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Environmental transparency rating for the energy-producing industry came out on the Power Engineer's Day

22 december 2020
On December 22nd, 2020, the results of the environmental transparency rating for fuel-based power generating companies have been presented to the public. The specific date was selected to coincide with the annual professional holiday of the power generating industry specialists

This is the second time the rating has been compiled. The methodology was developed by WWF-Russia. The calculations were carried out by the National Ratings Agency with support from the European Union.

18 major companies within the industry were rated. The companies were divided into three groups based on their transparency level: sufficient (7 out of 18 participants), mediocre (6 out of 18 participants), and insufficient (5 out of 18 participants). Irkutskenergo, PJSC Mosenergo and JSC Ogk-2 were the Top-3.

Significance of the Rating was flagged by the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation. "Participation of the leading Russian energy producing companies in the rating of transparency of ecological information shows their social responsibility and demonstrates commitment to the goals of sustainable development of the segment, which in fact determines sustainable development of the Russian economy and social sector in general" – says Alexey Davidenko, deputy head of “Think tank FES” FSBI  “REA” Ministry of energy of Russian Federation. 

They also stressed in the Ministry that using of fuel-power resources for producing electricity related closely to environmental impacts. Transparency in the field of environmental impacts and measures on their mitigation expresses the interest of the companies in running their businesses openly and improvement of the environment in the areas of their operation.  At the same time energy producers are depending on the unfavorable weather and climate conditions and effects. Thus reduction of the negative impacts on the environment and climate serves the interests of the energy generating companies, and disclosure of their environmental activities is an important step towards a sufficient work and recognition of the effective ways of development, including the usage of the renewable and alternative energy sources.  

Summing up the results of the research, the organizers  noticed the growth in the field of disclosure of ecologically significant information of the industry. "Companies made headway in many respects in comparison to what we had to work with two years ago," says Aleksei Knizhnikov, Head of the Program for the Business Environmental Responsibility at WWF-Russia. "Average grade has reached 0.85 this year, whereas last year it was just 0.74. There is, however, a lot to be done still. Energy production is one of the least transparent industries, and our rating is an efficient tool for advancement of the concept of transparency among the companies and their gradual transition towards more environmentally friendly energy sources, including renewables. We have seen that the expertise and technological basis for this transition are already there, and yet nobody is acting on the opportunity of phasing the fossil fuels out in favor of more environmentally friendly analogs, even though many companies have already committed themselves to this cause."

NRA has highlighted the importance of ratings in making information more transparent and engaging the companies in the research process: "Even though we have only been accessing the transparency of energy producers for two years, we are already seeing some impressive results. The companies have started a dialogue with the organizers and operators of the rating, disclosing more environmentally important information. This has a positive impact on the final results of specific participants and making the industry as a whole more transparent," says Victor Chetverikov, Managing Director for NRA Development Projects. "The next step on our way to a more responsible business conduct is assigning ESG ratings to companies—those ratings already play an important role in financing and attracting investment."

When summarizing the results of the new research, the organizers noted that the data spread for the qualitative indicators of environmental impact for 2019 is several magnitudes. This is especially noticeable in the indicators pertaining to water usage and emissions into the atmosphere. "We will keep actively negotiating with both energy producers and state regulators to figure out where this inconsistent data comes from," promised Aleksei Knizhnikov.

Accidents and controversial situations were taken into account when this year's rating of energy producers was compiled.  The data is gathered from the state supervisory authorities, local residents, activists, and NCOs. Since 2019, data collection and the calculation of the rating are a part of the People for Nature project that is made possible with the support of the European Union. The project aims to engage the public in environmental protection. The project engaged regional non-profit organizations in the monitoring of environmental incidents. Dedicated NCOs are monitoring and analyzing the impact of the industrial enterprises, participating in environmental expertise, developing the public environmental monitoring system, and making it more robust.

The research is available in the PDF file below.

Photo: © Shutterstock / Anton Petrus / WWF 

For additional information please contact
Head of the responsible industry programme