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Results of the 2019 Environmental Transparency Rating of Russian Oil and Gas Companies

25 november 2019
On November 25, the Analytical Center for the Government of the Russian Federation hosted the presentation of the sixth environmental transparency rating of Russian oil and gas companies.

The rating was calculated by the WWF-Russia and CREON Group. In 2019, monitoring of emergencies and controversial situations as part of the environmental transparency rating of oil and gas companies was included into the People for Nature project, carried out by WWF-Russia funded by the European Union.

A total of 20 oil and gas companies took part in the new rating. As in the previous year, the Top-3 this time are Sakhalin Energy, Zarubezhneft and Exxon Neftegas Limited.

The recipients of honorary diplomas in five categories include: Lukoil for its top performance in environmental transparency, Rosneft for the most constructive dialog in regards to accidents and controversial situations, Surgutneftegas for its leadership in mitigating environmental impacts, Gazprom Neft for the most dynamic growth of oil recovery factor and finally Tatneft for the speedy advancement in the ranking.

"The modern economy is rapidly transforming and today investors and consumers value both the economic component of transactions and the social and environmental responsibility of businesses, which is important for gaining a competitive edge," points out Aleksey Knizhnikov, Head of the Program for the Business Environmental Responsibility at WWF-Russia. "For the sixth year in a row, we have seen increasing progress in the companies' disclosure of environmental performance. According to our estimates, public nonfinancial reporting of oil and gas companies has showed the fastest development in Russia over the last  years and is becoming the basis for dialog with stakeholders on reducing environmental impacts," he says.

As always, the calculation was performed by the Analytical Center of the National Rating Agency based on publicly available sources. This approach ensures that the research is carried out with the highest standards of objectivity, helping improve environmental transparency of Russian companies.

‘We launched this project in 2013, and it was a revolution for the industry’, says Fares Kilzie, Head of CREON Group. ‘The concept that we are promoting is a forerunner not only in Russia, but globally. This is hard to acknowledge, but the results of our activity will not be visible today or tomorrow. At present, we are witnessing the changes in the Russian oil & gas business, and the massive efforts of the government and the companies are evident now, alongside a significant and inevitable transformation towards sustainable development. And we as a Group are proud of being part of the process, and of our role in it.’ 

The robustness of the method and the accuracy of calculations were confirmed by the FBK Grant Thornton audit and consulting group. The company performed selective tests of the criteria and analyzed the accuracy of the scores (levels) against the method, returning a favorable opinion.

"We responded with pleasure to WWF-Russia’s proposal to carry out independent confirmation of the results of the 2019 environmental transparency rating of Russian oil and gas companies," says Vladimir Skobarev, Partner and Head of Corporate Governance and Sustainability at FBK Grant Thornton. "The role of sustainability ratings as important tools for external assessment of corporate social responsibility is increasing every year, while the practice of independent confirmation of the ratings themselves, in turn, is a tool to increase trust in them," he explains.

The European Union actively supports corporate responsibility in environment protection. The EU stands behind the notion that the sharing of information on environmental impact is a right of societies and that cooperation between corporations and citizens can be a win-win situation whereby companies, citizens and the environment can come out better off. That happens through corporate focus on improving their methods and protocols and enhancing mitigation of adverse effects.  

As a rule, oil and gas companies are not disposed to disclose information on emergency situations and conflicts that impact the environment. In order to tackle this issue, it was decided to launch regular reviews of conflict situations and accidents related to oil and gas companies, taking them into account when calculating the rankings. 

The reviews are developed based on the open access information available on the websites of Rostekhnadzor, Rosprirodnadzor, Ministry of Energy, Rosselkhoznadzor, the Office of the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation and courts, as well as media reports and major national and international environmental agencies and NGOs. Before publishing such reviews, the companies are given an opportunity to share clarifying information for possible corrections. This helps build an unbiased database which can be used to evaluate public awareness of accidents and controversial environmental situations. All cases are then mapped out so that the hotspots and the most frequently occurring sources of conflicts can be easily identified. The organizers believe that this approach will improve the transparency of business, build trust within society and encourage dialog among citizens and enterprises.  

About the rankings of oil and gas companies:

The rankings have been calculated annually since 2014 in order to obtain objective and comparable information about the environmental transparency of Russian oil and gas companies and their environmental impact. The fact that these rankings are public helps improve the quality of environmental risk management and reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas companies.

The ranking criteria are divided into three sections, including environmental management, environmental impact and information disclosure/transparency.

You can download our brochure with detailed information about the rankings and access individual company profiles at the WWF website. 

Photo: (c) Vladimir Filonov / WWF-Russia 

For additional information please contact
Head of the responsible industry Program