Environment

NornickelOpen Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary is the largest industrial company in Russia’s Arctic Zone. Polar Division and Kola MMCMining and Metallurgical CompanyPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel"Go to the glossaryGo to the glossary, its core assets, are located on the Taimyr and Kola Peninsulas. Nornickel is an outpost for Arctic exploration and development.

Nornickel GroupPublic Joint Stock Company "Mining and Metallurgical Company "Norilsk Nickel” and its subsidiariesGo to the glossary is committed to minimising the environmental impact of its production units across the Company’s footprint on a daily basis.

Environmental priorities

The Company’s environmental priorities include:

  • gradually reducing pollutant emissions and discharges, and expanding the scope and volume of waste recycling, improving waste management;
  • ensuring sustainable use of natural resources;
  • reconfiguring production capacities, upgrading the Group’s operations with new cutting-edge equipment, introducing the best available technologies;
  • conserving biodiversity across its footprint;
  • reflecting climate change aspects in long-term business plans;
  • organising sea freighting in compliance with the national regulations and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships;
  • switching the environmental management system (EMS) to a risk-oriented approach to environmental management in compliance with ISOInternational Organisation for StandardisationGo to the glossary 14001:2015.

Key steps to minimising environmental impact:

For the purpose of preserving the fragile Arctic ecosystem, the Company’s long-term strategy provides for production facility upgrades using the best available technologies to achieve the required environmental performance targets, improving energy efficiency, and implementing measures encouraging a reduced and sustainable use of natural resources.

In terms of air protection, the Company seeks to gradually reduce pollutant emissions (primarily sulphur dioxide and solid emissions) by implementing a production reconfiguration strategy encompassing reconstruction and upgrade of production facilities, which include:

  • upgrading Talnakh Concentrator;
  • implementing a continuous conversion technology at Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant;
  • redirecting emissions from low-height sources to flue-gas stacks;
  • constructing sulphur recovery units at Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant and Copper Plant;
  • upgrading melting equipment at Kola MMCKola Mining and Metallurgical CompanyGo to the glossary.

In terms of water resources protection, the priority is to pursue sustainable use of water resources and prevent water pollution, taking a set of measures to reduce wastewater discharges into water bodies and lower water consumption by:

  • upgrading natural draft cooling towers at Copper Plant;
  • implementing a water cycle system at the cement plant;
  • optimising the water cycle at Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant through wastewater treatment and partial use of recycled wastewater in the water supply system of the plant instead of fresh water;
  • constructing local industrial wastewater treatment facilities and mining water treatment plants;
  • constructing local domestic wastewater treatment facilities and overhauling sewerage systems;
  • installing wastewater metering equipment.

In terms of waste management, the Company seeks to minimise environmental impact of the waste it generates. Nornickel Group manages and recycles its industrial and domestic waste on the basis of licences for the collection, transportation, treatment, recycling, and disposal of hazard classes 1–4 waste.

Industrial and domestic waste of hazard classes 1–4 accounts for around 3% of all Company’s waste, while the rest is class 5 mining waste (practically non-hazardous).

The Company takes steps to use production waste (rock and overburden, tailings, and metallurgical slags) for construction and strengthening of dumps, preparation of filling compounds, railroad groundwork, road filling, etc. Today, over 50% of waste is reused.

New waste disposal sites are designed and constructed using modern environmentally friendly technologies helping to prevent negative environmental impact. All projects are subject to state environmental review.

In terms of biodiversity conservation, the Company takes part in a number of initiatives run jointly with national nature reserves such as the Putoransky Reserve (Taimyr Peninsula), the Pasvik Nature Reserve and the Lapland Biosphere Reserve (Kola Peninsula) located in relative proximity to its production sites. The initiatives are aimed at understanding and conserving biodiversity across the Company’s footprint in Russia’s Far North.

Moreover, the Company supported and financed a number of large-scale biodiversity conservation projects. For example, Polar Division contributed to rescuing lesser white-fronted geese (the Anatidae family) listed on the Red Data Book making Taimyr home to around 4,000 birds. In collaboration with Russian scientists and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Nornickel participated in monitoring polar bear habitat. The Company also works to preserve aquatic biodiversity in the region by releasing hundreds of thousands of fingerlings of valuable fish species into the water bodies of the Taimyr and Kola Peninsulas.

In terms of climate change, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions management remains on the agenda as a challenge creating new risks for the 21st century business.

As the laws governing climate change evolve, the Company will be incorporating new requirements into its investment plans.

The Group is already using low-carbon fuel in its production and power generation processes with natural gas accounting for ca. 90% of them.

To minimise its impact on the climate, the Company implements a long-term strategy providing for the upgrade of its production facilities using the best available technologies, improving energy efficiency, and implementing measures that encourage saving and lower consumption of energy.

Nornickel implements a proactive risk response approach in terms of GHG emissions regulations in Russia and abroad by:

  • keeping record of GHG emissions;
  • developing and implementing a corporate GHG emissions management system;
  • disclosing information on GHG emissions on a voluntary basis;
  • monitoring domestic and international climate regulations;
  • assessing prospective reduction of GHG emissions.

As regards sea freighting, the Company operates in compliance with the national regulations and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. The Company owns an Arctic fleet of five modern Arctic ice-class container vessels, a tanker and a port icebreaker.

Environmental Management System

As part of the Corporate Integrated Quality Management System, the environmental management system (EMS) helps the Group to harmonise its environmental and quality assurance initiatives with other functions such as production management, finance, and health and safety. This approach boosts environmental safety and enhances the Company’s overall performance.

Environmental management system performance:

  • secured priority funding for environmental initiatives;
  • improved environmental awareness among employees;
  • gained a competitive edge in the domestic and international markets;
  • boosted the Company’s investment case;
  • demonstrated compliance with global environmental standards to customers and other stakeholders, and won the trust of customers placing particular emphasis on an effective EMS;
  • gained additional opportunities for recognition in the international context and in global markets.
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