The Russian metal mining giant Norilsk Nickel, which faced the problem of climate change at its main production sites – in the Russian Arctic, when a state of emergency was declared in the Russian Arctic city of Norilsk due to the melting of permafrost, on May 29, 2020 from the fuel tank at the TPP of Norilsk Energy Company No. 3 about 21,000 tons of diesel fuel flowed out into the neighboring river.
However, this helped the company to establish many processes, according to Elena Feoktistova, Managing Director for Corporate Responsibility, Sustainable Development and Social Entrepreneurship at the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs.
“Nornickel has always had high sustainability rankings. After the events of 2020, naturally, the question arises as to whether the company can retain its positions. So the stress-test conducted by the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and the Moscow Exchange showed that Nornickel has a high potential for sustainability. The company has good management processes in place, including sustainability factors and risks. No doubt, the impact of the spill has reduced the performance indicators. But the high level that the Company has achieved both in terms of performance and the quality of management of all processes keeps Nornickel among the leaders,” said Elena Feoktistova, during the event, where Norilsk Nickel presented its sustainable development report for 2020, which was broadcast on the Internet by the Russian business TV channel RBC.
“Nornickel faced the problem of climate change and the deterioration of industrial facilities and is dealing with this situation appropriately. I would like to take this opportunity to appeal to all companies, small businesses and large corporations that are currently planning to become residents of the Arctic zone, to make sure they adjust to this rhythm of work and take their cue from Nornickel,” said Grigory Ledkov, President of the Russian Association of Indigenous Minorities North, Siberia and the Far East.
The high level of the company’s openness to public control, availability of information, was noted by the World Wildlife Fund.
“I would like to elaborate on Nornickel’s White Paper on the lessons of last year’s accident. While the accident was a serious one, we were very pleased with the way the clean-up work was organized and the way all the stages of the clean-up were communicated. We have not seen anyone else being so open and accessible, both in terms of the original data on the spill and on the clean-up process, and also in terms of the company’s dialogue with stakeholders. We are even beginning to cite Nornickel as a benchmark for how accidents should be handled,” said Alexey Knizhnikov, World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Responsibility Programme Manager.
In addition, Norilsk Nickel has already developed a program of urgent measures for 2021 to increase the level of security, to strengthen protective structures around hazardous facilities. For these purposes, it is planned to spend about 11 billion rubles ($141 million).