A meeting of the company’s managers with participants of the working group on environment of the Barents Euro-Arctic Region Council took place at Kola MMC (Norilsk Nickel’s subsidiary). The working group is composed of the representatives of the Ministry of Environment of Finland, the Finnish Environment Institute, the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Norwegian Environment Agency, the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Sweden, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, scientific organizations and local authorities of countries of the Barents region.
“An important principle of the environmental policy of our company is its transparency, readiness for a dialogue with the parties concerned,” pointed out Yevgeny Kurbatov, Acting Chief Engineer and Chief Technical Officer at Kola MMC. “At the same time, the company assumes that the environment-related dialogue should be comprehensive, correct, objective, and taking account of all actual environment protection situations on border territories and on the territory of the Barents region as a whole”.
Participants in the meeting focused on issues relating to implementation of the environment protection policy of Kola MMC. The company presently carries out a number of production reconstruction and upgrade projects provided for by the Norilsk Nickel Development Strategy. All development projects aim to achieve both economic and environmental effects, and some of them are entirely intended for environment protection.
In total, over 10 bln rubles have been invested into environment protection measures (including capital expenditures) from 2000 to 2015. The company’s efforts bring certain results: from 1998 (the year Kola MMC was set up) to the present time, overall dioxide emissions at all the company’s sites were reduced by 49%, in the Pechenga Region this type of expenditures reached 37%. Thus, overall SO2 emissions at the Nickel site were 79.7 thousand tons in 2015 versus 123.5 thousand in 1998. In Zapolyarny, SO2 emissions decreased from 65.2 thousand tons in 1998 to 38.3 thousand tons in 2015. In Monchegorsk, sulfur dioxide emissions decreased from 88.3 thousand tons in 1998 to 36.9 thousand tons in 2015.
After introduction of new technology to reduce the environmental load, the company is actively enabling the recovery from the damage accumulated in the Soviet period of its history, specifically, doing so by carrying out land rehabilitation and green planting. Another area of activity is cooperation with special nature reserves in the neighborhood of the company’s sites: Lapland national park and Pasvik national park. Such cooperation includes interaction in scientific and research fields, monitoring of environment, educational and outreach campaigns and creation of up-to-date communication forums.
All aspects of environment protection activities of Kola MMC were presented to the participants of the working group on environment of the Barents Region Council. During the exchange of opinions guests highly appreciated the degree of transparency of the company, completeness and quality of information and suggested to develop the dialog on environmental issues.
It should be noted that such meetings of ecologists and production workers at Kola MMC tend to become a tradition. They were preceded by a Russia-Norway workshop organized by Kola MMC and the international environment protection organization Belonna in 2011. Also, the company, including its production facilities, was visited by representatives of local authorities of the Finnmark county (Norway), journalists and bloggers who participated in Bellona’s press tour, representatives of Russian environmental organizations.