrom. The industry-recognized digital well integrity tool was established to assess risks to the integrity of individual wells, prioritize inspections, and take appropriate mitigation actions. By the end of 2023, we had successfully completed the digitalization of 4,400 wells, which represents more than 58% of the total active wells in operation.
  • During 2023, Borealis continued its engagement in Project STOP, which aims to support cities in emerging countries in establishing cost-efficient, effective, and circular waste collection systems. By developing a blueprint and sharing its know-how, as many stakeholders as possible will be encouraged to replicate the holistic approach of Project STOP. The knowledge gained from the three city partnerships so far is now allowing the project to scale up across the Indonesian Regency of Banyuwangi. It will, positively impact the lives of up to two million residents by the end of 2026 by creating 1,000 full-time jobs and collecting 230,000 t of waste annually. In this context, Borealis has signed the UN Sustainable Ocean Principles and is a member of the UN Global Compact. For more information, visit the Project STOP website at
  • As part of its commitment to achieving zero pellet losses in operations and the supply chain, Borealis has met all requirements to fully comply with the Operation Clean Sweep® standard and consequently put in place a comprehensive set of on-site measures that aim to prevent and respond to pellet spills, should they occur. After carrying out extensive third-party audits that comply with the Operation Clean Sweep® standard in December 2023, the first two Borealis locations achieved the Operation Clean Sweep® Certificate. Borealis aims to have all of its polyolefin locations certified according to Operation Clean Sweep® by the end of 2024.
  • The full impact of the WGC BREF (Common Waste Gas Management and Treatment Systems in the Chemical Sector) has been assessed in all locations, which resulted in an action plan to become fully compliant in the next few years.
  • We continued to work on improving our impact on nature. To achieve this, we apply the mitigation hierarchy in our projects with the following steps: Avoidance, Minimization, Restoration, Offset, and Compensation. In 2023, we initiated a Group-wide project to establish a nature and biodiversity framework for the OMV Group, as part of which we are applying the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures’ (TNFD) approach to locate, evaluate, assess, and prepare (LEAP) to identify priority sites, evaluate impacts and dependencies, assess risks and opportunities, and prepare to respond to and to report on material nature-related issues.
  • OMV works locally with third parties on restoration and rehabilitation projects. For example, in 2023, we supported the following biodiversity-related projects in New Zealand: the Moawhitu lake and wetland regeneration project, the partnership with the Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust, creating a predator-free reserve for the endemic hihi bird, and the partnership with the local hapū at Pohokura to restore and protect the wetlands on site.
Fluid Catalytic Cracking; an important material conversion process
Exploration & Production, part of Energy business segment
Metric ton