In September 2013, the Belgian NCP received a request for review by an NGO alleging that a multinational enterprise had breached the environment provisions of the Guidelines in Russia with its work related to the construction of a harbour.
The NCP has undertaken an initial assessment of the specific instance and, as of November 2013, is providing assistance to parties.
The NCP has undertaken an initial assessment of the specific instance and, as of 14 November 2013, declared the issue eligible and offered mediation to the parties.
The NCP provided confidentiality instructions to the parties and Greenpeace was explicitly instructed not to mention the name of the company in the media. On 27 February 2014, a meeting was organized between the parties, in which Greenpeace requested information relating to the environment and that studies that had been made public still left questions unanswered for Greenpeace. The company only responded in a general manner and then stated they were willing to go through mediation.
In March 2014, Greenpeace notified the NCP that a Belgian magazine would publish an article on the project. After reading the article, the NCP decided to end mediation and informed Greenpeace in late March, because of what the NCP viewed as a breach of the confidentiality condition and that the parties should not attack each other during the mediation period. The NCP met with Jan De Nul NV and an environmental expert on 8 May 2014 and learned about the company’s environmental policy and that their ships have been given environmental certificates and meet system standards. The company said a specialized company conducted an assessment of the environmental study, at the request of the Belgian ECA, the Ducroire, and additional measures have been proposed. The Belgian ECA considers that the company complied with all conditions concerning the protection of the environment. The NCP then learned that another Belgian company was awarded the subsequent phases of the Sabetta project.
The NCP concluded that it considers that environmental information, by definition, is not considered confidential company data. It recommended that Belgium companies communicate to the public about potential hazards to the environment in a transparent manner, taking into account the confidentiality of certain commercial information and intellectual property rights.
The NCP also recommended that the companies concerned develop contacts with IUCN, in order to minimize the effects of their projects on whales and stated it would contact the other Belgian company involved in the Sabetta project.