WWF-Russia presents results of the first mining industry rating
The results of the first rating of the environmental performance of mining companies in Russia were presented in the UN office in Moscow, Russia on the World Water Day (March 22). Water protection is relevant to mining companies: in many regions such as Kamchatka, the mining industry has a negative impact on the ecosystems of rivers and lakes.
The rating of mining companies, with a methodology that is based on the already existing and established rating of oil and gas companies, is the first of its kind. It allows comparing information on environmental responsibility of mining companies and the scale of their impact on the environment, including biodiversity.
The first environmental rating included 33 biggest mining companies of Russia that operate in WWF’s priority ecoregions. The three leaders were:
- Arkhangelskgeoldobycha, a subsidiary of LUKOIL that specializes in diamond mining;
- Kinross Gold Corporation, a Canadian gold-mining company that works in the Russian Far East;
- Alrosa, a Russian group that mines diamonds in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and Arkhangelsk region.
They are followed by Nornickel, Polyus Gold, RUSAL, Polymetal, SUEK, EVRAZ, and Nordgold. Download the full rating (in Russian).
“Our rating is based exclusively on the public information provided by the companies. This is its fundamental principal,” says Alexey Knizhnikov, head of WWF-Russia Energy Program. “Above all, the rating is based on non-financial reporting: a whole range of documents related to the company’s environmental and social activities and projects. The new rating will motivate business to improve the quality of this reporting.”
WWF plans to update the rating annually. This will allow taking into consideration new activities by companies aimed at decreasing the negative impact on the environment, which will allow re-assessing the overall industry trends.
The business transparency can be stimulated by both soft measures such as publication of ratings, and government policies. President’s orders after the meeting of the State Council in December 2016 included the suggestion to disclose the non-financial reporting by companies related to environment protection and safety. However, this suggestion has not yet been included in the legislation.
About the rating
The rating was developed on the initiative of WWF-Russia and UNDP / GEF / Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia Project “Mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into Russia’s energy sector policies and operations.” During the first stage, WWF-Russia developed the rating methodology. In 2015-2016, WWF organized discussions, both face-to-face and by correspondence, that brought together nature conservation organizations, expert society and business. As a result, 35 criteria were selected for the industry assessment.
In November 2016, the organizing committee selected the National Rating Agency as the implementing organization. The rating is based on 2015 data, which has been collected by the Agency starting from December 2016.
World Water Day
The World Water Day reminds us about the importance and value of water resources for the environment and the society. The 2017 theme is “Wastewater”. Currently over 80% of wastewater is released to the environment without treatment, which negatively impacts the environment. It is important to save and protect water, and to improve the systems of wastewater collection and treatment.