Norilsk Nickel’s main priority is to use water sustainably and reduce water pollution, while continuing to provide clean drinking water to the local community
We recognize that:
- Water is a precious shared resource with high social, cultural, environmental and economic value and is essential for the healthy functioning of ecosystems.
- Water is vital for Norilsk Nickel’s mining and metallurgic operations — it is required for the health and wellbeing of employees and at every stage of an operation’s life cycle, including closure.
- Access to safe, clean water and sanitation is a human right. The Company is a supplier of drinking water for both employees and local communities in a number of regions where it operates, which imposes responsibility for the quality of provided water.
- Our Company should not withdraw water in water-scarce areas.
- Our Company must assess and mitigate water related risks, consider the impact of its operations on water bodies, not only in the vicinity of its production assets, but also on associated remote water bodies.
- Water strategy is considered an integral part of our Holistic Environmental Strategy and part of ’license to operate’ for industrial companies such as Norilsk Nickel.
Our Company supports the UN SDG 2030 agenda, including SDG 6:
Clean Water, Sanitation, and respects the ICMM Water Stewardship Framework
Effective water stewardship requires cooperation with respective regional and state bodies, the scientific community, and enterprises to share knowledge and undertake joint efforts to develop solutions.
Norilsk Nickel is committed to:
- Conducting a comprehensive water-use assessment to understand the extent to which the Company uses water in the direct production of our products.
- Setting targets for our operations related to water conservation and waste-water treatment, with and environmentally-friendly approach to production and consumption.
- Seeking new technologies to achieve these goals.
- Raising awareness of water sustainability within its corporate culture.
- Including water sustainability considerations in business decision-making.
- Developing the ability to analyse and respond to watershed risk.
- Encouraging and helping suppliers conduct assessments of their own water use and impact.
- Continuing to provide drinking water to local communities.
- Working with public authorities and their agents to support the development of adequate water infrastructure, including water and sanitation delivery systems.
- Working with national, regional and local governments and public authorities to address water sustainability issues and policies.
- Engaging actively with members of the local community and encouraging local government, groups and initiatives seeking to advance the water and sanitation agenda.
- Publishing and sharing our water strategies (including targets and results as well as areas for improvement) in relevant corporate reports, using — where appropriate — the water indicators in line with the GRI Guidelines.
Norilsk Nickel has developed a Holistic Environmental Strategy to which Water strategy is an integral part, with significant investments planned to 2030.
Key next steps:
- Performing a full-scale water-use assessment to understanding the extent to which the Company uses water in the direct production of our products.
- Modernizing water monitoring and control systems to better ensure safety of hydraulic structures at our operations and maintenance of water sanitation for the drinking water we provide to local the community.
- Seeking CleanTech solutions and initiating partnerships with the scientific community and enterprises to achieve these goals.
- Ensuring continuous operation of water treatment facilities.
- Receiving, analysing and acting upon recommendations of the Great Norilsk Expedition on the establishment of sound water management practices and rehabilitation activities related to the recent incidents.
- Enhancing reporting on water by segregating water used for operations and water used for communal services in the Norilsk area.
Norilsk Nickel ensures transparency on its water management approach and performance. The protection of water bodies section is a regular part of the Company’s annual Sustainability report page 206.
Water-related risks are carefully analysed by Norilsk Nickel with results highlighted and risk mitigation activities described in our annual Sustainability report page 67.
Great Norilsk Expedition
Norilsk Nickel has launched the Great Norilsk Expedition. The project brings together experts from 14 research institutes of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The researchers have conducted comprehensive field studies of the Taimyr Peninsula ecosystems and are now performing further laboratory tests and experiments.
In total, the team explored 13 locations at four rivers and one lake, having taken samples of water, surface sediments and subsurface deposits. Experts crossed over 1,000 km from the Bezymyanny Stream to the Kara Sea. The Great Norilsk Expedition participants have collected over 1,500 samples totalling around 300 kg in weight for further chemical studies of water and hydrobiological studies of benthos. The sampling was conducted in line with national standards, where available, as well as the recommendations of a relevant equipment manufacturer in cases where standards were not available. A report with recommendations following the Great Norilsk Expedition is expected at the end of 2020.