Moscow — MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC, the world’s largest refined nickel and palladium producer, has released its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report for 2017.
Nornickel President, Vladimir Potanin, has commented on the Company’s CSR performance: „The year 2017 was not just marked by strong progress in our sustainable development as the Company delivered further improvements in its health and safety records and completed the first phase of environmental program, but also was notable as we adopted new and ambitious long-term targets. Having already delivered a major reduction of Sulphur dioxide emissions in the city of Norilsk, the last year we approved the Sulphur Project, which should result in further and very substantial cut to emissions in our largest operating unit, Polar Division. We see ourselves not just as a global mining industry leader that already supplies critical materials for the global car industry, which help to clean gas exhausts, but also as the company best positioned to supply the prospective and fast evolving electric cars industry. Nornickel is aiming to get greener itself, while already helping the world to get greener.”
The Group reported further improvement in its labour health and safety. In 2017, total work injuries were down 45% year-on-year (y-o-y), while Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) was reported at 0.43 injuries per 1 million man-hours. The number of fatalities at the Сompany’s industrial sites almost halved to 7 from 13 in 2016.
The company was on track with the implementation of its comprehensive environmental programme. The first phase of the programme has been successfully completed, with the Nickel Plant in the city of Norilsk fully idled. This was alongside downstream reconfiguration, involving modernization and expansion of capacity of existing processing facilities, being complete. Since the full halt of the Nickel Plant in 2016, sulfur dioxide emissions within the city of Norilsk residential area has reduced by
The cornerstone of the second stage of our environmental programme is the Sulphur Project in the Polar Division, which targets the reduction of SO2 emissions by 75% by 2023. In 2017, after thorough analysis the Group selected the optimal technology for the Sulphur Project, which will entail construction of Sulphur dioxide capturing facilities to produce sulphuric acid, which will be subsequently neutralized by natural limestone to produce gypsum. The project will involve installation of new equipment at Nadezhda metallurgical plant and modernization of Copper smelter. Investments in the Sulphur Project are estimated at up to US $2.5 bn through 2022.
In Kola operations, the Group is planning to optimize its smelting facilities, which should result in a reduction of Sulphur dioxide emissions by 50% already in 2019.
From 2013 to 2017, total air pollutant emissions were decreased by 12%, waste dispersion decreased by 21% and water consumption decreased by 16%. In 2017, total emissions of air pollutants reduced 4.6% y-o-y, including a 5% reduction in SO2 emissions and a 2.1% reduction in solid emissions.
In 2017, the water consumption reduced by 8.3% y-o-y. However, water discharge grew by 2.8% due to fluctuations in the inflow of mine water throughout the year.
In 2017, the Company launched hot commissioning of the Bystrinsky Mining and Processing Plant in the Chita region, which is considered as one of the most environmentally-friendly mining facilities in Russia. The new technologies employed by the plant will help to preserve the natural environment, while enabling the steady rampup of production. Bystrinsky Project has also created new high-skilled jobs and contributed to the further improvement of the region’s investment climate and its long-term sustainable development.
New processing technologies and equipment rolled out at the Kola MMC, the Group’s subsidiary in the Murmansk region of Russia, have resulted in a significant reduction of air pollutant emissions in the Kola Peninsula. In 2017, the Sulphur dioxide emissions there were reduced by 8.3% y-o-y. Moreover, in 2017 Kola MMC’s passed its first assessment audit, which certified its compliance with the Together for Sustainability Organisation (TfS) principles. The Group’s Polar Division and Nornickel’s Harjavalta plant in Finland also passed such audit, that recognises Nornickel as a responsible corporate citizen with regards to both its labour force and the environment.
In 2017, The Company increased its support for local communities. Overall expenditures on social, charitable and social infrastructure development programmes totalled US $445 million*. Nornickel has also embarked on several major projects in the regions of its operations, including urban redevelopment, education, cultural and social entrepreneurship programmes.
In 2017, some of the internal ESG strategies and principles were formulated and approved by the Company’s Board of Directors into respective policies, such as Health and Safety Strategy, Environmental Policy, Biodiversity Policy, Equal Opportunities Programme, Working Conditions Policy, Anti-Corruption Policy, Indigenous Rights Policy, etc. The historical role of Audit Committee of the Board of Directors’ to oversee ESG matters has been also recognized, so that this Committee’s name was changed to Audit and Sustainable Development Committee. The Company has also launched a new ESG section on its corporate website, providing details on its sustainable development strategy focusing on environmental management, social policy and corporate governance.
The Company’s efforts in improving its ESG performance has been gaining due recognition from leading independent rating agencies. For instance, MSCI ESG Research raised the Company’s ESG rating from „CCC” to „B”, praising its approach to managing and mitigating toxic emissions and waste by means of modernising equipment and decommissioning outdated facilities. Sustainalytics rating agency increased the Company’s score to 58 points (out of 100) in 2017 from 46 in a prior year.
Nornickel’s 2017 CSR report has been published in its long form as per GRI G4 CSR reporting recommendations, endorsed by the Non-Financial Reporting Council of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), audited by an independent auditor, NP Consult, and reviewed by the Global Reporting Initiative SDG Mapping Service.
*US$ values provided above are based on the annual average exchange rate of 58.3529 Russian roubles per 1 US$.