Nornickel is committed to making a notable contribution to preserving natural riches and historical lifestyle across its footprint. The Company pays attention to environmental protection at each stage of production, takes all necessary efforts to reduce adverse environmental impact and use natural resources sustainably. Nornickel complies with applicable laws and international standards.
In 2021, the Company elaborated and approved the Environmental and Climate Change Strategy to improve its environmental performance. The new strategy covers six key areas of environmental impact: climate change, air, water, tailings and waste, land, and biodiversity, and takes due account of stakeholder expectations, involvement, and communications. The strategy defines 18 environmental and climate change objectives detailed in Nornickel’s ESG Strategy section.
Nornickel has a system in place to distribute environmental responsibilities among different governance bodies in line with their competencies.
- approves environmental strategies and policies.
- considers environmental and climate change issues, prepares recommendations for the Board of Directors.
- oversees preparation of initiatives and compliance with environmental laws;
- assesses the environmental management system;
- submits reports to the Board of Directors.
- develops a policy to minimise the environmental impact and restore ecosystems in the regions of Nornickel’s operations;
- manages environmental risks effectively;
- ensures compliance of the Company’s operations with the applicable environmental laws, environmental policy and ISO 14001:2015;
- reviews the Company’s development projects from the environmental perspective.
- conducts environmental safety audits directly at the Company’s production facilities that (can) make an adverse impact on the environment;
- develops and implements an automated environmental safety monitoring system;
- controls the implementation of requirements and instructions of government supervisory bodies, and audits of compliance with the Company’s internal requirements and the required environmental safety measures;
- controls the implementation of environmental safety measures specified in design documents for capital construction, modernisation, and upgrade during construction, installation and commissioning works;
- controls completeness of environmental emergency prevention plans, sufficiency of resources, and readiness to respond to emergencies and eliminate their consequences.
- assures the accuracy of environmental, technical and production risks assessment in terms of their probability and impact under the applicable corporate procedures.
- implement environmental initiatives and prepare federal statistical and corporate reports.
Key environmental management regulations:
- Russian environmental laws;
- MMC Norilsk Nickel’s Environmental and Climate Change Strategy;
- MMC Norilsk Nickel’s Environmental Impact Assessment Policy;
- Renewable Energy Sources Policy;
- MMC Norilsk Nickel’s Environmental Policy;
- MMC Norilsk Nickel’s Climate Change Policy;
- MMC Norilsk Nickel’s Tailings Management Policy;
- MMC Norilsk Nickel’s Position Statement on Biodiversity
- MMC Norilsk Nickel’s Position Statement on Water Stewardship
- Established maximum permissible environmental impact and its limits;
- Plans for reducing pollutant emissions;
- Plans for reducing pollutant discharges.
Key environmental policies are subject to approval by the Board of Directors, as well as regular review and improvement. Trainings on policies and regulations are held in line with annual (quarterly) training plans of respective units.
Assessment of potential impact of the Company’s activity is a part of its risk management. In accordance with its Investment Project Risk Management Regulations, Nornickel analyses risks and assesses impacts and potential consequences using qualified expert review during both project planning and implementation. If the analysis identifies any material risks, mitigation initiatives are developed, and a decision may be taken to abandon the project.
When planning our operations and in the course of our production activities, we comply with the applicable Russian environmental laws and regulations. During a state expert review, design documents and results of engineering studies for all the ongoing projects undergo mandatory assessment for compliance with the applicable laws.
Environmental management system
For over 15 years, Nornickel has been running an environmental management system as part of the Corporate Integrated Quality and Environmental Management System which covers production, project management, storage, supplies, and sales.
The auditors of Bureau Veritas Certification (BVC), an international certification body, conduct surveillance audits once a year and recertification audits once every three years to confirm compliance of the Company’s environmental management system with ISO 14001:2015 international standard.
In March–April 2021, the recertification audit of the environmental management system was held at the Head Office and production sites of Polar Division in Norilsk, Polar Transport Division in Dudinka, and Murmansk Transport Division in Murmansk. According to the auditors’ conclusions, the Company showed successful implementation, maintenance, and constant improvement of the Corporate Integrated Management System, confirmed compliance with ISO 14001:2015, and received the compliance certificate for the next (sixth) certification period.
In November 2021, a surveillance audit was held to assess the performance of the Company’s environmental management system and its compliance with ISO 14001:2015. The auditors highly commended the Company’s Environmental Policy updated in 2021, which demonstrates leadership of the Company’s senior management in addressing environmental issues.
Environmental protection expenditures
Charges for violations of the environmental law imposed in 2021 exceeded RUB 146.2 bln, including the largest damages for diesel fuel spill at NTEC’s HPP-3 in May 2020. The amount of environmental fines imposed on the Company in 2021 is below RUB 12 mln.
Environmental costs and expenditures, RUB mln
Current environmental protection expenditures
Capital investments to ensure environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources
Charges for permissible and surplus emissions (effluents) and disposal of production and consumption waste
Charges paid by the Company to remedy damages arising from noncompliance with environmental laws (excluding environmental fines)
Environmental expenditures and costs
Environmental impact indicators
Air pollutant emissions
t / RUB mln*
thousand m3 / RUB mln
thousand m3 / RUB mln
thousand m3 / RUB mln
Pollutants in effluents
t / RUB mln
kt / RUB mln