Nornickel, the world’s largest refined nickel and palladium producer, has released its annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report, detailing the company’s sustainable performance in 2016.
In 2016, Nornickel increased its total spending on environment protection, asset odernization with positive environmental impact and current environmental expenses 8.9% year-on-year to a total of RUB 25.7 billion (US $383 million at the exchange rate of 67.03 Russian roubles per 1 US$). The company’s total environmental-related expenditure represented 4.6% of its consolidated revenue underscoring its significant financial commitment to becoming a mining industry leader in sustainability.
Vladimir Potanin, President and CEO of Nornickel said: “We are on a journey to becoming a global leader in sustainability in the natural resources industry. In 2016, we reached a significant milestone in our environmental program by closing down an outdated Nickel plant in the city of Norilsk. We will continue to endeavour to make our production cleaner and safer, and to meet the highest standards of sustainable development. I’m convinced that only businesses that care about the environment, about its people and about the communities in which they operate can be truly efficient.”
Last year, the Company completed the decommissioning of its Nickel plant in the city of Norilsk ahead of schedule. The plant’s closure was accompanied by a socially-responsible labour restructuring programme which included re-training of employees and helping them to find new jobs. The Company also continued modernising the Talnakh concentrator and Nadezhda Metallurgical plant in its Polar division, which combined with the shutdown of Nickel plant contributed to a significant reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions in the city of Norilsk residential area.
In 2016, the Company achieved a 6.2% overall reduction in emissions of air pollutants (G4- EN21), including a 6.5% reduction in SO2 emissions and 30.8% reduction in the emissions of solids, though emissions of NOx increased by 2.8% year on year. The group also achieved 5.7% and 6.6% reductions in water consumption and water discharge, respectively, with an 18% reduction in wastewater pollutants discharge. Emissions of the Polar Division reduced 5.1%. An upgrade of the Company’s concentrator capacities in the Kola Peninsula, replacing outdated roasting plant with a hot briquetting facility, has resulted in the 22.8% reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions at Kola operations in 2016.
In 2016, Nornickel launched a saline effluent disposal unit at the Kola division and started preparations for the deployment of chlorine leaching technology at its Kola nickel refinery.
In 2016, Nornickel began tracking its decarbonisation progress (G4- EN15- G4-EN18). The group’s direct emissions totalled 10 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, with carbon intensity of 1,214 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per US $1 million of consolidated revenue. The group reduced the use of coal in its energy consumption by 49% from 4,170 TJ in 2015 to 2,132 TJ in 2016, or by about 70,000 tonnes of coal equivalent. Nornickel’s smelter operations are being converted to the consumption of natural gas. This project is to be completed in 2017 and is aimed at further reducing the group’s carbon footprint.
In 2016, Nornickel consumed 25% of its total energy from renewable sources, with 38% of energy coming from renewable sources at Norilsk industrial district, where the Company’s largest operating division, Polar division, is located. In Norilsk, the renewable energy is provided by two captive hydro power plants.
The Company has continued to improve its labour safety performance. Total work injuries in 2016 were down 39% year-on-year, while Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) at 0.33 injuries per 1 million man-hours was down 46% year-on-year from 0.62 in 2015, making it significantly lower tan international industry standards.
The Company has been a traditional partner of various federal and regional programs aiming at the support of local communities’ social infrastructure, sports and culture. The Company continued to provide major financial support for local communities, investing over RUB 7.4 billion (US $110 million) into local communities and charity projects, up 5.7% year-on-year (G4–EC7). In total, the Company spent over RUB 23.6 billion (US $352 million) towards social, charity and social infrastructure projects.
The Company has been always supportive of major international and domestic sustainable development initiatives, which bring together socially-responsible businesses. In 2016, Nornickel joined the United Nations Global Compact initiative. In its social responsibility and environmental policies, the Company follows ISO 26000:2010 international standards and actively pursues the applicable UN sustainable development goals.