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Norilsk Nickel considers environmental protection essential

26 may 2021
Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel) considers environmental protection activities as an integral part of all production processes, according to the company's sustainability report for 2020. 
The report was prepared per the GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards and explains the progress achieved by the company in compliance with the principles of the United Nations Global Compact.
The world's largest nickel and palladium miner said it closed a smelting shop in the village of Nikel in December 2020, which led to a complete cessation of sulfur dioxide emissions into the atmosphere in the area of the Russian-Norwegian border. 
Together with other measures, this will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions in the Murmansk Region by 85% by the end of 2021, it said.
The company complies with the requirements of current legislation and international agreements, as well as strives to progressively reduce emissions and rational use of natural resources. 
Again in 2020, Nornickel developed a new holistic environmental strategy whose detailed elaboration and approval by the company's board of directors are expected in 2021. 
It identifies six key areas in the field of environmental protection and sets targets to be achieved by 2030.
The report also focuses on supporting the indigenous peoples living on the Taimyr Peninsula. 
The assistance programme developed by Nornickel includes more than 40 initiatives for the next five years worth about 2 billion rubles.
“Firstly, it is aimed at stimulating the economic activity of indigenous minorities and facilitating the recovery of renewable resources, which form the basis of their traditional lifestyle and trades," reads the report citing vice president for federal and regional programmes, Andrey Grachev. 
"Nornickel has a long history of close cooperation with organisations representing the interests of indigenous communities in the regions of our operation, ensuring transparency in decision-making and maximum efficiency in the implementation of joint projects." 
The company said it last year completed the development of the first stage of the master plan for the Arctic tourist cluster. 
This project aims to foster sustainable local tourism while preserving fragile Arctic nature. 
This saw a research expedition to Maria Pronchishcheva Bay in August 2020 with the representatives of WWF, the Joint Directorate of Taimyr Nature Reserves and federal experts took place. 
The expedition’s results are being used to develop attractive tourist routes.
Norilsk Nickel is also intensively developing relations with the indigenous peoples of the North as part of its production and investment activities. The report notes that the interests of the indigenous peoples are taken into account at all stages of the production cycle and investment projects within the framework of the procedure of public discussions and through a system of partnership. 
The company maintains partner relations with the indigenous peoples of the North through interaction with federal authorities and non-profit organisations representing the interests of the indigenous peoples.
In addition, Nornickel’s Polar Division has established a unit based in Dudinka and responsible for interaction with the indigenous peoples of the North.
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, reads the report.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished