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Премия рунета 2017

The program on the environmental policy of the mining sector

Based on the analysis of the Russian and international experience in solving social and environmental problems, related to the mining industry[1,2,3], WWF experts have prepared a project «Main Features of the Policy of Environmental and Social Responsibility of Mining Companies» aimed at reducing possible risks and negative consequencies in the development of mineral deposits.

In the structure of the document there are two major units: environmental and social, each of which includes specific obligations of companies grouped according to thematic sections.

The sections of the environmental unit include:

  • identification of high natural conservation value areas that are closed for development;
  • environmental impact assessment;
  • rational nature management and introduction of resource-saving technologies;
  • prevention and minimization of negative impact;
  • waste management and recultivation;
  • implementation of specific environmental initiatives.

The social unit covers the following issues:

  • taking into account the interests of the local population and the rights of indigenous peoples in the development of deposits;
  • the participation of all the parties interested in decision-making on developments;
  • social guarantees and compensations;
  • transparency of environmental information and public control.

The environmental and social units are combined by the guiding principles of responsible business — the main provisions of the corporate policy that the company plans to follow.

«The main provisions» are a purely voluntary initiative, complementing the existing approaches to regulation but not replacing the existing Russian and international environmental legislation.

On the basis of this document, on the initiative of WWF Russia, in partnership with the environmental NGOs of the country and with the support of the UNDP/ GEF and the Nature Ministry’s project «Biodiversity Conservation Challenges in Russia’s Energy Sector Policies and Programs», a rating methodology has been developed for the environmental responsibility of mining companies operating on the territory of Russia. At the first stage, at the end of 2015 — the first half of 2016, the draft methodology was discussed with the parties concerned, including mining companies. At the second stage, the methodology is tested (pilot rating calculation) and is finally approved.

You can download the document describing the methodology of the rating in the column on the right.

Send your questions and comments on the rating methodology to the following address: aknizhnikov@wwf.ru.

Companies that extract and process minerals can make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of many regions and Russia as a whole. To make this happen it is necessary for mining and metals companies to reach the high level of environmental responsibility, be ready to apply the most effective measures to minimize a negative industrial impact on environment, increase resources and power conservation.

One of the effective ways to achieve a high level of environmental responsibility for business, along with the optimization of state regulation, is to increase access to environmentally relevant information and improve corporate policies, standards and practices.

The Transparency Rating of Environmental Responsibility Project for Mining and Metals Companies of Russia has started in 2015 under the initiative of WWF Russia and UNDP/ GEF / Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation Project «Mainstreaming Biodiversity Conservation into Russia’s Energy Sector Policies and Operations». At the first stage, WWF Russia has developed the Rating methodology that was discussed with experts and environmental organizations, and tested this methodology in early 2017. Following the analysis of the results of the pilot Rating and discussions with the experts, the final Rating methodology was significantly changed. Specifically, quantitative indicators are now compared not with industry averages, but with their level for each company for the previous year. In 2017, the Rating is calculated under the Barents-Baltic program «Nature and Man» supported by the Swedish Development Agency (Sida).

The sectoral transparency Rating of environmental responsibility is aimed to become a new tool both to increase the corporate responsibility of mining and metals companies and to create effective feedback mechanisms for interested parties.