2021 sustainability report

with indigenous
northern minorities

GRI MM5/SASB EM-MM-210a.3 EM-MM-210b.1

Nornickel respects the rights, lands, economic activities, traditional culture, historical heritage and interests of indigenous peoples inhabiting the Company’s regions of operation, and directs its efforts towards strengthening and developing neighbourly relations. In the Taimyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky Municipal District, the Company interacts with representatives of the Nenets, Dolgans, Nganasans, Enets, Evenks, Association of Indigenous Minorities of Taimyr (Krasnoyarsk Territory), associations of indigenous northern minorities of Dudinka, Hatanga and Karaul, as well as with local indigenous communities. On the Kola Peninsula, Nornickel has been working together with the Kola Sámi Association since 2021.

Nornickel complies with international regulations as well as the World Bank and International Finance Corporation standards concerning indigenous peoples of the North, recognising their right to preserve the traditional lifestyle and livelihoods

GRI 411-1

Key results for 2021:

  • No violations of the indigenous peoples’ rights were recorded pertaining to their settlement, traditional activities, and preservation of holy sites and culture
  • Compensation payments to family (tribal) communities of indigenous northern minorities as a result of a diesel fuel spill at HHP-3 were fully completed
  • Programmes were initiated to assist and develop indigenous peoples with a view to supporting their trades and products and enhancing housing, social and medical infrastructure in their settlements
  • The Company’s first ever free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC) procedure for representatives of indigenous northern minorities in the settlement of Tukhard was launched

In the Taimyrsky Dolgano-Nenetsky Municipal District, the Company cooperates with the Association of Indigenous Minorities of the Taimyr (Krasnoyarsk Territory), associations of indigenous northern minorities of Dudinka, Hatanga and Karaul, as well as with local indigenous communities.

Indigenous settlement near the Norilsk Industrial District

Indigenous settlement near the Norilsk Industrial District

Responsibilities in interacting with indigenous northern minorities

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Governance body

Governance body

Board of Directors


  • Approving the Company’s Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Policy (on interaction and cooperation with indigenous peoples of the North)
  • Approving the Company’s sustainability report which, among other things, contains the information on interaction with the indigenous northern minorities

Governance body

Sustainable Development and Climate Change Committee of the Company’s Board of Directors


  • Providing the Board of Directors with an opinion on the effectiveness and quality of the key projects developed and implemented in respect of the indigenous northern minorities
  • Monitoring the quality and effectiveness of any major amendments made to the strategies, goals, programmes, projects, and other important initiatives approved in the area of respecting and protecting the rights of the indigenous northern minorities
  • Drafting recommendations for the Board of Directors on the implementation of regulatory and legislative instruments, standards, and association requirements in the field of respecting and protecting the rights of the indigenous northern minorities

Governance body

Federal and Regional Programmes Department


  • Analysis of whether it is expedient to enter into partnership agreements and direct interaction with the indigenous northern minorities, their representatives, opinion leaders, and businesses
  • Study of the social and economic landscape of indigenous peoples and the impact of economic, environmental and biodiversity factors on their sustainable development.
  • Assessment of international practices for engagement with indigenous peoples.
  • Analysis of issues considered at events, participation in consideration and resolution of the indigenous northern minorities’ complaints and petitions
  • Coordination of interaction with the indigenous northern minorities during development, collection of proposals and implementation of programmes and projects for sustainable development purposes
  • Due diligence procedures and inclusive participation of indigenous peoples in making decisions on drafting and implementing support programmes. Engagement with indigenous peoples to establish procedures for indigenous participation and representation in interactions with Nornickel.

Governance body

Sustainable Development Department


  • Monitoring and analysis of changes in legislation and recognised international standards in the field of sustainable development, methodological support, stakeholder analysis for inclusion in the Stakeholder Engagement Plan, and development of that plan

Governance body

Internal Control Department


  • Handling complaints and petitions of the indigenous northern minorities through the Corporate Trust Service, monitoring the status of control activities

Governance body

Coordinating Council for Indigenous Minorities of the North at Polar Division


  • Review of the implementation of the Taimyr social and economic development programme;
  • Participation in the development of social design proposals in Taimyr as part of Nornickel’s projects;
  • Development of practices and standards for engagement between an industrial company and local communities.

In order to ensure sustainable development of indigenous residents of Taimyr and improve the quality of interaction and promote the interests of indigenous peoples, the Coordinating Council of Indigenous Communities was established under the head of Nornickel’ Norilsk Division. Representatives of 58 indigenous economic entities (families, peasant farms, entrepreneurs) were invited to form part of the council. An additional RUB 100 mln was allocated through the Coordinating Council in 2021 for the development of communities, strengthening the infrastructure, and preparation for the autumn-winter hunting and fishing season. By that time, the communities had already upgraded their resource base, purchased snowmobiles, boat motors, satellite phones, with quad bikes and motor boats to be delivered during the summer navigation period. To ensure ongoing interaction, Polar Division has an IMT office which is staffed by representatives of Taimyr’s indigenous peoples.

Nornickel was the first company to launch the Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) process in the Russian Arctic with respect to the Tukhard relocation and development programme*.

This procedure helps guarantee the protection of rights of indigenous minorities to independently define their political, social, economic, and cultural priorities. Tukhard residents agreed to join the FPIC procedure subject to certain conditions, including the decision whether they will relocate or not, choosing the site for their new settlement and determining its social infrastructure, selecting the best architectural designs as part of an architectural competition, as well as participation in all stages of the relocation programme through the elected Council of Representatives of the settlement residents.

Although the FPIC procedure is not directly integrated into the national laws of the Russian Federation, Nornickel voluntarily recognises international standards and, in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, World Bank and International Finance Corporation standards, is conducting the FPIC.

The approach to interaction with indigenous northern minorities enables timely identification of, and response to, their needs, particularly by implementing projects that are in line with the current international, Russian and local agendas in this field.

Interaction with the Sámi people

In June 2021, a Cooperation Agreement was signed with the Sámi Association representing the interests of indigenous northern minorities in the Murmansk region. The Company helps Sámi people develop culture and preserve their traditional lifestyle relying on the best practice that proved effective on the Taimyr Peninsula.

In particular, Nornickel will provide funding to develop a single Sámi alphabet and publish pre-school Sámi language textbooks. The agreement contemplates developing an open-air Sámi museum in Murmansk. The Company committed RUB 5 mln to those efforts in 2021–2022.

Public discussions of projects with representatives of indigenous northern minorities

Public discussions with stakeholders, including indigenous northern minorities whose interests can be potentially affected, are obligatory by virtue of the Russian laws and make part of environmental impact assessments (EIA) for each new investment project. The purpose of the EIA is to prevent or mitigate the impact of project activities on the environment and resulting social, economic, and other repercussions.

Procedure for public discussions

Procedure for public discussions

EIA materials, including incoming comments and proposals, are included in the documents submitted for a state environmental review, which is a mandatory procedure in Russia to receive an official approval before a project is launched.

Interaction between Nornickel and the Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs (FAEA)

Nornickel and the FAEA signed a cooperation agreement whereby the parties agreed to promote sustainable development, better quality of life, preserve and foster the traditional way of life of indigenous peoples living across the Company’s geographies. Nornickel and the FAEA also intend to cooperate to improve the social and economic environment in the territories where indigenous northern minorities live. Additionally, the parties agreed to take into account the positions of all stakeholders and consider any enquiries and suggestions of their representatives when making decisions and implementing joint projects that address matters relating to interests of indigenous peoples.

Key projects in support of indigenous northern minorities in 2021

In 2021, support for Taimyr’s indigenous peoples soared to new heights. This was facilitated by a quadripartite Cooperation Agreement signed in September 2020 with the associations of indigenous minorities of the Russian Federation, Krasnoyarsk Territory, and Taimyr Dolgano-Nenetsky Municipal District. A five-year programme of arrangements to promote the social and economic development of Taimyr was developed under the Agreement to continue through 2024, with funding totalling about RUB 2 bln*. The Programme stipulates over 40 events to be held until 2024 and includes focus areas such as promoting the traditional use of natural resources — increasing local conversion depth and adding value to their products through the construction of reindeer venison, fish, and wild-growing herbs processing facilities, providing settlements with refrigeration chambers, buying local products, building an ethnic visitor centre with a mini hotel in Ust-Avam, research of reindeer pastures’ carrying capacity in the Avam tundra to restore domestic reindeer herding, research of the fishing capacity in the lateral lakes of the Pyasina River to issue quotas to the tribal communities, and securing decent living standards in the settlements: construction of residential buildings, first aid and obstetric posts, community centres, provision of schools with furniture and equipment, and building of sports grounds.

Public organisations and family (tribal) communities of indigenous northern minorities took part in the development of the Programme. The programme implementation is monitored by the Coordination Council for Indigenous Communities at Polar Division and Association of Indigenous Minorities of the Taimyr.

Following on from the Agreement, the Company signed an addendum in September 2021 to hold events under the International Decade of Indigenous Languages to be held in 2022–2024 in the Taimyr Dolgano-Nenetsky Municipal District.

In addition to fulfilling its obligations under the Agreement and implementing the Programme events, the Company continued to provide traditional charity support to the IMT in 2021. Thus, for example, to preserve the national traditions and culture of indigenous northern minorities, the Company helps stage annual socially important events — the Reindeer Herder’s Day and the Fisherman’s Day. In 2021, the Company provided a charity support of RUB 12.7 mln to hold those events as well as to make helicopter flights to transport passengers and cargoes.

In 2021, the Company allocated RUB 5 mln to support urban and rural settlements in Taimyr at the request of the Dudinka Administration: to provide technical and audio-visual equipment to cultural institutions in settlements, to purchase furniture for a youth centre in Khatanga, and to purchase a modular washhouse in Vorontsovo.

One-time requests from organisations for charity support to be provided to the indigenous northern minorities were also financed to an amount of RUB 2.8 mln.

The Company has historically provided the indigenous northern minorities with transport and communication services, materials and equipment (such as snowmobiles, motor boats, outboard motors, chainsaws, building materials, etc.), fuels, lubricants, and fishing supplies. Educational facilities are being modernised and refurbished. Hospitals and clinics are getting high-tech medical equipment. In case of an emergency, affected indigenous families get free-of-charge aid.

As part of its cultural charity activities in 2021, the Company organised a new grant competition, The World of Taimyr, which specifically features the implementation of projects only in the areas of compact residence of indigenous minorities. The competition welcomes community and non-profit organisations run by local indigenous minorities, tribal communities, and government and municipal agencies registered and operating on the Taimyr Peninsula. According to the competition regulations, grants for the winning projects can amount up to RUB 6.5 mln.

The competition covers different areas of life of Taimyr’s indigenous peoples:

  • preserving traditional activities;
  • preserving and reviving cultural heritage;
  • identifying and supporting gifted children;
  • improving and refurbishing public spaces;
  • introducing alternative energy sources and fuels;
  • exchanging positive experience and promoting the best cultural practices to empower the communities of indigenous peoples living in the Arctic.

In 2021, funding of RUB 43 mln was provided to 28 social projects as a result of the competition. The Competition winners were six projects proposed by family (tribal) communities, two projects proposed by non-profit organisations, and 20 projects proposed by municipal and public institutions.

Notwithstanding the fact that the World of Taimyr Competition for Social Projects is a pilot competition for the Company, it has already won an all-Russian award. The awarding ceremony for the winners of the GPM Awards Russia 2021, a national competition for professional project management in the field of sustainable development, took place on 14 December. The World of Taimyr Competition for Projects ranked No. 2 in the Social Projects category.

RUB mln spent by the Company on projects to support the indigenous northern minorities in 2021

Transport accessibility in remote regions

With our reliable state-of-the-art transport infrastructure, we are capable of meeting any freight logistics challenges and ensure continuity and sustainability of operations and wellbeing of local communities.

Our dry cargo fleet provides year-round freight shipping services between Dudinka, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Rotterdam, and Hamburg sea ports. For seven months a year, we transport the bulk of socially important cargoes for the Norilsk Industrial District. In 2021, dry cargoes transported by the Company’s fleet amounted to 1.4 mt (flat y-o-y).

The Yenisey tanker is used to carry gas condensate, a by-product of gas extraction at the Pelyatkinskoye Field developed by Nornickel, to European ports and other destinations. This way we help reduce pollution from these by-products and improve local environment.

The Company and other companies of the Group handle cargo in the ports of Dudinka, Murmansk, Lesosibirsk and Krasnoyarsk.

Dudinka Port is the world’s only port flooded every year during spring high water and accessible by both sea and river vessels. In 2021, its cargo turnover totalled 3.2 mt.

Bystrinsky Transport Division is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the 227 km Naryn (Borzya) — Gazimursky Zavod railway line (Trans-Baikal Territory).

Yenisey River Shipping Company transports socially important cargoes to destinations across the Krasnoyarsk Territory. During the short period of spring floods, it delivers fuels and lubricants, food and other goods to locations with limited transport accessibility on the Podkamennaya and Nizhnyaya Tunguska rivers and in other areas, including Dikson, Russia’s northernmost settlement. The shipping company operates its own search and rescue fleet and takes part in emergency response missions on internal water routes of the Yenisey Basin.

Murmansk Transport Division is responsible for local shipments in the lower reaches of Yenisey, to the north of Dudinka Port. Dudinka Port receives foods and delivers socially important cargoes for local residents, including indigenous peoples of the North, ships cargoes for the EMERCOM and transports residents of remote coastal areas.

In 2021, the Norilsk Airport (“Alykel”) was busy resolving the punch-list items identified during the operation of the equipment and facilities installed during the reconstruction of the airport before 2020. Failed lamps of the light-signalling equipment were replaced, and a number of equipment items were tested and commissioned.

Destinations covered by NordStar Airlines include more than 30 Russian and CIS cities. With passenger traffic in excess of 1 million people a year, NordStar is a backbone Alykel airport carrier operating year-round direct flights from Norilsk to over ten destinations in Russia and annually reaffirming its status of a major domestic air carrier. In 2021, the airline carried 1.16 mln passengers (up 32% vs 2020) amidst ongoing restrictions due to epidemiological conditions. It offers regular and charter flights and transports passengers from Norilsk to budget-subsidised destinations, with tickets sold at reduced tariffs.