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Environmental transparency rating of mining and metals companies: general growth of transparency and consistently non-transparent companies
Премия рунета 2017

Environmental transparency rating of mining and metals companies: general growth of transparency and consistently non-transparent companies

14 december 2021
On December 14, WWF-Russia presented the results of environmental transparency rating of mining and metallurgical companies operating on the territory Russia. The research shows that overall environmental transparency in the industry in general increased, although there is a range of companies, consistently rated as non-transparent. For the first time, the rating was compiled by the company ACRA RM. The rating is supported by the European Union

The 2021 rating is based on 2020 data. The evaluation was based on 25 transparency criteria. The study featured 39 enterprises. The new rating shows the highest average transparency score of all time:

The increasing number of companies that responded to the request of the rating organizers is another indicator of growing transparency in the industry. In 2016, only 13 companies provided additional environmental information during the first stages of data collection and analysis. This year, the figure is 23 companies.

As for the results of the rating of environmental transparency for mining and metal companies, there are new names among Top-3 this year. In the first place is Polyus, which has remained at the top positions for several years. NLMK and Metalloinvest ranked second and third, respectively. These companies has become a top-3 for the first time. 

In 2020, the number of accidents and incidents covered by mass and social media has increased compared to the previous year. Their total number was 28 for the 39 companies participating in the study, compared to 12 for the 40 participants the previous year. Moreover, the number of controversial environmental situations amounted to 84, compared to last year's 74. These figures suggest a disturbing upward trend in the industry in 2020, but the increase may be partly caused by better monitoring.

 "Public monitoring has improved considerably since last year; new methods and technologies have emerged. Its environmental effectiveness is even better when businesses engage in honest, open dialogue with all stakeholders. Our rating has become one of the new mechanisms of giving feedback to companies in the industry, -  stated Alexey Knizhnikov, head of the Programme on environmental business responsibility at WWF-Russia. But if a company crosses the 'no-go zone' in terms of environmental and industrial safety, as well as maintaining a constructive dialogue with the public, we have to resort to penalties and fines. This year, we fined Polymetal. In 2020, the company began developing the Kutynskoye field in one of the most biodiverse areas of Khabarovsk Krai in the Far East. The company also ignored recommendations of a public environmental impact assessment and committed several other violations, which forced ecologists to appeal to the Prosecutor's Office. Polymetal has dropped five positions down — we took away points for Accessibility of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Environmental conflicts. Because of the tragic, high-profile accident at SDS-Ugol, the company was excluded from this year's rating altogether." 

The transparency level among different sub-sectors of the industry remains uneven. Companies of the diamond industry are the most transparent, while the coal industry lags behind.

In general, the sectoral trends in the disclosure of quantitative data at the end of 2020 can be considered positive: the disclosure rate increased in 4 out of 6 sub-sectors. In  Precious metals sub-sector the transparency levels remained the same as the previous year. In Ferrous and alloying metals  they decreased.

ACRA RM CEO Alexey Mukhin commented: “Growing competition among rating participants, higher quality of disclosed information, as well as more active dialog between industry representatives and the public are clear evidence of how significant this project is and that it contributes to increasing the transparency of metals and mining companies. We are pleased to join the project as an operator of the rating and contribute to increasing the transparency of environmentally significant information.”

The driving factor in this disparity is the growing transparency of leading companies. At the bottom of the rating, transparency levels are virtually unchanged — several companies scored low across all years of the rating. The list of these companies overlaps between the 2016 and 2021 ratings, meaning that they have consistently low rankings in the industry.

The rating can be accessed on the WWF-Russia website at https://wwf.ru/what-we-do/green-economy/eco-transparency-rating/mining/

Photo in announcement: (c) Julia Kalinicheva 
Theme photo: (c) Ilya Trukhanov / WWF-Russia