AMCHAM HSSE Conference 2022
November 2nd, 2022 | Related To: AMERICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (AMCHAM T&T)
Sponsors’ Remarks by Ron Adams, CEO Atlantic
Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. It is my deepest pleasure, on behalf of all the sponsors, to welcome you to the 26th staging of the Annual Conference on Health, Safety, Security and the Environment (HSSE). Like all of you, I’m truly grateful for this opportunity for all of us to meet in person and to see each other face to face.
Over the next 3 days we will be participating in discussions that are very relevant to the future of our businesses and our country. The pillars of HSSE remain integral to the success and performance of our companies, and especially so in these days of global transition.
We want to thank AMCHAM TT for your faithful commitment to highlight these four critical business pillars, every single year. Thank you for helping to give HSSE the prominence and priority that it is due, and Atlantic is especially pleased to continue in our role as title sponsor for such an important event.
What an appropriate theme for this year’s Conference – “Re-Imagining HSSE”. “Re-Imagining” has become significant nowadays because we face significant new challenges: from continued disruptions in the global supply chain; to hyper-inflation and other economic challenges; to the rise in cyber-crime and other cyber threats. The risks to business and other areas of human life remain unprecedented, with perhaps one of the greatest challenges being how we continue to advance in the important area of HSSE and sustain its contribution to corporate performance.
We need new solutions, re-imagined solutions. Fortunately, new technologies and new best practices are emerging to help us. This morning, I would like to speak briefly about two trends – the Rise of Learning Organizations, and the Rise of Advanced Digital Technologies – both which in my view are very pertinent to the process of re-imagining HSSE, no matter our industry, and no matter the risks and challenges that confront us.
Trend #1: The Rise of Learning Organizations
So, turning to the first trend, the Rise of Learning Organizations.
In the present highly competitive, ever-evolving business environment, the idea of companies strategically transforming themselves into Learning Organizations has gained new currency. Leaders have been focused on discovering ways to inspire employees to adopt the Learner Mindset, that way of thinking which converts all interactions – whether they are challenges, successes, or even mistakes – into learning opportunities that improve individual and corporate performance and propel the company forward.
From an HSSE perspective, I would like to coin the term “The HSSE Learning Organization”. This type of Learning Organization is focused on how the company learns from incidents and how employees learn from their mistakes, so that there are no repeat incidents.
The HSSE Learning Organization is also focused on how learnings are shared. How we share with our own employees. How we share with other companies and other industries. How other companies and industries share their learnings with us. As the challenges in the wider business context continue to multiply, there is a great need for all of us to expand the boundaries of our sharing of what we have learned. We must continue to build on our collective experience in addressing common challenges in HSSE.
In the HSSE Learning Organization, leaders also carefully consider how to leverage Human Factors and Human Performance to encourage the correct employee behaviors that result in sustained safe operations and a generative safety culture. Human Factors relate to how human characteristics interact with organizational, environmental and other workplace variables to influence HSE behaviors. Very similar to this is the field of Human Performance, which looks closely at how human behavior and human error impact employee performance. Both areas also look at how we create workplaces of psychological safety, trust and accountability.
At Atlantic, these considerations are very high on the leadership agenda. As an HSSE Learning Organization, Atlantic has implemented our Learning from Incidents programme. This special HSSE learning framework includes an extensive incident investigation process that helps unearth lessons learned. Lessons identified are immediately shared with all stakeholders and indexed and archived into an online database. This virtual repository can then be accessed by the risk assessment teams who issue work permits for all jobs done at our facility. In a sense, our lesson learned database ensures that history is never far from our fingertips. This is a powerful tactic in our tireless campaign to eliminate repeat and recurring incidents from our operations.
Atlantic is never daunted by the prospect of turning our lens on ourselves. A few weeks ago, we resumed our annual event that focuses on Process Safety and Asset Integrity Risk Management, and we reviewed a significant High Potential Incident in recent Atlantic history. This incident reminded us that we must avoid complacency. We must continue to have chronic unease and remain vigilant on our journey towards our Goal Zero aspirations: zero serious injuries and fatalities, zero Lost Time Incidents, zero OSHA Recordables and zero Process Safety leaks and incidents.
Trend #2: The Rise of Advanced Digital Technologies
Turning now to the second trend – the Rise of Advanced Digital Technologies.
Advanced digital technologies have been made possible by the explosive growth of electronic data capture and the use of digitalization is increasingly an essential part of corporate strategies. This has resulted in an abundance of data, fueling the advance of digital technologies and now they are everywhere – from Google to TikTok; from self-driving cars to conversational robots; from smart homes to artificial intelligence. Of course, this brings elevated attention to cyber security risks and their possible impact on business performance, which is a topic of focus at this conference.
This last technology, artificial intelligence – or AI as it popularly known – is going to be a game changer for many industries. We would have seen the news stories about DALL-E, a software portal that can generate realistic digital images when users type descriptions in regular, everyday language. This amazing technology opens the door to a whole host of use cases. For example, engineers will be able to visualize technical solutions to problems with equipment, processes and systems.
In fact, AI is already making contributions to the Global Energy Transition – a key consideration for us in our sector, but also increasingly relevant across industries. In one case, a recent renewable energy project in the UK uses AI to map and predict the energy output of one of the world’s largest wind farms, by simulating dozens of wind speeds and wind directions. In another case, AI is being used to help optimize electricity grids that feature carbon-based power plants mixed with renewable energy sources. In other projects, scientists and manufacturers are using AI to search for chemical compounds and metal alloys that use simpler, lower cost production methods; or which result in improved environmental performance or energy efficiency.
Even though LNG as the cleanest fossil fuel will remain extremely relevant in the Global Energy Transition, Atlantic will not be resting on our laurels. We understand the business need and the societal need to increase our energy efficiency and reduce our GHG emissions to align with the requirements for the new energy order.
Also, as a socially responsible, sustainable operator, we embrace environmental principles which foster environmental protection. We also remain steadfast in our support of the national agenda to achieve a 15% reduction in overall GHG emissions by 2030.
Atlantic believes that AI will be instrumental to these environmental performance objectives, and we have therefore earmarked this technology for more extensive use throughout our business in the near future. We are encouraged by the progress of our existing initiatives in this area, which other digital technologies have helped to bear fruit. Over the last two years, our carbon abatement strategy has been supported by predictive analytics, helping us exceed our GHG emissions reduction targets as part of our environmental commitment.
On a smaller scale, we will continue to improve our energy management by using hybrid vehicles, supplemental solar power and smart lighting in our administrative operations.
We are also enthusiastic about how advanced digital technology can work with other technologies to minimize our employees’ exposure to hazardous conditions.
In some industries for example, drones allow access to workplace environments at heights, helping to reduce the risk of falls or dropped objects. In other companies, robots can perform tasks which would have otherwise risked bringing employees into contact with toxic chemicals or facing other risks associated with work in confined spaces.
Advanced digital technologies can work alongside these robotic technologies and strengthen risk management for high-risk activities and environments. For example, at Atlantic, Digital Twin technology helps provide a virtual bird’s eye view of our facilities, lessening the need for physical access to locations that are potentially unsafe. Where there is need to access unsafe locations, we sometimes use wearable technology – Real Wear headsets – which enable on-site personnel to use helmet-mounted cameras to share virtually what they are seeing with online team-members. But wearable technologies are capable of much, much more. Smart watches, virtual reality glasses and helmets and smart gloves can enhance HSSE in many other ways. They can flag employee fatigue by tracking body temperature and heart rate. They can measure anomalies in air quality and temperature. The possibilities are vast and we’re only scratching the surface of can be achieved when we reimagine HSSE.
So, in closing, ladies and gentlemen, I have spoken about two trends this morning – the Rise of Learning Organizations, and the Rise of Advanced Digital Technologies. These trends are only signposts on the journey to re-imagine HSSE, and we are sure to be introduced to several others over the course of this Conference.
Whether we are CEOs or Managers, or Officers or Contractors, we should all identify as leaders of HSSE Learning Organizations. We are the ambassadors of the HSSE culture that we want to build across Trinidad and Tobago, and we should encourage our companies to move away from mere review of KPIs and instead focus on how we can influence the behaviors that produce sustained safe operations. We should also continue to explore how we leverage advanced digital technologies to build systems of learning for our companies.
I look forward to all of us working together to do this, reimagining HSSE for the brave new world in which we now find ourselves.
I’m confident that we can do it. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your attention.