Development of a WEB based environmental data collection system, Belgium, for CONCAWE’s Water, Waste and Soil and Groundwater Task Force

The Association of the Refining Industry in Europe (CONCAWE), had been collecting environmental data for decades, data that is used to understand the environmental performance of their member companies. CONCAWE decided to upgrade the way data had been collected in the past and requested NewFields to develop and maintain two databases to handle water use and effluent data, and waste data, collected from over 100 refineries located within the European Union.

With this aim, Newfields developed a new web-based data collection system to streamline data capture, provide sites with an immediate overview of their water use and discharges performance, and expedite the process of data analysis and reporting. The web- based system created a secure and dynamic web-based survey to capture water use and effluent data that was immediately included in a structured backend database which allowed for real-time data analyses. This allowed the analysis of trends and the compilation of industry-wide waste management and disposal statistics for refineries in the EU to track hazardous and non-hazardous waste quantities, costs, disposal routes, and compositions.

NewFields also provided extensive quality control and quality assurance of survey-collected data and assisted in writing/publishing reports for Concawe.

The survey provided refineries with a visual representation of their water flows and computations on many standard reporting metrics, allowing increased efficiency as they can enter data in one location and be provided with metrics for a number of reporting organizations, expediting the process of data analysis and reporting.

While early Concawe surveys primarily addressed the discharge of oil in effluents, the survey has expanded since 2005 to take into account the growing number of substances that are subject to EU-wide discharge limits or environmental quality standards. In addition, the survey has been adapted to capture data on water treatment processes, freshwater consumption and water reuse. With the increased size and complexity of the survey, however, the use of spreadsheets for data entry has become difficult, leading to an increased risk of data entry errors or partial completion. The new survey will eliminate these problems and will provide additional insight into water reuse, which is likely to become an increasingly important performance metric for refineries in future years given the European Commission focus on sustainable use of water resources.